White Rock residents ask comptroller to intervene

Water-utility purchase made no mention that price was not agreed upon, complaint states.

A group of White Rock residents are appealing to the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights to reconsider his approval of the water-utility sale between Epcor and the city.

In a request for reconsideration filed Sunday by Dorothy Bower, and co-signed by 51 other residents, Bower alleges that both Epcor and the City of White Rock provided the deputy comptroller with misleading information leading to the office’s Oct. 26 approval of the sale and transfer, which was finalized – without an agreed-upon purchase price – Oct. 30.

Bower claims that the approval was “premature,” citing the parties’ ongoing negotiations for a purchase price, suggesting that the Deputy Comptroller was not aware a price had not been determined.

In the documentation provided by Epcor to the Deputy Comptroller – as part of its Sept. 24  ‘application to dispose assets’ – under the heading ‘purchase price’ the redacted agreement reads: “The Purchase Price payable by the Purchaser to the Vendor for the Assets shall be (redacted) and is exclusive of Sales Taxes.”

In her request for reconsideration, Bower highlights other areas of the application that point to Epcor not disclosing that the purchase price was not determined.

“In the submission seeking approval for the transaction, Epcor states as a reason for keeping the terms concerning price confidential even from the Deputy Comptroller that they were highly negotiated, implying that the negotiations were complete, not ongoing,” Bower writes. “All of the correspondence we received from the Deputy Comptroller’s office indicated that only non-material items, such as the extent of post-closing operational co-operations, were left to be decided.”

A public affairs officer from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations confirmed the comptroller’s office has received two requests for reconsideration and said the requests will be reviewed by the ministry to determine if they have met the criteria for reconsidering, varying or rescinding the decision.

The official was not able to confirm by Peace Arch News deadline, however, if the Deputy Comptroller was aware that no price had been agreed upon when he approved the sale and transfer.

Inquiries with city manager Dan Bottrill on the matter were not responded to by PAN deadline; Epcor spokesperson Tim le Riche said in an email he felt “it is more appropriate that the owner of the asset speak to the media,” and did not give an answer when asked if Epcor had informed the comptroller that there was no purchase price in place.

“Epcor operates in a competitive environment where normal business practice is to include confidentiality in commercial agreements,” le Riche said.

Just Posted

Woman found dead in Okanagan Lake identified as Surrey resident

Police ‘do not believe criminality was involved’ in the death of 29-year-old Caitlin Bradley

Sharks, Beavers advance in men’s rugby playoffs

Bayside’s Div. 1 women’s team loses quarter-final game to Cowichan

Students run blood, stem cell donor drive at Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade

Volunteer youth group One Blood for Life aims to create a more ethnically diverse stem cell registry

‘I feel ready for it’: On a BMX, Surrey man is ‘Cycling for Sobriety’ across Canada

Mat Fee will depart Halifax on May 1 to raise money and awareness for John Volken Academy

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Anti-SOGI activist slams ban on B.C. dad speaking out about transgender son’s case

A judge has told the father to stop publicly objecting to his son’s gender

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Victims injured in Lower Mainland deck collapse ranged from 15 to 83 years old

Victim Services staff have reached out to those hurt and their families

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Most Read

l -->