A B.C. Supreme Court ruling found the Province of British Columbia and the District of Sicamous liable for damages caused to Waterway Houseboats 2 Mile operation during the 2012 debris flood. All parties involved are now appealing. (File photo)

A B.C. Supreme Court ruling found the Province of British Columbia and the District of Sicamous liable for damages caused to Waterway Houseboats 2 Mile operation during the 2012 debris flood. All parties involved are now appealing. (File photo)

Waterway Houseboats’ courtroom saga to continue

Appeals from all parties involved in the 2019 Supreme court case were considered Dec. 30.

Courtroom proceedings to determine where to lay blame for the 2012 Sicamous Creek flood which damaged the nearby Waterway Houseboats property continued as a series of appeals were allowed at a BC Court of Appeal hearing on Dec. 30 in Vancouver.

Further proceedings have not been scheduled yet.

In April 2019, a judge ruled that the Province of British Columbia and the District of Sicamous as well as the owners of a nearby property were responsible for the damage. The basis of the decision was that a blockage beneath a private bridge leading to a property could have been prevented if the bridge was replaced by a taller span and the creek was dredged following flooding in 1997.

A truck swept into the creek by the 2012 flooding became lodged under the bridge, quickly creating a blockage which the court heard caused the creek to burst its banks.

The District of Sicamous and the province were found liable for their role in overseeing the mitigation work in the creek and the replacement of the private bridge. Bryan and Constance McLaughlin, the owners of the property which the bridge led to, were also found liable in the initial suit.

Read More: Shuswap Search and Rescue respond after fisherman falls through ice on Gardom Lake

Read More: Chase RCMP warn drivers after ‘brake-checking’ reportedly leads to collision

In the initial judgment Justice Gary Weatherill found Waterway Houseboats and associated company Vinco Holdings were also partly liable for the damage to their property as they failed to take flood mitigation measures when moving their business onto the property.

Waterway was awarded more than $2 million in damages but it was not enough to satisfy its creditors and the company entered receivership in June 2019.

Appeals were filed by all three defendant groups and the houseboat company itself immediately after the April 2019 judgment. A hearing on the various appeals was held in June 2020 and a decision was made public on Dec. 30, 2020.

Read More: THE LATEST: Amid Capitol violence, Facebook, Twitter remove Trump video

Read More: One more death, 71 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The judges allowed the appeal from the District of Sicamous. It was found that in the initial case, the judge erred in finding the District of Sicamous liable to the individual owners of the houseboats in Waterway’s fleet under the Water Act. The question of its liability to the boat owners regarding negligence and nuisance will be heading back to court.

The province’s appeal was also allowed with the judge finding that it did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiffs. The issue of whether the province owed a duty of care to the McLaughlins and if they breached the standard of care will be remitted to trial court. The remainder of the McLaughlins’ grounds of appeal were dismissed.

Waterway and Vinco’s appeal was allowed but only to the extent that the judge in the initial trial made errors in his analysis of whether company negligence contributed to the loss they suffered in the 2012 flood. It will also return to court.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtSicamous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Demolition of Bargain Shop downtown Kelowna clears way for big development

Bernard Block will encompass two residential towers, commercial tower, street-facing businesses

Cannabis
Vancouver-based cannabis retailer buys Kelowna pot shop

Grasshopper Cannabis was bought before it even opened for business

One in seven Canadians deal with food insecurity due to the pandemic. See story on page 10. (Phil McLachlan - West K News)
Kelowna’s first community fridge needs a home

People who need food right away will be able to access the community fridge

This historic photo is of Peachland waterfront and wharf, circa the 1920s.
The paddle wheeler SS Sicamous is at the wharf and in the foreground appears the unique eight-sided Peachland Baptist Church, built-in 1910, serving as a place of worship until 1964.
It then saw use as a temporary municipal hall, parks and recreation office, public library and fire brigade hall.
Since 1980 the building has been used as the Peachland Museum.
The photo was posted to the Facebook group Old Kelowna.
History in photos: Peachland waterfront circa 1920s

A look back into West Kelowna’s past

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Malakwa firefighters bring a barn blaze under control in the 4,000 block of the Trans-Canada Highway on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Barn fire prompts fundraiser for Shuswap family of eight

Blaze leaves Malakwa family in need of feed, supplies for beloved horses

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP and the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department are on scene of a reported quonset fire fully involved in the 900 block of Pottery Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
North Okanagan quonset structure on fire

BX-Swan Lake Fire Department battling blaze on property in Vernon Wednesday, Feb. 24

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

Brad Eliason as seen here after he came out of a medically-induced coma after being severely injured during an unprovoked assault at Okanagan Lake beach by Thomas Kruger-Allen. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)
Beach attacker’s sentencing delayed in Penticton court

His defense lawyer has introduced a Charter of Rights breach application

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Even with COVID travel restrictions the occupancy rate at the campground shot from 17 per cent to 45 per cent in 2020.  Photo Town of Princeton
Princeton’s town-owned RV park caught ‘campfire’ in 2020

Tourism director has even bigger plans for coming year

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

Reactions to the federal government’s proposed gun legislation are mixed across the province. (File photo)
Princeton mayor has no appetite for local handgun ban

Newly tabled federal legislation will download decision to municipalities

Most Read