Davis & Company & Gateway Project: Conflict of Interest

Sent: March-10-11 9:23 PM
To: professionalconduct@lsbc.org

Subject: Davis & Company & Gateway Project: Conflict of Interest

Dear Sir or Madam:

I write on behalf of the Gateway 40 Citizens Network to make a complaint against Davis & Company for conflict of interest with respect to a legal opinion it provided to the Corporation of Delta on September 8, 2009 with respect to the dispute resolution

In 2009 the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, one of Gateway 40s member groups, asked the Corporation of Delta to invoke the dispute resolution provisions provided for in the Conservation Covenants governing Burns Bog. The particular dispute was over the harmful impact the BC Government’s South Fraser Perimeter Road would have on the ecologically sensitive and vulnerable Burns Bog and its numerous resident at risk species.

The opinion provided by Davis & Company indicated that the dispute resolution criteria could not be invoked, an opinion strongly contradicted by environmental lawyer Andrew Gage, of West Coast Environmental Law. http://www.burnsbog.org/PDF/WCEL_Response_Sept252009.pdf

The Gateway 40 Citizens Network believe Davis & Company were in a rather serious conflict of interest in providing this opinion. The dispute in question involves strongly differing opinions about the impact of the BC government’s South Fraser Perimeter Road on Burns Bog.

Given its close relationship to the BC Liberal government, Davis & Company should not have accepted the job. As you can see by following this link (http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1ASearchResults.aspx?Contributor=Davis%20|~|%20Co&PartySK=0&Party=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=) or seeing the attached, Davis & Company have been generous donors to the BC Liberal Party, donating more than $17,000 over the past few years.

Furthermore, BC Government – and specifically the Ministry of Transportation and Partnerships BC, an organization owned wholly by the BC Government – is a major client of Davis & Company. Davis & Company were very involved in the Golden Ears Bridge project, which is part of the Asia Pacific Gateway Program which includes the Gateway Project (including the South Fraser Perimeter Road). See below some links to online documents that affirm this relationship.

Given Davis & Company’s cozy relationship with the BC Liberal government and its Ministry of Transportation, the independence of the legal opinion provided to the Corporation of Delta is suspect.

We ask the Law Society to review our concerns against your rules for professional conduct and ethics.

With thanks and kind regards,

Donna Passmore


Gateway 40 Citizens Network

13821 Blackburn Avenue

White Rock, BC V4B 2Z1


http://www.partnershipsbc.ca/files/about.html – Partnerships BC is wholly owned by the Province of British Columbia

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Oct 10 – Dig In for Climate Justice

Join the 350.org 10/10/10 Global Work Party to stop global warming. In the Lower Mainland join the party and work to bag sand from the proposed South Fraser Freeway to raise the dykes protecting nearby communities.

WHEN: Meet at 2:00 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Scott Road Skytrain Station (east side at taxi stand) then march to 129th St. and 115b Ave in North Surrey – near Bridgeview Elementary School (map: http://bit.ly/bQzSHl)
Featuring The Carnival Band, Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, special guest speakers, refreshments and more!
For more info see http://www.dig4justice.org/

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Ancient History could be paved – Province Oct 1, 2010

Brian Lewis visited North Delta on Tuesday and met with residents and UBC Archaeology Professor RG Matson.  His story was published today:


There’s a vacant piece of property on the Fraser River’s southern bank, slightly upstream from the Alex Fraser Bridge, that looks remarkably ordinary.

However, this changes abruptly once R.G. Matson, a professor emeritus in archeology from the University of B.C., explains what’s beneath your feet.

What you are actually standing on is abundant evidence of human history that stretches back before the days of Stonehenge in the U. K or the pyramids in Egypt.

This is the Glenrose Cannery archeological site in North Delta, where since 1969 scientists have dug deep into its earth and discovered artifacts and other remains that confirm that ancient First Nations peoples were using this location as a temporary summer food-gathering place as long as 9,000 years ago.

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Another 500 Acres of Farmland for Gateway Freeway Construction

500 acres of prime farmland in the Chilliwack River Valley was not included in the environmental assessment, or in the original Gateway projections of the amount of farmland it would destroy… because it isn’t being paved over. Not exactly.

This land, which we can see thanks to the photography of Susan Federspiel (of the Chilliwack River Valley Ratepayers Association)


The theory is that the soil will be removed, the gravel extracted, and the soil lovingly replaced, so that agriculture can flourish. The reality is that there is not one known example in BC history where gravel extraction on farmland has not been to the detriment of agriculture.

In 2009 the United Nations declared the world is in a food security crisis, and BC literally plows along destroying farmland as though it were in infinite supply.

The Farmland Defence League and Gateway 40 Citizens Network are supporting the call for a review of the Agricultural Land Commission’s decision to allow gravel extraction on this site. To lend your voice to this effort, email:

Steve Thomson, Agriculture Minister steve.thomson.mla@leg.bc.ca
Or call his office – http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/39thParl/thomsons.htm
Shirley Bond, Transportation Minister Shirley.bond.mla@leg.bc.ca
Tony Pellett, Regional Planner, Agricultural Land Commission tony.pellett@gov.bc.ca
Agriculture Critic Lana Popham Lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca
Transportation Critic Harry Brar harry.brar.mla@leg.bc.ca

And copy your local newspaper – and the Minister’s local papers…
Kelowna Courier Editor – jon.manchester@ok.bc.ca
Kelowna Capital News Editor – bbgerding@kelownacapnews.com

And copy the Farmland Defence League – donnapassmore7@gmail.com

For more information on Gateway, see Stop Gateway group on Facebook

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Town Hall Meeting – Jan 16 2010

The True Costs of the South Fraser Perimeter Road

Join the South Fraser Action Network for a townhall meeting focusing on the effects of the South Fraser Perimeter Road. There will be a group of speakers followed by a chance to ask questions and voice your concerns.

Saturday, January 16

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Sundance Banquet Hall

6574 Ladner Trunk Rd.

Speakers include:

Harold Steves, co-founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Farmland Defence League.

Stephen Rees, transportation economist and planner (ret.), blogger.

Eric Doherty, transportation planning consultant

Alexandria Mitchell, high school student and Copenhagen Climate Change Conference delegate.

Graeme Drew will be moderating.

Topics will include the social, environmental and economic impacts of the road, as well as actions you can take to help save Delta from the SFPR.

Have Concerns? Come Have Your Say!

All of Delta’s elected officials have been invited, come let them hear your opinion.

It is not a done deal. This road can be stopped.

For more information call Anita den Dikken at 604 948 0139.

Caption for farmland image:

Delta farmland being covered with preload in preparation for the SFPR. November, 2009.

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Highway Pollution and its Devastating Impacts on Local Communities

From http://www.greenandsave.com/green_news/green-blog/highway-pollution-its-devastating-impacts-local-communities-5382

By Adrian Martinez, Project Attorney, Southern California Air Team, NRDC, Santa Monica Posted on Thursday 12th November 2009

A new study about the staggering impacts of highway and ship pollution was released by a team of scientists and academics, including some of the most pioneering researchers on issues of health related impacts from degraded air quality. The study provides a localized look at the impacts of air pollution, especially from freight facilities. Using the health indicator of childhood asthma, the study examines how much proximity to traffic and pollution from ship emissions drive asthma incidents. The communities chosen were Long Beach, an area that has long been on the front lines of the battle to protect community health from the massive quantities of air pollution spewed by the nation’s two largest ports (the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach), and Riverside, a community that has become home to sprawling warehouses that serve as magnets for thousands upon thousands of diesel trucks rumbling through this community each and every day. The results of this study should be a wake-up call to the enablers of massive freight expansion who don’t deal with all the negative consequences.

Rob McConnell, principal investigator on the study and professor of preventative medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, noted recently that:

The traditional approach to estimating the burden of air pollution-related disease has markedly underestimated the true effect…Our results indicate that there is a substantial proportion of childhood asthma that may be caused by living within 75 meters (81 yards) of a major road in Long Beach and Riverside. This results in a much larger impact of air pollution on asthma symptoms and health care use than previously appreciated. This is also one of the first studies to quantify the contribution of ship emissions to the childhood asthma burden.

In fact, NRDC, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, the Coalition for a Safe Environment and the Endangered Habitats League are currently mired in litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Southern California Association of Governments on the issue of protecting the 1.5 million near highway residents in the Los Angeles area from harmful air pollution impacts. Read more about that effort here.

The study also found that 21% of all asthma incidents in Long Beach were caused by the contribution of nitrogen dioxide levels from ships. As shipping interests have fought relentlessly against efforts to clean up their filthy engines and fuels over the decades, this fact becomes even more disturbing.

This study reminds us that unfettered economic exploitation of an area can have immense consequences on local health, including our most important populations–children. Freight and public health protections can coincide, but we need to end the industry obstructionism and lack of forward thinking that is currently infecting our decision-makers. Efforts such as pushing forward with alternative transportation systems championed by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s push for electrification of our rail lines are the types of efforts we need to keep moving forward. Highway widening projects (e.g. the proposed 14 lane expansion of the I-710 and the State Route 47 project, which creates a new diesel highway in the City of Wilmington) that ignore these near-highway communities should not be given so much attention.

All in all, the study ended with some very useful commentary on the application of the results of this study. It stated–

Our results demonstrate that the burden of asthma prevalence and exacerbation caused by traffic proximity can be substantial in communities with large numbers of homes in close proximity to major roadways. There is an urgent need for more detailed evaluation of the health consequences both of large-scale transportation infrastructure development and of port-related air pollution in areas that already have a high burden of disease associated with air pollution.
This should provide a call to action for all transportation planners that seek to expand freight facilities (e.g. the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, the California Department of Transportation, and other agencies). Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District must also implement policies to protect these most vulnerable near-highway communities from the deleterious impacts of air pollution. Business as usual is not working, and if we are going to expand, these projects must embrace modern low pollution technologies. If we fail in this respect, our future generations will end up spending too much time sucking on inhalers and in the hospital instead of schools. This is an untenable result.

* * * This post originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard.

Adrian Martinez serves as a project attorney for The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Southern California Air Team in Santa Monica, Calif. NRDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the environment, people and animals. NRDC was founded in 1970 and is comprised of more than 300 lawyers, scientists and policy experts, with more than one million members and e-activists.


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Gateway & the ALR – Part 4 – The Delta Boys

Attached are the articles about the Delta boys, from Equity magazine

A couple of interesting side notes are Campbell’s efforts to secure the influence of the Delta Boys – last year he gave the Delta Farmers’ Institute a provincial government heritage agriculture award, and a few months before that he gave Ron Toigo a Queen’s Medallion for community service (for the Vancouver Giants’ – which is a business, not a volunteer effort) in the middle of the battle over the Tsawwassen Golf Course ALR exclusion.

I know that Vicki Huntington and Harold Steves have both been approached by some of the farmers, but the power of the Delta boys is so great, they can make life very unhappy for opponents, that it is really difficult to get them to speak publicly.

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