SAR Transit and Province of B.C. Dispute Resolved

The dispute between the international joint venture contractor SAR Transit (comprised of SC Infrastructure, a division of Aecon Group Inc., Amec E&C Services Limited and Rizzani De Eccher, Inc.) and the province of British Columbia was resolved in October 2001 following extensive litigation and mediation efforts between the parties.

SAR Transit’s claims arose out of its $209 million contract with the province and delays in the construction of the Millennium Line extension to Vancouver’s rapid transit system. Following an impasse in negotiations between the parties, SAR Transit commenced action in the B.C. Supreme Court in 2001, and a 52-week trial of the various issues was scheduled to commence in September 2003. In August and September 2001, the parties were able to agree to a process of mediation to attempt to resolve SAR Transit’s claims. This process allowed for numerous technical issues to be resolved directly between client representatives, followed by secondary-level and final-level negotiations that involved a mixture of client and counsel resources. The parties were assisted by the mediator, former B.C. Supreme Court judge Bruce Macdonald.

Vancouver’s Borden Ladner Gervais LLP was project and litigation counsel for SAR Transit, led by Christopher O’Connor and Edward Chiasson, Q.C., and included Michael Skene, Douglas Sanders, Angus Gunn and Christopher Eagles. The province and the Crown corporation, Rapid Transit Project 2000 Ltd., were represented by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Marina Pratchett, Q.C., Allan Seckel, Alex Cameron, Kevin O’Callaghan, Radha Reddy and B. Nipp. BC Transit was represented by C. Edward Hanman of Cox, Taylor Victoria, B.C.