Sibling rivalry taken to a whole new level in Salmon Arm case
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October 03, 2017 - 6:30 PM
SALMON ARM - It was a simple road that seemed to keep the peace between two brothers and farmers near Salmon Arm.
Stan Bland and Danny Bland worked the same or adjacent land their parents farmed since 1963 but they have been estranged for many years. Their individual properties were separated only by a gravel strip which was, until 2012, 30 Avenue SW, owned and maintained by the City of Salmon Arm. That's when a surveyor discovered that the road actually belonged to Stan and that gave him the upper hand on his brother.
By 2014 it was clear the road was legally Stan’s and he made sure his brother’s family couldn’t use it, according to recent B.C. Supreme Court decision.
He blocked his road with concrete cinder blocks. When Danny got around them, he parked a loader there. Still not satisfied, Stan drove up and down the road with muddy tires, hauled chicken manure down the road which sprinkled close to Danny’s home, made obscene gestures to Danny as he drove by, drove his loader in a “menacing and threatening” manner when Danny and his wife Margaret used the road, and stopped his loader in the dark and shined his headlights into Danny’s kitchen window.
Supreme Court Justice Gary Weatherill finally had to resolve the dispute when Danny sued Stan. Weatherill said Stan took “deliberate and measured” steps to keep Danny and his wife Margaret from using the road.
“I am satisfied that Stan’s actions since June 2014 are directly related to and triggered by that estrangement,” Weatherill said, adding that restricting Danny and Margaret’s access to the road would impact their business.
Weatherill granted Danny an easement to the road, provided he pay his brother $5,000.
The court did not award damages or costs to either party. That’s a battle for another day.
— This story was updated at 10:26 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Supreme Court Justice Gordon Weatherill as Gary Weatherill.
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