Penticton gas station to rebrand following legal dispute

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Gas station to rebrand following dispute
A local gas station in Penticton has been the centre of a legal battle since the beginning of the year but as our Taya Fast reports, that battle is now over as the operator has been ordered to leave and the gas station is rebranding – May 9, 2024

A Penticton, B.C., gas station will now officially rebrand to become an Indigenous-owned fuel retailer following a legal dispute between the landowner and longtime operator.

The operator, William Vandekerkhove of Actton Super-Save Gas Station on Penticton Indian Band Land, was ordered to leave last week.

“I consider this an appropriate case to make a declaration that the plaintiff has no right to continue in possession of the 101 Green Mountain Road gas station,” read the B.C. Supreme Court decision by Justice Gareth Morley published on May 2.

“Any continued occupation is a trespass, contrary to s. 30 of the Indian Act.”

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Vandekerkhove has operated Super Save for the last 20 years. He had been leasing it during this time from Adam Eneas and his wife through a handshake deal.

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At the beginning of 2024, the landowners demanded vacant possession.

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Super Save had been fighting its loss but after the B.C. court dismissed its requested injunction last week, the company no longer had any legal options left and had to vacate immediately.

“We had to act quickly to secure the building. Despite the court’s very clear ruling, Super Save continued to receive fuel deliveries right through this last weekend,” John Eneas, son of the site’s locatee owner, Adam Eneas, said in a press release.

“We’ve tried to talk with them, but they appear unwilling to come to the table.”

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Now that the Eneas family has won, it announced that they will own and operate the gas station under the banner of Gen7 Fuel. It is Canada’s first and only Indigenous-owned retail gas and convenience store chain, and the location on Penticton Indian Band land will be the first location in B.C.

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“My family and I are excited about the opportunity to work with Gen7 Fuel. We’ll be bringing high quality fuel at lower prices to the Okanagan Valley,” Eneas said.

“Our employees will be drawn first from First Nations members in the community.”

The initial switchover to Gen7 Fuel has already started and should finish by the end of May.

The transition includes rebranding and renovating the convenience store and new pumping equipment should be installed by August.

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