June 11, 2019 2:44 pm
Updated: June 12, 2019 8:49 pm

Shuswap houseboat company slammed by 2012 flood predicts it will go into receivership

Watch: Waterways receivership a blow to tourism in Canada’s houseboat capital

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A B.C. company impacted by flooding in 2012 expects to go into receivership on Tuesday, this despite a recent successful lawsuit against the province.

On its website, Waterway Houseboats and Vinco Holdings of Sicamous says although they won $2 million in damages from its B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit in April, it was seeking more, and the “actual award of damages is several million dollars less than we had expected.”

READ MORE: B.C. Supreme Court judge awards $2M in 2012 flood damage lawsuit


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In court documents from that trial, Waterway Houseboats and Vinco Holdings, claimed the flood and the resulting damage was caused by improper repair work done by the defendants following a similar flood in July of 1997.

Waterway Houseboats and Vinco were seeking approximately $10 million for property damage and business losses. The two companies are located on 6.61 hectares of beachfront property on Mara Lake, beside Sicamous Creek. The lake is located just south of Sicamous.

The defendants were the Province of B.C., the District of Sicamous plus Bryan McLaughlin and Constance McLaughlin.

Notably, the judge found Waterway and Vinco 25 per cent at fault for locating their operations on property “without taking into account the potential for a debris flood and without any flood mitigation measures being considered.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired July 5, 2016): Sicamous to study flood prevention possibilities

On its website, Waterway and Vinco said the court did not side with them on damages.

“In our view, there are clear errors in judgment regarding the amount of the award,” the two companies said. While we feel that we have a very good case to rectify this upon appeal, that process could take approximately two years and it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“In addition, the province is counter-appealing, which we believe is simply a tactical move. Our bank, CIBC, had been supportive of this process and we believed they would carry us through to the end of the process. However, given the relatively small amount of the judgment, CIBC appears to have given up on the process.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired June 2, 2019): Grand Forks struggles with recovery a year after flooding

Waterway and Vinco said CIBC made an application for the appointment of a receiver, and that the case was to be heard in Vancouver court on Tuesday.

“Once Waterway is in receivership, company management will no longer be in control of Waterway or Waterway’s assets,” the company said.

“While it will be up to the receiver whether they continue to operate the business of the Waterway or shut down operations, our understanding, based on recent discussions, is that the bank’s receiver will likely not operate the business of Waterway.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired March 15, 2019): Ottawa has announced millions of dollars to help prevent devastating flooding in Kelowna

Waterway and Vinco said CIBC’s decision “to proceed with the receivership application is extremely disappointing to us. We have been working diligently and co-operatively with the CIBC over the past several months implementing our financial restructuring strategy.”

The two companies added “we know that this unfortunate series of events will be devastating for our employees, our customers and our suppliers. It is devastating for us as well, as we have lost a life’s work.

“We are hopeful that the assets of Waterway will realize a substantial value so that at least some of the losses can be recouped. We hope the public will understand this very unfortunate situation.”

For more on Waterway Houseboats, click here.

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