Archive for March, 2011

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

Coordinator,

Gateway 40 Citizens Network

13821 Blackburn Avenue

White Rock, BC V4B 2Z1

http://www.davis.ca/en/practice-area/Project-Finance-Infrastructure-and-P3

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

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