Gas station owner kicked off Penticton Indian Band land wins reprieve | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Penticton News

Gas station owner kicked off Penticton Indian Band land wins reprieve

Actton Super-Save Gas station on Penticton Indian Band.
Image Credit: Google Streetview

A businessman whose gas station has been in operation for the last 20 years on Penticton Indian Band has won a short-term legal victory after being ordered off the land with no notice.

William Vandekerkhove is the owner of Actton Super-Save Gas Stations, operating under a lease that was renewed by locatees David Eneas and Sandi Detjen and operating without complication until the beginning of this year.

That’s when the landlords told him they were terminating the lease and expected vacant possession of the business by February 24. When he got his lawyer involved, the landlords bumped up the possession date twice, the last one ordering immediate possession.

“There is evidence that one of the landlords may have made a social media post stating an intention to take over management of the gas station, even promising better prices,” BC Supreme Court Justice Neena Sharma said in a recent decision.

“One can draw a reasonable inference that the landlords intended to allow some operations at the gas station to continue for their benefit, such as the sale of cannabis and tobacco. They stated they want to take an inventory and take possession of the inventory of the retail store.”

Vandekerkhove asked Sharma for an injunction against his eviction until the case can be heard. Sharma noted there appears to be a strong case for the band members because the lease was never registered with Indigenous and Northern Affairs, as is required. Vandekerkhove said he was told when he signed the lease that it wasn’t required.

Sharma said the case is further complicated by a bylaw passed by the band that required the landlords to give notice, which the landlords have not done.

She granted the injunction because she said although the invalid lease may seem clear, it appeared the landlords were not acting lawfully either.

Further complicating the matter is that Vandekerkhove is responsible for decommissioning and remediating the earth around the gas storage tanks, which he could not do if he was removed from the business.

“Notwithstanding any right that the landlords may have regarding the status of the lease, this Court has no indication from them as to how they will deal with potential environmental issues and how they will address potential liabilities,” she said.

“It is not in the public interest to take this sort of action in a hasty or rash manner when there is a gas station involved.”

She said Vandekerkhove would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted. But that reprieve is only in place until the issues are solved at trial or between the parties.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile