2017 NSUARB 124








- and -

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION by S. & D. SMITH CENTRAL SUPPLIES LIMITED to determine compensation, including legal and other costs reasonably incurred, to be paid to it by the ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA, representing Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia, in respect to the expropriation of land situate on No. 104 Highway in Lower South River, Antigonish County

BEFORE:Roberta J. Clarke, Q.C., Member




Bruce T. MacIntosh, Q.C.


Sarah MacIntosh, LL.B.


Adam Harris, LL.B.






Mark V. Rieksts, LL.B.


February 2, 3, 4, 22, 24-26, 29, March 1-4, 14-18, 21-23,


and April 11, 2016


June 3, 2016


July 26, 2017


$8,180,497.00 compensation is awarded.

Document: 257289

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)



- 2 -

















Claimant’s non-expert witnesses




Stephen “Steve” Smith




Edward Barrett




Kevin White




James Murray




Linda MacPherson




Herbert Delorey




Mike Daniels




Real property appraisals




3.2.1 Claimant




Daniel Doucet




3.2.2 Respondent




John Ingram




Financial/business loss witnesses




3.3.1 Claimant




Paul Bradley and Charlene Rodenhiser




3.3.2 Respondent




Ian Wintrip




Donald Thompson




J.A. Sandy Welsh




Respondent’s witnesses




Steve Chaisson




Michael Croft




Dwayne Cross




Roderick MacInnis




Graydon Bushell




John Bain













What is the market value of the land taken?








Should any compensation be due for the value of any special economic



advantage per s. 26(d) of the Expropriation Act?








What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the south



remnant of Central’s property?








What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the




northern remnant of Central’s property?






2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 3 -


Can there be compensation due for business losses?




Did the Claimant have expansion plans for the property?




What is the appropriate loss period and when did it begin?




Did the Claimant take reasonable steps to mitigate its loss?




What amount of compensation is due for business losses?




Loss of Profits – Antigonish Retail


Loss of Profits – Distribution Centre


Loss Profits – Vendor Discounts


Savings from Delay in Financing Costs


Benefit of Early Expansion of Sydney Store


Incremental Operating Costs – Past


Future Costs


End of the Loss Period


Are there other losses which should be compensated?




Should interest be allowed at greater than 6%?




How should any tax consequences be treated?




How should costs be treated?






2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 4 -



The nature of expropriation is described by Eric C. E. Todd in The Law of

Expropriation and Compensation in Canada, 2nd edition, at page 1:

In general terms “expropriation” is the compulsory (i.e. against the wishes of the owner), acquisition of property, usually real property, by the Crown or by one of its authorized

agencies. The power of expropriation is generally recognized as a necessary adjunct of modern government, but its exercise nearly always results in a traumatic experience for the affected property owner. [Emphasis added]

[2]In this proceeding, it became clear to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review

Board (“Board”) that the exercise of its expropriating authority by the Province of Nova Scotia for the purposes of twinning the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 104) in the County of Antigonish, and the resulting by-pass of the Town of Antigonish, at least as far as one property owner was concerned, was a long and personally distressing process. After 21 days of hearing, during which Stephen Smith, the principal of the Claimant, S. & D. Smith Central Supplies Limited, testified over eight days, an observer might well agree that Mr. Smith’s experience was “traumatic” as Mr. Todd suggested. For Mr. Smith, the experience started in 1998 and reached its culmination in the hearing of this claim in 2016.

[3]The Board’s task is, however, to determine what compensation is owing to

the Claimant, as a result of the actions of the Province, which the Board recognizes may not, no matter what the quantum of compensation awarded, succeed in alleviating Mr. Smith’s distress or “trauma”.

[4]In its quest for compensation, the Claimant (sometimes referred to as “Central”), was represented by Bruce T. MacIntosh, Q.C., Sarah MacIntosh, and Adam Harris. The Respondent, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia (“Province”), was represented by Mark V. Rieksts. By agreement of the parties, the hearing was held in

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 5 -

Halifax. The Board undertook a site visit to the Claimant’s premises at Lower South River, Antigonish County, and several other locations, on May 6, 2016, which will be

discussed below.

[5]The Claimant called a total of 10 witnesses in support of its claim; the

Province called nine witnesses. Of the 19 witnesses from whom the Board heard, three were qualified as experts called by the Claimant and, of the Respondent’s witnesses, four were qualified as to give opinion evidence as experts.

[6]In this Decision, the Board has referred to the provincial government

department directly involved in this matter as the “Department of Transportation” or the “Department” for ease of reference. The Board observes that, over recent years, the name of the Department has changed a number of times.

[7]The Board observes, at this point, that the Claimant sought confidential

treatment for much of the evidence which related to its commercial operations and financial statements. The Respondent did not object to the request for confidentiality. The Board has endeavoured, in this Decision, to honour that request but, in some instances, it has proved necessary for the Board to include some such information in order to provide context or support for its findings.

[8]The expropriation by the Province for the highway corridor divided the

Claimant’s property at Lower South River into two main parcels by taking a corridor of approximately 11 acres, or close to one-quarter of the Claimant’s lands.

[9]Central filed a Notice of Hearing and Statement of Claim, pursuant to the

Expropriation Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c.156, as amended (“Act”), with the Board on March 12, 2015. It claimed compensation for: the market value of lands expropriated;

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 6 -

business disturbance, injurious affection and loss of special economic advantage for its interests in both the expropriated and remaining lands; costs, expenses and losses “arising out of or incidental to [its] disturbance”, including fencing; legal, appraisal and other professional fees and disbursements; the costs of developing and operating a replacement property; an order for access to rear lands; and, prejudgment interest. The total amount of the claim exceeded $10 million.

[10]In the course of the proceeding, the Claimant withdrew its claim for compensation for loss of special economic advantage, stating that it claimed compensation for disturbance from economic obsolescence or external depreciation. In closing submissions, it tied its business losses to disturbance as well. It also sought an award of interest of 12% per annum as contemplated by s. 53(4) of the Act.

[11]Further, Central asked the Board to award an amount for Harmonized

Sales Tax (“HST”) and for the accelerated tax consequences of the expropriation, with the submission that the Board should reserve its decision on these points.

[12]In its rebuttal submissions, Central provided a recalculation of its claim which, without interest, HST, and any allowance for tax consequences, exceeded $12.2 million.

[13]The Province rejected a number of the components of the claim, which are more particularly explored elsewhere in this Decision. The Province cautioned the

Board against allowing “double recovery” in compensating the Claimant. The Board understood that, based on the opinions of the Province’s expert witnesses, it considered the total compensation due to the Claimant, not including interest or other additional

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 7 -

amounts, ranged from a low of approximately $820,000 to a high of approximately $4.69 million.

[14]As noted above, the hearing of this matter took place over a 21-day period in February and March 2016, with submissions on April 11, April 25, May 24, and June 3, 2016. Prior to the hearing, there were a number of preliminary telephone conferences and hearings, and preliminary decisions by the Board, in particular regarding disclosure. Issues surrounding disclosure continued well into the course of the hearing itself.

[15]Before the Board issued this Decision, as a result of information sent by

the Claimant to the Board and the Respondent about the sale of Central’s business, the Respondent applied to have the hearing re-opened to review new evidence.

[16]After a hearing on March 23, 2017, for the reasons set out in its decision

(2017 NSUARB 75), the Board dismissed the Respondent’s application.


[17]The principal issue in this proceeding is: What compensation should be paid to the Claimant as a result of the Province's expropriation of lands at Lower South River?

[18]Answering this question requires the Board to consider the following


What is the market value of property taken?

What amount should be awarded, if any, for injurious affection?

What amount should be awarded for business loss and disturbance?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 8 -

[19]For each of these three questions, there are other inquiries which the Board needs to address, and which will be explored in greater detail, as required, below. While the Board discusses some of the various submissions made, it will not

refer to every one of them. To the extent that the Board’s decision is inconsistent with any such submission, it may be taken that the Board, having evaluated the submission, chose to reject it.

[20]For the reasons contained in this Decision, the Board finds, after taking all the evidence into account, that the amount of compensation which should be paid to the Claimant is $8,180,497.00 (excluding any costs to which the Claimant may be entitled, HST as may be applicable, and amounts for accelerated tax consequences, all of which the Board reserves the right to consider if the parties are unable to agree), composed of:

Market value of lands taken



affection to southern remnant



affection to northern remnant

$ nil

Business losses/disturbance damages


Other losses – fencing





[21]Further, the Board finds that the Claimant is entitled to interest on $1,404,216 (the total of the market value of lands taken and injurious affection) at the rate of 10% per annum from May 1, 2001 to the date of payment by the Province.


3.1Claimant’s non-expert witnesses

Stephen “Steve” Smith

[22]Mr. Smith is a resident of Antigonish and the principal of the Claimant. After receiving his post-secondary education at St. Francis Xavier University in his

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 9 -

home town, Mr. Smith pursued a number of career opportunities before going into business with his brother around 1975. By 1979, they needed more space for their business venture and purchased a 16 acre parcel of land at Lower South River, which had an existing retail store. They erected some small buildings on the site. In the following year, they became aware of the opportunity to purchase a landlocked parcel of approximately 33 acres immediately at the rear of their property. Mr. Smith said they felt they could not let the opportunity go. They completed the purchase, and while they had no idea of how much they would grow, they shared a vision of continued growth when opportunities presented themselves.

[23]Although Mr. Smith’s brother no longer participated in the business after a

number of years, Central continued to expand its operations. It added its first branch store in New Glasgow and then acquired a cabinet assembly and retail business in Sydney. Central converted a Sydney warehouse to a building supply store and supplied kitchen cabinets for all of Central’s stores. Later, Central built warehouses and a retail store and office building at Lower South River. As well, a truss mill was built in 1987. It was retained for other purposes when a new and more modern truss mill was built there in 2011-2012.

[24]Central’s practice was to reclaim its existing land when it needed room to

expand. Mr. Smith said:

MR. MACINTOSH: …as you needed more land for your next project, whatever it is, just describe how you reclaimed the rear portion of the lands.

MR. SMITH: Well we kept pushing back, we just kept filling it in and, you know, we needed more land, we just go in and, you know, I think we covered this when the property appraisers - - we talked about that - - you just take the top off and you put down some new dirt and compact it and put some gravel on it, then you just keep going. And we were able to go. We were using 12 acres or so at the time, and we were just - - every couple of years we keep going back…

[SF05730, 30:10-30:58]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 10 -

[25]It was Mr. Smith’s concept to provide a better service to Central’s

customers by self-supplying materials. He wanted to be successful as both a manufacturer and a home improvement retail operator. From about 1989, he was making steel doors in the truss mill, and he wanted to move into manufacturing vinyl windows. He planned to build it “way back on our property”. Eventually, instead of having a window plant at Lower South River, he scrapped those plans and acquired a window manufacturing business in New Brunswick and moved the steel door business there as well.

[26]Initially, Mr. Smith’s expansion plans were hampered by the lack of an adequate water service which would allow fire protection and sprinkler systems in the new buildings he planned. He realized this as early as 1992, and in 1994, he had to erect a smaller store as, what he described as, a “stop gap”. He approached County officials on numerous occasions to press his case for water, and by the late 1990s he knew it would be forthcoming. In January 1999, the County extended water service to

Central’s property. Once this happened, Mr. Smith testified, he would have been ready to have the new retail store at Lower South River open for business in the fall of 1999, and would have started the new distribution centre warehouse thereafter.

[27]Mr. Smith had many ideas for complementary businesses which could operate from the Lower South River site. He described some of them thus:

Certainly, as time went on, and we grew and started to get confidence, I’d guess I’d say, in ourselves, you know that we can do things. I certainly had planned on a retail store,

obviously, and a DC, but also to expand our truss mill - - actually had some plans drawn up for that. We also had built a greenhouse operation - - when we started getting into greenhouses - - to start being able to distribute some greenhouse products, we were doing it on leased land, which was bordered on our land because it worked out that worked, you know that land was taken from the person that leased it to me by the highways in their buying land up. So we had to tear that greenhouse down and we did not rebuild it or - - we were planning on building more so that we could grow part of the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 11 -

stuff that we were going to distribute to our growing greenhouse business, which is very large today.

We tended as far back as ‘87/88 - - we were working on and formulating plans to build a wood - - a sawmill, which made unbelievable sense to us because we could use all the products from that sawmill. We could - - everything we made we could use. We could use it in the truss mill if it was off grade, we could use it in the baby barns or other product we made. We could focus a mill on making stuff that we sold a lot of. It wouldn’t have been all the wood we bought, but we could have run a very successful truss mill, at a very cheap price, because we didn’t have any freight, we didn’t have any management required for it, we knew the business somewhat, we would have had to hire a millwright, and we had the land to do it. We did communicate that to the Department of Transportation at the time when, you know, when they were talk ing about routes, etc.

Certainly, we had lots of other plans over the years. We had - - we were very close to building - - because of service and competitiveness, we were very close to building a kitchen cabinet manufacturing plant, which we decided against because we didn’t want to build offsite. This was after they limited us from using the land. A major thing that we did trials on, were ready to do but, again, we had to back off it because we didn’t want to do it on another site was lumber regrading, which is what you do is you buy second grade lumber from different mills around the Province - - we had to supply, you know, a range. Now they’re shipping, many of these mills are shipping this product to Ontario for re - handling…

MR. MACINTOSH: These are just left over pieces of…

MR. SMITH: Well you have to hit a certain grade to stamp it that grade. If it doesn’t meet that grade, it’s in this pile here, but there’s so much to do with that wood in manufacturing. So there’s a 14 ft. piece, 10 ft. of it are perfect, 4 ft. of it maybe not as perfect. So you cut the 10 ft. piece off and put it in your regular lumber pile, and you take the 4 ft. piece and you might cut that into 3 different pieces for truss manufacturing or baby barn manufacturing.

You know we make parts, we do it in a small way today, would have done it in a huge way. But if you do it in a small way today, making shipping blocks for Atlantic Windows, but you can sell it to all kinds of people, but we had a lot of use for the material ourselves and we could have used every piece.

So we couldn’t do that because that would have taken up at least 4 or 5 acres to do it in a small way, let alone a big way because you have to have the raw material and then you have all the parts layout in a building. That we would have definitely done and I would never do that on an offsite because we were so competitive doing it right there because we it was in our own yard.

We were going to make patio blocks. I had even sourced the forms for it. But again we backed off because of the amount room it would take. We were buying our patio blocks, at that time, from Windsor, Nova Scotia, and some from Lantz and the freight on a patio block, these big square blocks, is almost as much as the cost of making them and there was no one making them in our area. We would have been so competitive on it that it was a really easy thing to do, but again it took a lot of room, and very cheap to get into too.

Another thing was hardwood flooring. We got involved with a plant in Cape Breton that went out of business called Forest Insight. Mr. Steve Reid started and ran that plant in the Mira. It was - - we carried his product in our store. We helped him manage the business when he got in trouble and helped him out financially by buying product from

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 12 -

him in advance and paying him upfront for the product to try to keep him going, but he didn’t have the management ability to keep it going. And when they closed that down, we had the opportunity, at a very, very low price, to move a modern hardwood floor plant - - and I could never run it down there and make money because he proved he couldn’t - - but in our own yard we could have done an amazing job of it. Again, we had to pass on that.


MR. SMITH: Because, if I do it offsite, in another building in another place, then I need a whole management team, a whole new distribution structure, I have a whole new set of costs that make it uncompetitive, or make it that it doesn’t make sense for me to make that investment and pay that time into doing it. If it’s right there, I can share services, management, there’s no distribution costs because I’m already sending my truck there next to my store. There’s no middlemen - - I’m the manufacturer going right to the stores.

MR. MACINTOSH: Why couldn’t you have built that at Lower South River?

MR. SMITH: I didn’t have any room once the highways come in. I had 49 acres of land. It was my future, I had - - every one of these things I tell you, you know, are opportunities I missed. We’re not claiming for them. But I tried to move these in at different times and it just - - we looked at our need for land and we were working hard at that time with the Province, you know trying to establish that we’re going to find another piece of land that they would - - you know, so that we could do more manufacturing and distribution on our own land. But…

MR. MACINTOSH: Who was the largest employer…

MR. SMITH: It was more than that.

MR. MACINTOSH: OK, continue.

MR. SMITH: One of the big ones was, and this was early one, was mobile home manufacturing. We are the perfect yard for mobile home manufacturing. The mobile home business boomed back in the 90s. You know, you saw the huge numbers of - - you couldn’t go on the road anywhere and you wouldn’t see a trailer, let’s say, or a mobile home going by you on the highway. And all parks, mobile home parks were growing and expanding and that was a way of rural Nova Scotia, not urban, but rural Nova Scotia was very affordable to a lot of people. A lot of people could get into, affordably, into these parks. And we had the perfect site for it. We had our stores to market them and we had truss mill, we building expertise, we had a complete lumber yard, we had everything on our site that you’d need to build mobile homes, and it was a slam dunk for us. But it’s a big - - it takes a big piece of land. We had the land - - but we had the land at one time, but it was severed.

[SF05730 21:17-30:01]

[28]On a trip to the United States in 1991, Mr. Smith was introduced to the

“big box store” concept; he was persuaded that this was the way he wanted to grow Central’s business. To him, the kind of merchandising and the selection which could be provided was “the way of the future”. When Central became part of the Independent

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 13 -

Lumber Dealers Co-operative (“ILDC”) in 1993, Mr. Smith became aware of various programs which would allow the purchase of hardlines direct from the manufacturer as part of that group. Later, in 1996, Mr. Smith and some of his employees visited locations in Quebec, including Canac Marquis, where they were introduced to the concept of distribution centres. He observed that Canac Marquis also had a retail store in its main yard. He wanted to do the same thing, and especially wanted a new store in Lower South River to demonstrate pride in his community.

[29]These operations afforded an opportunity to take advantage of buying in large quantities and realizing vendor discounts, as well as accommodating a greater selection of items; all of these would result in greater profits, and Mr. Smith was keen to move in this direction. This contrasted with dealing with distributors, who were in

essence “middle men”, where Central could not take advantage of discounts for buying larger quantities. Larger quantities meant there had to be a place to house them and from where they would be distributed. Mr. Smith then had in mind building a big box store and expanding his existing warehousing to a distribution centre on the Lower South River property for all of the stores.

[30]Mr. Smith said that he always knew what size buildings he needed at Lower South River to accommodate what he wanted to do; he also knew he needed space for trucks to access the back of the warehouse.

[31]He testified that in early 1998, however, his plans for expansion at Lower South River were thwarted. He, along with Kevin White of Central, attended a public information meeting held by the Department of Transportation on May 30, 1998, at which three possible routes for the alignment of Highway 104 were revealed. According

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 14 -

to the plans he saw at the meeting, two of the possible routes (the “red” and the “blue”) would cut through Central’s property; one (the “brown”) would have no effect on it. He believed that, including the south remnant, about two-thirds of his property would be “taken”. His reaction was that if either of the two routes were selected, Central would be “shut down”.

[32]After the meeting, he spoke with Graydon Bushell, a representative of the Department. He knew Mr. Bushell through a family connection. Mr. Smith expressed

his concern about the impact on his property and his plans to expand Central’s business. He testified that Mr. Bushell told him the highway plans were not finalized yet; the route was not settled and could be changed, describing it as “preliminary”, and that Central would not necessarily be affected. However, Mr. Smith testified Mr. Bushell told him that, because he was now aware of the potential routes, while he could do anything he chose on the corridor area, he would not be compensated because of that knowledge. Mr. Smith said that was the moment when he concluded he could not do anything on that land. He “knew we were in trouble”.

[33]At the meeting, attendees were provided with a questionnaire regarding the proposed routes. Mr. Smith tasked Mr. White with responding to the questionnaire,

expressing Central’s preference for the brown route and noting the impact of the other routes on its property. Mr. White wrote to Michael Croft of the Department on July 2, 1998. The letter is discussed elsewhere in this Decision. Mr. Smith said that Mr. White would not have mentioned the retail store plan because Central already had the land area for that, and the highway location would not affect it. Mr. Smith testified Central received no response to the letter.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 15 -

[34]Unbeknownst to Mr. Smith, Wendy Tse, a Municipal Planner and Development Officer on staff of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, had been in correspondence with the Department in 1997, in which reference was made to

Central’s property and negotiations to extend municipal services to it “for future development.” There was a reply to Ms. Tse from Mr. Croft of the Department (which is discussed more fully elsewhere in this Decision) which requested “…all available development plans for areas of concern be provided as soon as possible.” Mr. Smith testified that he was not contacted by anyone to provide any documentation or information about his proposed plans for further development at Lower South River.

[35]Mr. Smith did not recall having attended a Department open house on the Highway 104 upgrading in May 1997, although he acknowledged his handwriting on the

visitors’ list.

[36]As a result of the conversation with Mr. Bushell, Mr. Smith was unwilling to undertake any expansion at Lower South River and turned to other projects, including continuing with capital improvements for the new location in New Glasgow, and later, the new Sydney store. He said he had planned to do the Lower South River store immediately after finishing up in New Glasgow, starting in late 1998 or early 1999. That would have led to an opening in Lower South River in 2001.

[37]In May 2001, Mr. Smith attended another public meeting on proposed highway routing. He was perturbed because an exit ramp located not too distant from

Central’s property, which had appeared on a plan from the 1998 meeting, had “disappeared” from the plans presented. Mr. Bushell was adamant that there had not ever been such a ramp, and Mr. Smith was equally adamant that there had; the matter

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 16 -

was brought to an end when an associate of Mr. Bushell’s produced the plan which did show the exit ramp for two of the routes. This situation aggravated Mr. Smith for a considerable period of time, and he agreed that it did play a part in his decision to look at a new location for his retail store, though it was not the primary reason. As it turned out, at the hearing, Mr. Smith produced a Departmental plan that showed the exit ramp in question, which he said Mr. Bushell had given to him at the May 1998 meeting.

[38]Mr. Smith took issue with Mr. Bushell’s “will say” statement about what he

was told at the May 1998 meeting and the number of discussions they had, i.e., at that meeting and the May 2001 meeting. He acknowledged, however, that Mr. Bushell was the only person who told him he would not be compensated if he did anything on the corridor area because Mr. Smith now had knowledge of the potential route.

[39]Mr. Smith said he was aware that there was a lot of discussion and controversy in the area about the proposed routes during that time. Neither he nor anyone at Central was involved with the Atlantic Expressway Committee. He was waiting to see what would happen. As time went on, he realized that the brown route

was not preferred. He then had a clearer picture of Central’s situation. While Mr. Smith did not participate in the environmental review process, and no one involved consulted him in any way, it was not until it was completed that it was certain which would be the recommended route. In 1999, he understood a preferred route had been identified; he testified he then started “looking around” but did not want to make any decisions until the route was fixed. He remained hopeful that the route might not affect Central, but as time went on, the “danger” became clearer. Once the route was announced, Mr. Smith realized how his Lower South River property would be affected.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 17 -

[40]In November 2001, Stillman Smith, (Mr. Smith’s father, who was associated with Central), had C. J. MacLellan & Associates prepare a plan of the

proposed highway alignment through Central’s property and to place stakes along the boundary line with the northern remnant. This was intended to give Central some assessment of what land might be left for their operations and how it might be developed. Mr. Smith still considered that this corridor was not certain, but knew this was what would be considered in the environmental assessment process.

[41]The owner of the neighbouring property had developed a large trailer home park on the corridor area. Mr. Smith testified that it was not until the spring or summer of 2003, when he saw the trailers or mobile or mini-homes being moved from the adjacent property, that he knew exactly where the corridor for the highway would be

and how much Central’s property would be impacted. Mr. Smith said he was told that the Department had bought the adjacent property from the corridor to the back of the parcel, so he knew he had to make a decision about what he had to do. In his words, he was not left with half of his property north of the corridor, but about one-third only, and with no room for expansion as he had planned. He could not have both the big box store and the distribution centre on his land – there was not enough room. He knew he had to do something.

[42]Mr. Smith said that when they had needed more space, they just moved back on the land. Had he gone ahead with the retail store after the May 1998 meeting, he would have extended the laydown yard space and the highway corridor would have

taken that. He considered he would then be “in more trouble”. He could not have done

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 18 -

anything more at Lower South River. He was, in his words “down to about one-third of his property”.

[43]As a result, Mr. Smith began a search for another location. This became a

priority for him. The cost to relocate Central’s Lower South River operations to another site was too great and expansion of the site was no longer possible. He looked at several sites in and around Antigonish, some of which were the comparables used by the appraisers, Mr. Ingram and/or Mr. Doucet. None were suitable. Ultimately, he settled on a parcel of land at Market Street on the south side of the “old” highway, and west of the Town of Antigonish. It is across the street (Market Street) from a Superstore and a Wal-Mart. In 2004, he purchased the land, and in May 2005, he opened a “big box store” there with some distribution space for hardlines.

[44]Immediately thereafter, Central set about turning the Lower South River property into a distribution centre, together with a laydown area for lumber and other building materials for all of its stores. The Market Street location cost more than a similar store would have at Lower South River, Mr. Smith said, because Lower South River was an established site with utilities and an existing building. At Market Street, they had to acquire the land, prepare it, install services, put in a parking lot, lights, fencing, and in addition to new space with systems and displays, had to replicate the space at Lower South River.

[45]When Mr. Rieksts questioned Mr. Smith about the lack of any mention of the adverse impacts of the highway location in a financing proposal made to a financial institution in 2004 regarding Market Street, Mr. Smith said:

I’m very clear on where I’ve been all along, and my explanation has been because I couldn’t build in Lower South River, I found the next best site I could find. I would have never built at Market Street. I made that clear to you. And it wouldn’t have been - -

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 19 -

anybody would look at that and say that would be ludicrous, when you have your land, you have your services, everything, why would you ever move your store? You come back around today, five years later from then on and you saw the store there you say oh isn’t that nice - - nice central store out here. But economically, this was a very poor decision that I would never have made except for the moving of the Trans Canada Highway.

MR. RIEKSTS: But that’s not the impression that you’re giving the bank in this document though. Right?

MR. SMITH: I am moving on. I had to move on and I’m telling the bank the best that - - I’m comparing this site compared to what I couldn’t do out there.

[SF05763 43:33-44:38]

[46]Mr. Smith said that the distribution centre at Lower South River still did not give Central sufficient room, as the demands kept growing as the company built new stores. Every year, they kept moving things around and trying to find space solutions. Further, he was concerned about the areas at Ledwidge Lumber and Elmsdale Lumber where Central stored product, as the space was not necessarily always going to be available, and it likely cost Central more by being a limited source for lumber purchases. Ultimately, in 2012-2013, he started looking for another site. An opportunity presented itself in late 2015, and Central purchased a property at Pomquet for warehousing and a laydown area. Mr. Smith said he would not have needed the second site if it were not for the expropriation. He saw clear benefits from being on one site.

[47]Mr. Smith testified that the last formal meeting he had with Mr. Bushell was in May 2001, and after that the environmental assessment process was announced. He was told at a public meeting he attended that no active settlement activity would take place until the assessment was complete, which was not expected to take long. The chosen route was not officially announced until 2005.

[48]Around that time, and as a result of a conversation with George Arsenault, who owned an adjacent property, about legal assistance with a claim for compensation, Mr. Smith charged Kevin White with arranging a meeting with Patterson Law in Truro to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 20 -

get some advice. He had no knowledge about the legal aspects of expropriation at that time. He and Mr. White met with Dennis James and Robert Pineo on September 8, 2005. Mr. Pineo sent an email to Mr. White on September 20, 2005. Mr. Smith said that there were inaccuracies in that email, and in his view, Mr. Pineo had not understood what they had told him at the meeting. Mr. Smith said he felt discouraged. Subsequently, Mr. White was in communication with Mr. James.

[49]Mr. James sent an email to Mr. White on February 13, 2006, outlining his views on the potential claim. Again, Mr. Smith said there were inaccurate statements by Mr. James. Mr. Smith, and Linda MacPherson, Mr. White and Jim Murray, of Central’s

senior management, decided to go to Truro for another meeting with the lawyers because they were having difficulty understanding the process. The meeting took place on April 13, 2006. Mr. Smith testified that he came away from that meeting feeling even more confused, and no further ahead. He decided that, since he expected to have a meeting shortly with Steve Chaisson of the Department, he would attempt to deal with the Province himself. He wanted to see how he could get along with the Province.

[50]Mr. Smith first met with Mr. Chaisson, an Acquisition Officer, of the Department of Transportation, in 2006. Mr. Chaisson came to Lower South River. Mr. Smith was pleased because he believed his concerns were getting some attention;

however, the purpose of Mr. Chaisson’s visit was to address a property which another company in the Central Group owned near the junction of the new highway and Highway # 7. Mr. Smith told Mr. Chaisson about his situation at Lower South River and explained his plans. They both looked out Mr. Smith’s office window to observe the busy yard. Mr. Smith said that Mr. Chaisson did not ask him for any plans or

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 21 -

documents. He had the plan, which Mr. Bushell had given him, on his desk during his meetings with Mr. Chaisson.

[51]Over the ensuing months, Mr. Smith testified he had a number of conversations with Mr. Chaisson about how the Province proposed to address the impact on the Lower South River property. Although Mr. Smith testified that they had had many more meetings than Mr. Chaisson’s “will say” statement indicated, Mr. Smith said that every time he and Mr. Chaisson met they immediately discussed Lower South River. Mr. Chaisson acknowledged that there was not enough room. According to Mr.

Smith, he consistently pleaded his case, and Mr. Chaisson told him that it was “the biggest problem we have” and that it “has to be solved by [his] superiors”. According to Mr. Smith, Mr. Chaisson was always apologetic. He assured Mr. Smith he would be compensated, and repeatedly said he was taking the matter back to his managers. Mr. Smith also said that Mr. Chaisson advised that the route might be changed to further south, which would have been somewhat better for Central; this was the so-called “blue- brown” crossover, which never materialized. By 2009 or 2010, Mr. Smith had given up hope on that possibility.

[52]Mr. Smith and Mr. Chaisson discussed three possible options: moving the entire site or, rebuilding on another location, which both of them considered would be too costly; putting a tunnel under the new highway to allow access to the southern remnant; or, purchasing another parcel of land fairly close to Lower South River for storage of bulky items and a laydown area. Mr. Smith did not learn until much later that the Department had been doing some preliminary work to determine if a tunnel would be feasible.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 22 -

[53]Sometime in 2008 or 2009, Mr. Chaisson told Mr. Smith he was soon to

retire, and Mr. Smith “pleaded” with him to get matters resolved before his retirement which took place at the end of 2010.

[54]Mr. Smith testified that he was never told that a tunnel would be too costly, and he was unaware of the engineering work being done about a tunnel. The tunnel would have given access to the south remnant for a laydown area.

[55]While Mr. Chaisson and Mr. Smith went through a process of valuing and negotiating over the land at Highway # 7 over the next couple of years after their first meeting, he said there was never any negotiation regarding price or even process regarding Lower South River.

[56]Mr. Smith’s evidence was that he heard nothing after Mr. Chaisson’s

retirement until he was visited by Rod MacInnis, Acquisition Officer of the Department, in November, 2011. Thus, he was very pleased to hear from him. They had several meetings. Their discussions were similar to those Mr. Smith had had with Mr. Chaisson. They discussed the tunnel, but Mr. Smith did not recall saying he preferred not to have a tunnel, as Mr. MacInnis reported in a follow-up email. At the first meeting, Mr. MacInnis suggested that the southern remnant might not be useable. Mr. Smith thought Mr. MacInnis was trying to discourage him about those lands.

[57]Although Mr. MacInnis mentioned the Highway # 7 lands in his follow-up email, Mr. Smith said they did not discuss that matter at any time. They did not discuss damages for business loss, mainly discussing the land itself.

[58]Mr. Smith was unaware that the Department was having some work done on the Lower South River property to assess the wetland areas towards the rear of the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 23 -

property. He did not consider the wetland on the expropriated lands as significant and said that there was little wetland in the southern remnant. He said that the rear portion of the adjacent Gaklis lands were much wetter.

[59]On January 18, 2012, Mr. Smith received an email from Mr. MacInnis requesting that he agree to allow access to the lands for clearing purposes. As there

had been no negotiations and no appraisals, as referred to in Mr. MacInnis’s earlier email, Mr. Smith described himself as “fed up” at this point. He did not sign the authorization.

[60]This was followed by a letter from Roger Garby, Construction Manager –

Northern Region, of the Department, dated February 27, 2012, invoking s. 71 of the Act, for access to Central’s lands on March 1, 2012, i.e., two days later.

[61]By then Mr. Smith was getting legal advice and thus he did not respond to Mr. MacInnis or Mr. Garby.

[62]Mr. Smith spoke a number of times about his hopes and frustrations – he wanted to meet with the Province to sort out compensation, but felt that he was being put off and treated unfairly. He acknowledged that there were some delays in the process after the notice of expropriation was received, during a period when he was undergoing some serious health issues.

[63]Mr. MacIntosh drew Mr. Smith’s attention to a Department Information

Note, dated April 22, 2004, which included Central Supplies as one of a number of examples of developers encroaching on land required for the highway project. Mr. Smith said he had never been told Central was encroaching, and because he respected what Mr. Bushell had told him, he would not have done so.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 24 -

[64]Mr. MacIntosh also asked Mr. Smith about a statement in October 23,

2008 Minutes of the Department’s Highway 104 Antigonish Committee which said that Mr. Smith wanted to know what was happening at Highway # 7 “…before they negotiate at South River”. Mr. Smith recalled discussions about this with Mr. Chaisson in which he indicated that he still did not know what was being taken at Highway # 7, and what was done there might impact what would happen at Lower South River. He was still uncertain about exactly where the corridor would be at that time.

[65]Mr. Smith had sought funding for security fencing along the boundary of the corridor with the northern remnant, but this was not forthcoming. Documents disclosed by the Respondent included an email from Dwayne Cross of the Department to Stephen MacKenzie in June 2013, which questioned the need for such fencing, given clearing which had been done by Central, and comparing the site to a truss plant bordering on the highway at Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.

[66]On cross-examination, Mr. Smith acknowledged that there had been an old woods road at the rear of the property, extending into the neighbouring Gaklis property, but it had never been used as such while he owned it. Many years before Central had asked the manager of the Gaklis property to block it to prevent four- wheeled vehicles from accessing their property. A trench was put in. No fence was erected at the rear of the property. At the west side there was a buffer zone of trees

between Central’s property and the mini home park, except for an area where Linden Lane accessed Central. Mr. Smith said that there was a drop between the two parcels at the west, so a truck could not access his lands. Central’s yard is protected at the current highway side by a fence and gate. While they have no security staff, inventory

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 25 -

is monitored closely. He testified that now the property is wide open at the rear, with a graveled highway that was being plowed in the winter.

[67]Mr. Smith said that Central had taken part of a hill area near the rear of

the front part of its property, and done a “cut and fill”. The part which was cleared remained surrounded by trees and there was no access to Central’s yard from the forested area. He explained that, unlike the Stewiacke property, Central’s yard was full of products. While it is not easy to steal a truss, other items in the yard might be stolen. Further, he said that the Stewiacke location was next to a busy highway while the exposure for Central was gravel road (i.e., the cleared area for the corridor) which is accessible. He also said that the Stewiacke operation was built a considerable time after the highway was constructed.

[68]In Mr. Smith’s view, having the highway behind his property does not give

him any commercial advantage.

[69]Mr. Smith was asked about how Central conducted its business, in particular with respect to strategic planning and corporate minutes, which were discussed in the Thompson report, as well as the findings in the Welsh report (both of which were filed by the Respondent). He said that Central had done only two strategic plans, and in neither case was it followed. The fact that the documents, as well as minutes, did not refer to the distribution centre and new retail store at Lower South River, was because they knew it could not be done at that site, initially due to the unavailability of a suitable water service. He said that there was much discussed at various meetings which did not make it into the minutes, and there was no need to talk

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 26 -

about it. It was well known to those involved that he was meeting with representatives of the Province regarding the Lower South River site.

[70]Mr. Smith testified that Central’s practice was to typically plan and do one

project at a time.

[71]Although Mr. Thompson (an expert witness on behalf of the Province) had opined that the distribution centre did not need to be at Lower South River, Mr. Smith said that it was necessary because it was most efficient to have it there. He did not accept Mr. Thompson’s statement that no home improvement centre had its distribution centre on the same site as its retail store, citing Canac Marquis, and some locations cited by Sandy Welsh (an expert witness for the Province) in his report.

[72]While Mr. Smith agreed with Mr. Welsh’s conclusion that there was not enough space at Lower South River, he said he disagreed with Mr. Welsh’s numbers as

he had not taken into account the 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse and truck turning circles. He said Mr. Welsh had not understood the plan for retail at Lower South River, which would have had full height and thus more volume area for product. Central would then have had room for the quantity of product which would have facilitated vendor discounts. He also disagreed with Mr. Welsh’s description of Sears as a competitor of Central. Further, he concluded that Mr. Welsh’s reference to a decline in housing starts demonstrated that he was unaware that a large proportion of Central’s business was repair, maintenance and some renovations. He also said that Mr. Welsh did not appreciate the source of Central’s customers at Lower South River.

[73]Mr. Smith said that, when Mike Daniels was doing his consultation regarding product mix and merchandising for Central, he had not known Mr. Daniels

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 27 -

very long so he did not seek any comments from him on the distribution centre or retail store proposed for Lower South River. He did not want word of his plans for a distribution centre to “slip out”. He was concerned that if the plans to move from using distributors became known, it would jeopardize their dealings with those distributors in the interim.

[74]Mr. Rieksts suggested that many aspects of the Market Street location were better than Lower South River, including its central location, higher traffic flow, both vehicular and pedestrian, and better parking, for example; Mr. Smith did not agree. He said they did not need that much parking, and that his customer base is closer to Lower South River. However, when he acquired Market Street, he said he had no other choice.

[75]Mr. Smith acknowledged, on cross-examination, that Central had no planning documents regarding the proposed expansion in 1998 and had not made any application to the Municipality for approvals. There was a site plan from 1996 which showed where a new truss mill might be located, and a 1979 plan which showed a

possible layout for a light industrial park which Mr. Smith’s brother wanted to investigate. Other plans and building drawings were prepared from time to time over the years with respect to the Lower South River location, as well as other stores of Central. They were not kept when they were no longer needed. Mr. Smith said that, before they went ahead with building any new store, they had to have plans in order to get a building permit.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 28 -

Edward Barrett

[76]Mr. Barrett is an entrepreneur from Woodstock, New Brunswick. In addition to his own business operations, he has served on a number of high profile boards in the Canadian and U.S. corporate, and Canadian public, sectors.

[77]Mr. Barrett has known Mr. Smith of Central since the mid-1980s, when Central was a customer of one of his businesses. He came to know him better through a business organization, the Young Presidents Organization (“YPO”), and ultimately

served on Central’s Advisory Board from March 2003 to July 2006. They continued their relationship through another business group similar to YPO.

[78]Although he was not qualified as an expert, entitled to give opinion evidence, Mr. Barrett testified that he is familiar with the concept and uses of distribution centres and their associated efficiencies. His businesses have 5 or 6 such centres, one of which has a similar model to Central, i.e., as a retailer and a distributor of products, which he said, as a matter of fact, exists for efficiency. He confirmed, however, that he was not in either the home hardware or building supplies business and his distribution centre experience did not relate to those lines of business specifically.

[79]The Board saw Mr. Barrett’s evidence as having a number of purposes,

providing: a description of Mr. Smith’s business style as he observed it; a description of the role of the Advisory Board in, and its knowledge of, Central’s business; and, a commentary on the report prepared by Mr. Thompson.

[80]Mr. Barrett described Mr. Smith as “instinctive”, “the best student of business I’ve seen”, but said he did not have a “corporate” style. He said that Mr. Smith “had aggressive plans for expansion if he could achieve them”.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 29 -

[81]Mr. MacIntosh directed Mr. Barrett’s attention to a number of statements in the Thompson report about Mr. Thompson’s expectations of how Central’s business

operated and its expansion plans would be developed. Mr. Barrett confirmed that statements made by Mr. Smith that he “ran the company”; the lack of “a long trail of discussion and documents”; the lack of documentation of business priorities; the practice of not spending money quickly or before a project was ready; were all consistent with his observations of Mr. Smith’s practices. Mr. Smith and Central did not take an elaborate approach to decision making. Mr. Barrett said:

No, it wouldn’t have been lengthy discussions. Steve would have talked to his key executives, fleshed it out, talked about the pros and cons. You know, again, in some ways it’s the same answer that I’ve been giving. It doesn’t matter what the theory is, this is what his - - this is the way he practices business. He wasn’t Walmart. This is the way

he practices business and he had lots of reason to have confidence in it because it worked…

[SF05723, 22:44-23:36]

[82]Mr. Barrett and Mr. Smith discussed the Central property and business, as

well as Mr. Smith’s plans, both in the Advisory Board and informally, on many occasions. Mr. Barrett said it was his observation that Mr. Smith took the view that the Lower South River location, which was successful, was a property he could always fall back on if other plans did not proceed. He was aware of discussions of plans for an integrated distribution centre and “big box store” at that location in the context of what might be done at the property. Mr. Barrett testified he could not remember a time when Mr. Smith was not planning to do that; it was always the plan, although he did not have any recollection of specific building sizes or the dates or locations of discussions. He did not think that anyone questioned the fundamentals of a distribution centre.

[83]Mr. Barrett stated that he was aware of the plans for a distribution centre prior to a November 24, 2003 Advisory Board meeting which was referred to by

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 30 -

Mr. Thompson; he remembered discussions about it and the efficiencies of associated central processing and labour costs.

[84]Mr. Barrett also recalled discussions about the alignment of Highway 104 and its impact on the Lower South River location, but he could not recall if they took place at Advisory Board meetings or informally with Mr. Smith, or when they occurred.

He could not recall being presented with any documentation that the “flagship” could not be at Lower South River, but recalled many discussions about wanting to move forward. Nor could Mr. Barrett recall any discussions about losses or lower earnings at Lower South River due to the highway alignment; however, he said discussions about the alignment related to it not allowing a distribution centre there. In response to Mr. Rieksts, Mr. Barrett testified he did not recall a specific reference to an exit ramp causing the move of the retail store; rather, it was “not going to work at the property”.

[85]According to Mr. Barrett, the Advisory Board discussed strategic planning, including potential locations and markets. The Advisory Board changed over time from an oversight role to a more strategic one. Gradually, the Advisory Board was doing less and less advising, and Mr. Smith was taking back control of the company after the departure of John Lynn, who had been Chief Operating Officer. As a result, there was less need for the Advisory Board. In response to a question from the Board, Mr. Barrett said it was not its role to approve or disapprove plans.

Kevin White

[86]Mr. White lives in Antigonish. He has worked for Central since the late

1980’s and worked his way up to the position of Vice President, Operations, becoming

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 31 -

President in 2011. For a period between 2004 and 2006, Mr. White was on leave from the Company, although during that time he took on some special projects for Central.

[87]In 1991, Mr. White, Mr. Smith and two store managers travelled to the United States to investigate Home Depot, and it was then that they learned about the

“big box store” and distribution centre concepts. In his words, they were “sold” on the concepts. He described Central at that point as a traditional home building supply centre, with less retail; they wanted to adopt these concepts “everywhere” but, he said, they could not do it immediately at Antigonish (Lower South River) because they did not have an appropriate water supply for a sprinkler system. Instead, Mr. Smith heard about an opportunity in Sydney; they viewed the property there, and Mr. Smith announced it would be Central’s first big box store. About two years later, they investigated an opportunity in Port Hawkesbury, which, he said, would alleviate some of the stress on the Antigonish location.

[88]According to Mr. White, it was always Central’s intention to put a big box store in Lower South River because it was their biggest market and head office location. Throughout the mid-1990s, Mr. Smith was working on the County to get water, and eventually, he reported that it would be in place and they could build the desired store. He and Mr. White went outside their office and measured a site for a 30,000 sq. ft. store, which would be similar to those in Sydney and Port Hawkesbury. Mr. Smith sketched out a layout and discussed what they would do with the other buildings on the site. This all occurred before the May 1998 meeting when Mr. Smith and Mr. White learned about the proposed routes for the highway alignment.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 32 -

[89]On a trip to Quebec in 1996 or 1997, Mr. White and Mr. Murray went to look at central shipping operations led by Pierre Laberge. They were interested in pursuing the concept of having one yard because of the proximity to their stores, rather than shipping out of every store as they were then doing. They also wanted to look at distribution centres and, generally, to meet other members of ILDC. Mr. Laberge showed them the savings which could be gained by having a distribution centre. Mr. Murray and Mr. White were intrigued by the distribution centre concept and reported its benefits to Mr. Smith.

[90]Mr. White said that the priority of Central was to build a new retail store at Lower South River; later a distribution centre would be built. In the interim, Mr. Smith took advantage of an opportunity to establish a large store in New Glasgow.

[91]Both Mr. White and Mr. Smith attended the May 30, 1998 public meeting. Mr. White testified:

MR. MACINTOSH: Tell me what you recall how you were feeling going into that meeting, in terms of whether the company was at risk, and how you felt after you came out of that meeting.

MR. WHITE: Going into it, I didn’t realize we were at risk, but I saw, again, working with this case, I saw a letter that was sent to us saying there was a possibility it could affect us. But going in, we didn’t think it was going to affect us, we really didn’t. As a matter of fact, all during the - - that process took a while during the 90s, it was in the news a lot. We were never that concerned about the highway because we were what you call a destination business. So we didn’t feel too worried about the highway. There were actually some people I know that were very concerned, like McDonalds and Tim Hortons and…

MR. MACINTOSH: People in and closer to the Town.

MR. WHITE: Exactly.

MR. MACINTOSH: So you go in, but describe how you were feeling when you came out of that public meeting.

MR. WHITE: Well we were shocked, really. We knew that we were at least delayed because two of the routes went right through our property. At that point we didn’t know how significant, but we knew it was significant, how much land was taken from us.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 33 -

[SF05771, 43:06-44:58]

[92]When they left the meeting, Mr. White and Mr. Smith did not know how much of the Central property might be taken, but sometime later they learned that what would be left was an even smaller area than they had thought.

[93]Mr. White was unaware of correspondence from the County to the Province, which mentioned the Central property and how it might be affected by the choice of route for the highway. However, he was the author of a July 2, 1998 letter, on behalf of Central, to Michael Croft of the Province, in which he said, in part:

CENTRAL HOME IMPROVEMENT WAREHOUSE is the largest home improvement supplier in Nova Scotia and the second largest in Atlantic Canada. We operate out of six retail locations which include Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Margaree, Antigonish, New Glasgow, and Windsor.

Antigonish is where our head office is located. Our facility includes the following: purchasing/accounts payable building, three retail buildings, three warehouses, and a large yard. Also on site is a plant that manufactures trusses and steel doors and produces barns and sheds. Off site, in Port Elgin New Brunswick, the company operates a window and door plant.

The Antigonish site consists of a 50 acre lot which would be cut in half if alignment Option 1 or 2 were selected. Option 3 would have no impact on us. The company has experienced rapid expansion over the past five years and this 50 acre site is very strategic to us and our long term goals. Future plans include a distribution center as well as a saw mill. Both of these projects would require considerable land for production and storage. Options 1 and 2 would greatly restrict our ability to expand and grow at this location.

Obviously seperation [sic] of sites is a very expensive scenario for us and we strongly recommend option 3. If you require any further information please feel free to contact me at: [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-41, Volume 4, p. 13]

[94]There had a been a questionnaire available at the May 30, 1998 meeting, and Mr. White sent the questionnaire back with this letter as there was insufficient space on the questionnaire to comment. Mr. White did so to “…let them know we really wanted the brown route chosen”. He used the distribution centre and sawmill as examples, only, of expansion plans. He did not mention the retail store because it

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 34 -

would not have gone on the lands which were expropriated, or the lands which were severed. Mr. White testified that he had not received any response to the letter, nor was any further explanation sought from him.

[95]Mr. White said that, after the meeting, Central was delayed in the retail store and distribution centre plans for Lower South River. When the “blue route” was

announced about a year later, they knew it was to be “directly right through” the Central property.

[96]By May 2003, Mr. White was telling Mr. Smith in a management committee meeting that they needed to decide if a new store was going to be built at Lower South River because they were being delayed. At that point, Mr. Smith began

looking for other land. This was contrary to Mr. White’s discovery evidence, when he originally thought it was in May 2001, that Mr. Smith began to look at other properties because he had learned the nearby exit ramp had been removed. Mr. White explained that, at the time of his discovery, he had not reviewed the minutes which clarified this for him. It was not necessary to move because of the exit. It became a necessity to move the retail store, ultimately, to Market Street because there was insufficient room to do their expansion; Central could no longer do both the retail store and the distribution centre on the site, and had to choose one project or the other. Mr. White’s only involvement in looking for another site was a visit to land at the Antigonish Mall, which was not suitable for their purpose.

[97]In 2005, Mr. Smith asked Mr. White to consult with Brian MacLeod about getting some history of the corridor and was referred to Brian Segal. He met once with Mr. Segal, who subsequently produced a report. He testified that he had not told Mr.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 35 -

Segal that Central had bought the land in 1979 for speculative purposes related to a highway, and did not know why he mentioned this. There had been no suggestion from Mr. Smith to use either the Segal report or the 1980 CJ Mac industrial park plan as a basis for a claim for compensation.

[98]Mr. White testified that he had been present when Mr. Chaisson was meeting with Mr. Smith on one occasion only; Mr. Smith invited Mr. White in. Mr. White said Mr. Smith was telling Mr. Chaisson about the problems he was having with space, and Mr. Chaisson agreed. Mr. Chaisson told Mr. Smith that he was retiring and trying to get this matter concluded before he retired.

[99]Also in 2005, Mr. White had contacted Dennis James, a lawyer in Truro,

on Mr. Smith’s behalf, to get information on how to make a claim. He and Mr. Smith went to a meeting with Mr. James and his colleague, Mr. Pineo, on September 8, 2005. Mr. White knew nothing about expropriation before attending the meeting. During the meeting, Mr. Smith gave a history of Central. They were asked about documents, drawings or business plans; Mr. Smith told them that everything had stopped as of the May 30, 1998 meeting.

[100]It was Mr. White’s testimony that a distribution centre was discussed at the meeting, and he thought that the lawyers had understood the situation; when the email of September 20, 2005, came from Mr. Pineo, Mr. White and Mr. Smith felt that they had not. He did not recall any discussion of vendor discounts at the meeting. Many of the things which were discussed were not mentioned in the email. However, he said he assumed the lawyers were accurate, so he did not make any corrections. As a result of the email, Mr. White believed he met with Mr. Murray and Ms. MacPherson to see what

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 36 -

documentation was available; he did not expect to find much because they did not keep minutes; the way they went about business was done “out of our head”. He found the 1980 CJ Mac industrial park plan and gave it to the lawyers, as well as his July 2, 1998 letter to the Province. He was not aware of any engineering or land use evidence Central had at the time which showed that they could not use the land because of the highway alignment.

[101]In February 2006, Mr. James wrote to Mr. White describing what the nature of a claim might be and the evidence required, and how the Province might respond. Mr. White and Mr. Smith were not satisfied that the lawyers understood why the Market Street store was opened, and were very confused. As a result, they met with Mr. Murray and Ms. MacPherson and decided all four of them would go to Truro to meet with Mr. James. They hoped to get the lawyers to understand their situation, but

he said the meeting was “more of the same”. As a result, on the way home, Mr. Smith told Mr. White he was not going to pursue this with legal assistance, but would deal with it himself; he had a meeting set up with the Department of Transportation.

[102]In responding to Mr. Rieksts’s review of some of the strategic business plan documents, Mr. White explained that there was no reason to speak of any expansion of the Lower South River site before the water service was confirmed. That was what he understood would allow expansion, but prior to the May 30, 1998 open house, he did not know when that would be. They were, however, discussing a distribution centre, although such discussions were not committed to writing. Plans to build the retail store and distribution centre were a constant theme in discussions among Mr. Smith, Mr. Murray and Mr. White.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 37 -

James Murray

[103]Mr. Murray is currently Vice President Operations of Central. He started with the company in 1985 and worked in various capacities, becoming Vice President Purchasing and Marketing in 2004, and beginning his current role in 2014. Mr. Murray has served on the Management Committee since 1994 for Central, and for the Central Group of Companies since approximately 2003.

[104]Ms. MacIntosh explored Mr. Murray’s knowledge of plans for expansion:

MS. MACINTOSH: …Could you just describe for us what your understanding of the plans at Lower South River were prior to the shadow of expropriation and news of the alignment?

MR. MURRAY: Basically, starting in 92 when we built our Sydney store which became our first warehouse store, it took the company in a new direction with merchandizing it put

-- the traditional building supply store was a smaller store with warehouses and storeroom/stockrooms. The warehouse concept brought the warehouse racking inside the stores, put all the products in front of customers, made the shopping experience greater, and that seemed to be the lift off that took us into a direction that we were very excited about and we were going to start using that format going forward. We - - as mid- 90s we started working toward getting a new box formation in Antigonish, Lower South River location and using some of our existing buildings that were currently there to round off the offering, and then we would have - - but if I could go back - - in order for that to happen, in order to get the larger box format, the sprinkler system became a factor and water. So Steve …

MS. MACINTOSH: And maybe just - - we’ll come to water in a little bit, but in terms of the plans for expansion, what did you understand the plan progression and sequence to be?

MR. MURRAY: OK, so we were going to add the box store format - - the warehouse which would have been 30,000 sq. ft. onto the property. That would have opened up some of the warehouses we had for space, which would then allow us to be purchasing through distribution processes. So the box store came first, freeing up space, and then the warehouses would be used to convert - - to become distribution.

[SF05809, 6:15-8:25]

[105]Mr. Murray said that the Smith brothers had bought the Lower South River property in 1979, and the business has grown with more buildings over time at that site. From about 1992, they became excited about the big box retail store concept.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 38 -

[106]Mr. Murray was aware of the plans for a distribution centre on the site, which made sense to him because of the buying opportunities it would afford. He first learned about the concept from visits to other ILDC member locations in the mid-1990s. He went to visit the Canac Marquis operation in Quebec in 1996, and on his return, he and others were pushing Mr. Smith to get a new store on the property. The retail component had to move first because they needed to free up space for the distribution centre. This could not yet happen because they needed a sprinkler system which required a water supply and service, which Mr. Smith was working on with the County. Mr. Murray acknowledged, on cross-examination, that the need for water, related to a multitude of uses at the site, including the then proposed window plant.

[107]Mr. Murray never questioned that there would ever be an expansion of retail at Lower South River, and never expected the status quo would be maintained; Mr. Smith always said that they have the land so they could grow with it. As far as Mr. Murray was concerned, Antigonish (Lower South River) was always the priority; expansion there would benefit all of the stores, and it was the focal point of the whole business. He did not think a new store in Sydney would come before it.

[108]By May of 2003, the pending expropriation was impacting Central’s plans,

and only one of either a new retail store or a distribution centre could occur there. Mr. Murray described the operation at Lower South River at that time:

MS. MACINTOSH: There was some discussion this morning about, and you’ve referenced today, the space shortage at Lower South River. Can you talk a little bit about that? Paint us a picture of what the yard looked like and what the space situation was like in 1999/2000 area in Lower South River.

MR. MURRAY: So we’re running a full retail operation, all the warehouses are full with all their products, the yard’s got a full lumber yard laid out for retail, so to paint that picture, lumber and retail is you have your lifts of lumber by size and they’re separately, so they’re able to be able to pick for orders by size by quantity. So it tends to spread your product out further. Roof shingles - - we carry twenty plus colours of every roof shingle.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 39 -

Antigonish was always used - - sorry, I should keep referencing Lower South River - - was always used as a transfer location, because we had the largest land, and we might not put - - we put six or seven colours of roof shingles into a location, but if they knew that within a couple of days delivery we could have another colour. So it gave them the ability to sell twenty colours, with some of them coming, you know, on a frequent delivery. So that is taking up a lot of space. Plumbing pipe would be a large factor - - all the different varieties and size of plumbing pipe would be in your yard - - all your plywoods. And then the store would have its own set of stock for roof trusses, sheds, baby barns, what we would call - - some of the manufacturing products we make at the truss mill but then it comes moved up to that yard. So the yard was quite full and that would be - -

MS. MACINTOSH: So you’re the one dealing with the purchasing and the distribution. Did you feel that you had enough space?

MR. MURRAY: No. I was constantly asking for space, constantly, yeah.

[SF05809, 24:41-27:07]

[109]In May 2007, Mr. Murray looked into the possibility of buying and dismantling a building that a company in Cape Breton had available, which Central could use for some storage. However, this was not pursued because it would ultimately have to become a fixture, and Mr. Smith was reluctant to do anything permanent until he knew what the Province was going to do with the Lower South River property. Additionally, Mr. Murray said, Mr. Smith was concerned that if Central lost its ability to store lumber off-site at Elmsdale and at Ledwidge Lumber, there would be no space for storing it at Lower South River.

[110]In addition to the Cape Breton opportunity, which did not appear feasible, Mr. Murray said they had looked at some other options such as a pole barn or pallet rack building to get more space. However, they did not go ahead because Mr. Smith was reluctant to do anything permanent, as they were waiting on the final highway decision. He was putting things “on hold”.

[111]Mr. Rieksts suggested it had been the pattern to add buildings, or to add on to existing buildings, over time. When asked if they could not have done this

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 40 -

anyway, Mr. Murray said that Central could not, because there would be no space where product laid down in the yard could go.

[112]Mr. Murray said that, once the highway alignment had received the environmental approval, and the location was known, Central still had uncertainty about its future expansion, in part, relating to having to obtain a second distribution centre yard for the product on the ground.

[113]Mr. Murray believed that, had the retail store been built in 1999 or 2000 at Lower South River rather than Market Street, it would have been a better location and offering; there would have been nothing like it in the area. He considered there were more customers in, or coming by, Lower South River. There might be some impulse buying at Market Street, and cross-traffic or convenience shopping from customers of the other large stores there, but not a large portion of sales.

[114]In response to Mr. Rieksts, Mr. Murray acknowledged that the distribution centre was not referenced in the minutes, but said it was a natural opportunity for the company. However, they wanted to be cautious about their plans becoming known to jeopardize their relationship with their then current hardlines distributors. He had not seen any written plans and had not seen Mr. Smith’s sketches. He knew what was

going to be done, but not exactly where on the site, as it was Mr. Smith and Mr. White who had paced off the areas. He had not discussed any dimensions of the retail store with anyone.

[115]Mr. Rieksts explored what Mr. Murray understood by the term “integrated distribution centre”:

MR. RIEKSTS: …What’s your understanding of an integrated distribution centre? What’s that mean?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 41 -

MR. MURRAY: That was really for us to be able to bring all of our distribution processes together – the Antigonish store that was doing some, bringing that on to one site. The lumber yard - - trying to have an opportunity that we’d bring those if the opportunity was required and integrating it as well on a cost saving measure with our own freight company - - not a freight company but our freight trucks for our manufacturing arm. So we have the truss mill – there’s material going from the truss mill to the stores, so being able to have it all on the same property allowed us to utilize those assets. And I think that’s - - sometimes I wonder if someone meant consolidated. It seems the word came

out of somewhere…

[SF05809, 1:13:10-1:14:14]

[116]In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Murray clarified that the Antigonish site he had referred to in his response was the Market Street hardline distribution site.

[117]Mr. Murray did not consider the term “integrated distribution centre” had anything to do with size or products, but did have something to do with being an independent profit centre. If the retail expansion had occurred as intended in 2000, Mr. Murray said that Central would have been ready to build the distribution centre as a profit centre at that time.

[118]Mr. Murray had been involved with Ms. MacPherson in the preparation of information for the revised PwC report on cross-docking, which reduced the lost transfer profit in the claim. He reviewed, with all of the buyers on Central staff, all of the categories of vendor programs which came into the distribution centre; what was missing was some lumber, shingle and insulation transfers, which Central purchased at market price without a discount. They only included those vendors, product groupings, or categories where they had documentation to support the discounts. Where no paper trail could be found, those vendor discounts were not included.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 42 -

Linda MacPherson

[119]Ms. MacPherson is a resident of Antigonish and a chartered professional accountant. She began working for Central in 1993, and became comptroller in 1998. To these duties, she added the responsibility of Vice-President Finance in 2003 or 2004. When she became comptroller in the spring of 1998, she began to attend management committee meetings.

[120]Ms. MacPherson testified that the Central Group of Companies consists of

nine separate companies. It was her evidence that the Group has “always been about growth”. She testified that, once the distribution centre was opened, margins increased. Profits are kept in the business in order to sustain growth.

[121]According to Ms. MacPherson, despite the fact that Central had undertaken some strategic planning exercises in 1996 and 2003, it has been her experience that Mr. Smith does not “believe in” strategic long-term planning. He prefers to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. He does not operate in the manner in which Mr. Thompson described regarding three year planning processes. She said that decisions on major issues are made by Mr. Smith, who consults with staff, as well as his network of business associates and peers all across North America. He

is very “hands on” and aware of all parts of his business. She said that once a decision is made to go ahead, things happen very quickly, citing the Market Street location and the new Stellarton and Sydney stores. This was also the experience in acquiring the Pomquet site very quickly after Mr. Smith became aware it was available.

[122]Ms. MacPherson described the limitations on expansion arising from the taking of the lands at Lower South River:

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 43 -

MR. MACINTOSH: Would you describe any limitations on its efficiency today as a consequence of the taking? Is it a fully operational DC now what you would like it to have, and if not…

MS. MACPHERSON: No, it’s very limited by the space and it’s been limited by the uncertainty over a long period of time and that’s been the issue for Steve is not knowing how it was going to be settled for him by the Province. And so that clouded a lot of decisions over time in terms of how he could try to make it the best he could in the interim. And so he looked at ways, to whether it was containers, or you know, they did consider buildings over time - - they looked at them. In the end, he kept coming down to the fact that he didn’t know if that was the best long term decision because he didn’t know how the Province was going to resolve this issue, or help him resolve this issue of the disturbance.

[SF05811, 31:30-32:30]

[123]When her employment started with Central, Ms. MacPherson said it was a very exciting time as the Port Hawkesbury store opening was planned. It was always said at that time that there would be a new store at Lower South River. She remembered hearing about the proposed expansion and the distribution centre, and in the late 1990s or early 2000s, she knew that Mr. Smith and Mr. White had paced off the location and dimensions of the store at Lower South River. She did not remember anything about the location, dimensions or layouts of the retail store. Because the Lower South River store could not be done, the Sydney store was done earlier than it had been planned.

[124]Her recollection was that there would be a separate distribution centre once the store was built, because there would be space for a bigger centre. She understood the retail store expansion did not initially go ahead because of the need for water; then, after the May 30, 1998, public meeting, it could not proceed because of the uncertainty surrounding what would happen with the highway. It was not possible then to do both the retail store expansion and the distribution centre because there was not enough space on the site.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 44 -

[125]Ms. MacPherson explained how the need for more space regularly came


MR. RIEKSTS: We spoke yesterday with Mr. Murray about - - he provided you an email where he was responding to issues about expansion plans, DC expansion plans.


MR. RIEKSTS: I won’t go to the email, we’ve gone through it a few times, and in the notes as well it refers to DC and DC expansion?


MR. RIEKSTS: And this is after 2005 that’s what we’re talking about, that period of time. Is your understanding that what was being - - that there was discussion around, after 2005, around putting more permanent buildings on the site for DC warehouse expansion?

MS. MACPHERSON: Yes, there was. At different capital budget meetings it would come up. Jim was often looking for more space for distribution to be able to get more discounts for the company. And Steve always had concerns about putting something that was really permanent there without knowing what the Province was going to assist him in doing to compensate him for his loss, whether it was a tunnel, at one point in time, or completely off site, or whatever. So to make that investment in a building that was permanent was not what he wanted to do. He considered it, but it just never happened.

MR. RIEKSTS: But the issue kept coming up.

MS. MACPHERSON: It did come up because we had space issues every year.

[SF05812, 1:13:16-1:14:48]

[126]In May 2003, she said that the need for a distribution centre became more pressing as the Sydney store opened. However, Ms. MacPherson stated that the Sydney store was not the driving factor for the distribution centre; it was a factor among all the other stores. She said when you have more than one store it is more efficient to have such a centre. Around that time, the decision was made to move the retail store to another location. Over the next year, Central undertook investigations to see whether there was an alternate site available nearby. Ms. MacPherson said that, but for the expropriation, there would never have been any consideration of moving to another location.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 45 -

[127]Ms. MacPherson said that she had had a two-hour meeting with Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson, which was at a very high level. She believed they were trying to understand their business. While Mr. Thompson had suggested that the cost

of running a distribution centre was about 7.5%, Ms. MacPherson said that Central’s cost was 6%, because Mr. Smith is a “low cost operator”.

[128]Ms. MacPherson described the types of minutes associated with Central: corporate Board of Directors meeting minutes which were undertaken by Rob Miller from 1994 to 2003; that committee changed to an Advisory Board in 2004; the management committee had minutes taken by various people. They were not reviewed at subsequent meetings and not generally circulated before the meetings. When Ms. MacPherson started on that committee in 1998, no one was taking minutes. She started taking notes from that point, and from late 1999 generally prepared the minutes.

[129]When asked if they were accurate, to the best of her recollection, Ms. MacPherson said that not everything which was discussed made it into the minutes. There were various discussions in the minutes about expansions, but Lower South River was not in the minutes because there was no action plan for the management

committee. It was Mr. Smith’s project. She said that many times the expropriation was discussed, with Mr. Smith providing updates.

[130]Ms. MacPherson attended the second meeting with Mr. James and Mr. Pineo. She said she had no idea of what was involved with an expropriation claim. She made notes during the meeting, but acknowledged she had not made specific reference to the details of expansion. She also acknowledged there was no mention of the trigger for moving the retail store, i.e., the move of the mini-homes from the adjacent property

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 46 -

as mentioned by Mr. Smith. She did not write down everything that was said at the meeting. She agreed that the exit ramp was a factor for Mr. Smith. She felt very confused and frustrated as a result of the discussions during the meeting. She considered that pressure was being put on Central to develop their case on their own. Instead of using the law firm, she understood that Mr. Smith was going to pursue the matter on his own with the Province.

[131]With respect to the cross-docking issue, Ms. MacPherson acknowledged that she had neglected to make the set-off. As a result, she and other Central staff went through the vendor discounts and verified what should be included in the claim.

[132]In 2004, Ms. MacPherson engaged the services of Kevin Fraser of Grant Thornton to assist with a financing proposal to the Bank of Nova Scotia for the Market Street store and some other acquisitions. The proposal was not intended to identify benefits of the Market Street location compared to Lower South River, because a new store at Lower South River was not possible.

[133]Ms. MacPherson described the relationship between product availability and price, saying:

MR. MACINTOSH: …Is the gross margin one of the primary objectives you aim for in terms of having productivity and profitability?

MS. MACPHERSON: That’s a very key metric.

MR. MACINTOSH: Key measurable, key metric.


MR. MACINTOSH: OK. In measuring that metric, what is the relative importance of impulse location versus availability of product mix and competitive price? Like, Market Street obviously has impulse location and then the benefits of that.


MR. MACINTOSH: We’ve heard from both Mr. Smith and Mr. Murray and maybe even Kevin White that the availability of product mix and competitive pricing through both

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 47 -

vendor discount and DC has a significant impact on gross margin. As the accountant for the firm, what observations have you made over the years?

MS. MACPHERSON: The most important factor in increasing our gross margin over the years has been our ability to use the distribution centre when we can, and whatever way we can, and take advantage of those distribution centre buys and efficiencies of - - and also the distribution centre allowed us to have more in stock position at our stores and increase our sales in that regard. Sure, impulse buyers when they come in, they do typically buy higher margin items, but we feel that those impulse buyers are a smaller portion of our sales. Most of our key customers are project customers and they come to our stores to do a project. And because of that we have very good relationships with our customers. We have good associates, and Steve always strives for us to treat our customers very well and develop those relationships. And so people will come back to us time and time again for any project that they need. And the other factor that’s important, as you mentioned, is to have a good variety of products and assortment in our stores.

[SF05811, 1:54:01-1:56:15]

[134]Ms. MacPherson agreed with Mr. Murray and Mr. Smith that, had Central been able to do the retail store at Lower South River, it would have had the same products and been as profitable as the Market Street location, or possibly more profitable, with the same sales increase, but without the costs of acquiring land and other capital costs. She acknowledged that there was no financial analysis done, however, to substantiate this. She did recall Mr. Smith telling PwC, initially, that Central would have had the same operation at Lower South River as Market Street, but did not believe he mentioned the size of the buildings.

[135]Ms. MacPherson said that the contractor business may have increased but Central does not track customers that way. However, she said that some contractors did, initially, find the Market Street location inconvenient and some were unhappy about the move. Central did not track foot traffic at that site. She was unable to say whether cash sales were up at Market Street.

Herbert Delorey

[136]Herbert Delorey is a resident of Afton, Antigonish County, and served on the Council of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish from 1982-2012, first as a

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 48 -

municipal councillor, as Deputy Warden from 1988 to 1994, and as Warden from 1994- 2012.

[137]Mr. Delorey was familiar with Central and said it was the largest single employer in the County. The commercial assessment in the County grew as Central grew, and in his view, it was important to the County to support Central.

[138]Mr. Delorey described the challenges of providing water services in the County because of rights enjoyed by the Town. In the mid-1990s, the Town would not

allow an extension of the water service to Lower South River, and thus to Central’s property. This was of “grave concern” to Mr. Delorey and was important to the Municipal Council. He thought that the property would have to be served by the St. Andrews water utility. Ultimately, County Council approved the extension of water and sewer services in 1997. Mr. Delorey said that discussions had begun about 2 or 3 years before, and it took about a year and a half to get the extension completed.

[139]According to Mr. Delorey, Mr. Smith had spoken to him about getting water service, which he needed for his retail store and truss mill. They met to discuss

this a number of times at Mr. Delorey’s office. Mr. Delorey considered that the supply of water would add value. He recalled, as well, discussions about a window plant at the site and retail expansion. He was excited by this, as he expected it would mean employment in the County. Mr. Smith was clear that expansion could not happen without water.

[140]After the expansion of the water system, Mr. Delorey could not recall whether he had further discussions with Mr. Smith about any expansion plans, but said

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 49 -

that there had to be an approval for Linden Street for access to deliver materials to the Central site.

[141]On cross-examination, Mr. Delorey said, as Warden, he would be aware of applications for building permits and re-zoning, and he could not recall any such application for any expansion plans from Central for the Lower South River property before 1999.

[142]Mr. Delorey was aware of the early discussions about possible routes for the Highway 104 alignment. Initially, there were four possible routes. The County favoured a route which would avoid commercial properties and allow them to grow. After the workshops, or open houses and discussions, in his view, the Province did not listen and chose the “blue” route. He had attended one of the open houses and had met with residents of the County, but was not on any committees. Other representatives from the County were on working groups associated with the highway development.

[143]In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Delorey said that the County did have written communications with the Department of Highways about the route.

The County’s main concern was to have the safest route. The Board drew his attention to the letter from Wendy Tse to the Province which, he agreed, reflected the views of the County Council; however, he was unable to recall if any development plans were provided to the Province by Ms. Tse or the County, as requested in Mr. Croft’s response to Ms. Tse dated December 10, 1997. Mr. Delorey said Ms. Tse would have been aware of the concerns the Council had for Central. Mr. Delorey was not aware of any plans for development in the corridor area, sent by the County to the Province, including

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 50 -

in any response to a letter from the Province to Alan Bond, who was then Municipal Clerk Treasurer. He also said that, to his knowledge, no one from the Province had responded to the County’s concerns about the impact on Central.

Mike Daniels

[144]Mr. Daniels is a resident of Newmarket, Ontario, and, since 1999, operates a consulting business, Daniels’ Retail Solutions. He has spent many years

working as a buyer for home improvement products, lumber, and hardware businesses. His consulting work is predominantly in the fields of merchandising and retail management. He also has a major contract with Spancan as general manager for all of their hardline purchasing.

[145]In early 2000, Mr. Daniels was contacted by Stephen Smith of Central to undertake some consulting work. Mr. Smith was looking for suggestions on how

Central’s operations might be improved. Mr. Daniels testified he was usually hired to make observations about assortment management, layout, pricing strategies, vendor selection and buyer training. He came to Nova Scotia in April 2000, to review the operations at Lower South River, and also visited the New Glasgow and Port Hawkesbury locations.

[146]Mr. Daniels prepared a report which he subsequently provided to Central’s staff. This report was filed as part of the Appellant’s disclosure, although it had not

been in their records. It was obtained from Mr. Daniels, who located it when he was cleaning up files a few weeks after he was first contacted to see if he had a copy.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 51 -

[147]After Mr. Daniels had completed his report, he was brought back to Central for a strategic session. His task was not, however, to address the concept of a distribution centre or a retail store.

[148]Prior to his first visit, Mr. Daniels was unaware of Central, and he was

surprised, describing it as a “mini Home Depot”; he was most impressed with how well the company was doing in a small market. However, he noted certain challenges Central needed to meet, such as expansion of its lines, a larger assortment of products, and more aggressive pricing in order to “improve the average transaction”.

[149]Mr. Daniels’ report provided a detailed review of the product lines at the three locations, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to improve with more lineal footage and space devoted to certain products. In general comments, he described the Lower South River store (Antigonish) as “…great looking and unique but

very confusing to the casual observer; very tight and a bit uncomfortable to shop…” He went on to say that Central might want to consider erecting another building, and concluded:

3 Specialty stores on one site, adjoining a strong yard maintains your market uniqueness and with proper spacing and presentation by category you can distance yourself from the competition! This is a very unique and profitable store, which cannot be replicated.

[Exhibit S-41, Volume 5, p. 55]

[150]In early June 2000, Mr. Smith invited Mr. Daniels to facilitate a strategy meeting with key staff of Central, in July, over a three day period. Mr. Daniels prepared proposed discussion points for the sessions. He had limited discussions with Mr. Smith, who did not attend the sessions. Mr. Daniels was not told anything about expansion plans at Lower South River by Mr. Smith or senior management. Nor was he told

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 52 -

anything about the highway alignment project, or its impact on Central’s business, or issues of loss of vendor discounts. He said, however, that it would not be his practice to ask the owner or CEO of a company what his future plans were, as he is hired for his observations, candour and opinion. Mr. Daniels made no recommendations about a strategic plan, leaving that to Central.

[151]Mr. Rieksts questioned Mr. Daniels about a letter he had written to Spancan vendors on January 25, 2007, which stated that “…effective immediately

Central Home Improvement Warehouse (S & D Smith Central Supplies Ltd.), a member of I.L.D.C., are now a recognized distribution center within the Spancan buying group.” Mr. Daniels said that he did not know whether Central was getting vendor discounts prior to that time, and was uncertain what the November 21, 2006 minutes of ILDC meant in referring to Central “…formally applying for warehouse status”, and being “… ‘grandfathered’ forward”.

3.2Real property appraisals

3.2.1Claimant Daniel Doucet

[152]Daniel Doucet, of Altus Group, prepared an appraisal report for the Claimant, dated June 18, 2014, which was filed with the Notice of Hearing and Statement of Claim. In his opinion, the market value of the lands taken in the expropriation is $630,000, and additionally, there is injurious affection compensation due of $1,268,200, as well as an amount for fencing, according to the report. Mr. Doucet was clear that he was not considering any business loss suffered by the Claimant, but was addressing the loss of the land expropriated and the loss of the ability

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 53 -

of the business to continue to expand on the site “…consistent with past expansion.” He estimated that a total area of 28.83 acres of usable expansion land had been lost as a result of the expropriation.

[153]Mr. Doucet’s first contact with the owners of Central was when he visited the site along with his colleague, James Hardy, on November 30, 2012. He then observed the distribution centre operation, the manufacturing of wood products and the truss plant. He understood the distribution centre was to centralize purchases for the stores operated by Central to be separated and distributed, which is common in the industry. His observation was that the space occupied was at its limits, and there was no more open space. In his view, what Central had is unique.

[154]Mr. Doucet described the due diligence he employed as part of his task.

He had discussions with Central’s owners about the history of the business and property, as well as what they planned, especially where the land was being taken.

[155]When asked how he decided what to believe about Central’s plans, Mr.

Doucet pointed to his 34 years of experience. He said:

Well, my 34 years’ experience in appraising and a lot of my work is expropriation - - I don’t know if I can say a thousand files, but hundreds and hundreds of files. And whether it’s for the owner as my client, or for the expropriating authorities, quite often you end up doing more for the expropriating authorities ‘cause they’ll hire you for a contract to do, you know, 50 properties and they’ll expropriate them and settle them and things go away.

When you do them for the owners it’s usually something similar to this, which is more complicated. But over the years, when - - I don’t know how many times that I’ve approached an owner and you go visit them and the first thing that comes out is “Oh I have a subdivision plan” or “I have a gravel pit on my property”, and they have all these plans and you know, sometimes they could be justified, sometimes they’re not.

As an appraiser I’d sit down with them and go over, take my notes and say OK, you know, why do you think you can have a subdivision here, or why do you think you have a gravel pit? A gravel pit is quite often used because the expropriating authority will be expropriating the land right through an area and, yeah there is some gravel, and they’ll actually use it when they build a highway. But unfortunately, the valuation is not supposed to take into account the scheme and you know Mr. Smith might have had, or Mr. Jones might have had a gravel pit that’s 20 miles from the nearest market. So if not for the expropriation, it has no value.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 54 -

So these are the types of things that you come across when you’re conducting appraisals for expropriation purposes. And as they get more complicated you really do have to spend some time to figure out what exactly are the problems.

I’ll give you one example that I guess - - to try to make it a bit more simple, is if you had -

-quite often it’s the Department of Transportation expropriating a linear taking i n front of a property to widen or realign a road. A prime example that would show that you really have to find out what’s going on is where they would expropriate a strip of land in front of a commercial property, say with an office building on it, or a retail building and by doing so they’ve eliminated say ten parking spots.

So the appraiser goes there and does his inspection and doesn’t sit down with the owner to find out what the problems are going to be. He’ll appraise it and come up with a value but little beknownst [sic] to him is that the owner had planned to expand the building and the zoning by-law requires X amount of parking spots per square feet of building area, and without those ten parking spots he can’t expand. So that would be a form of injurious affection – loss of use because of the works and the use of the land that they’re expropriating.

So that sort of gives you an example of, you know, why - - I know in my case you do everything you can to try to sit down with the owner and have a discussion about these things. And sometimes the result won’t be what they want, but I guess I could give the one example - - I spent in Ontario in a farm appraisal for a transmission line going through it. I spent four hours with the owner and when I arrived there he wasn’t very happy; usually people aren’t and I don’t blame them. But at the end of the day after we inspected his property and gave him due time and he explained everything he wanted, he looked at me and shook my hand and he said “Well Daniel, I may not agree with your value, but at least I know you have everything you need to do an appraisal.” So that, to me, is why you want to sit down and...

MR. MACINTOSH: You don’t take at face value what you’re told by the…

MR. DOUCET: Not necessarily, not, but at the same time a lot of my clients now, especially the expropriating authorities, they’ll want to see the section of your report called “Owner Interview”, or titled “Owner Interview”, and in that you’ll see I talked to so and so on this day, whether it was a phone interview, whether it was face-to-face, these were the owner’s issues. Quite often their issues might be something of a disturbance damage. You know, they’ll say what about, you know, crop loss? What abou t compaction on my land? Well then you’ll state it there, but you’ll say no, that’s disturbance damage which the expropriating authority will remedy as a cost to cure. It’s not up to the appraiser to say what that is worth, and they’ll remedy it.

But then if they say, well, what about my subdivision? Well, if there is a subdivision, and it can be justified, if it’s reasonable and probable, then the appraisal will probably reflect that. But if it isn’t reasonable or probable, it’ll be stated there and I’ll go on and do my appraisal the way I see fit, based on the highest and best us of that land. So it may satisfy them, it may not.

[SF05692, 58:36-1:03:39]

[156]Mr. Doucet acknowledged that the overview contained in his report came from what he had been told by management of Central. This included past use and future plans. He also saw various photographs which showed the operation over time.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 55 -

He agreed, however, that he had not been shown any plans, drawings or documents to support the plan to expand, although he was aware of the off-site storage areas. He relied on the information provided to him and accepted it as true.

[157]He went on to say:

MR. RIEKSTS: So loss of expansion lands here means loss of future development land, is that right?


MR. RIEKSTS: And this includes in your report the land taken and the land severed to the south of the highway.

MR. DOUCET: Yes, that’s correct.

MR. RIEKSTS: Would you agree with me that when you say expansion lands and development lands, as you use them in your report, you’re talking about lands used for continued business expansion, correct?

MR. DOUCET: I’m talking about the contiguous lands for future expansion.

MR. RIEKSTS: The future expansion of Central Supplies’ business.

MR. DOUCET: Right.

MR. RIEKSTS: So when you’re talking about - - when you talk of expansion you’re talking about the injection of capital for the expansion of the business, correct? That’s what you’re talking about when you say “look, we can’t expand onto these lands anymore.” There’s no opportunity, you’re saying, for them to inject capital to expand their business onto the lands.

MR. DOUCET: They’re utilizing the land at its capacity. So they cannot expand on the remainder of the north side.

MR. RIEKSTS: Right, so you’re saying that they can’t invest in that. They can’t make a business investment in those lands.

MR. DOUCET: I didn’t say that. I mean you can make an investment in equipment, I suppose or - - what I do say is that it’s not the same as if they had, in the absence of the expropriation, over 27 acres, to expand; therefore, it makes good business sense to continue investing in your existing buildings. Investments such as renovations, whether it’s expansion or retrofit to make them more efficient – add a warehouse. What I’m saying is that because of the expropriation and because of the reduction of the - - or the inability to expand on that site, they have to go to a dual or multi-site distribution centre or dual distribution centre. And over the long term, it’s just no longer as desirable for them or a potential purchaser to buy that property or to operate that property.

At some point in time in the future the decision will have to be made that it’s just no longer efficient to have a dual site and the site - - I think it would be reasonable to say that at some point in time the site would be abandoned - - abandoned or for some - - the buildings that are on that site will no longer be efficient enough, and because you can’t

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 56 -

invest in it, because there’s not enough land to continue expanding.. And if you keep investing in it, it’s a dual site, it’s no longer a single site. How should I put it – you’re

perpetuating obsolescence.

[SF05695, 21:54-25:22]

[158]Mr. Doucet reached his conclusions about Central’s plans for the property based on his discussions with Mr. Smith. In his opinion, they are logical; the physical features are there. He pointed to how the truss mill operation had expanded in phases. In his view, “…any reasonable person would understand they made sense.”

[159]Mr. Doucet was uncertain about the area of wetland, as at the date of his report, he had not seen any wetland delineation plan from the Province. He had undertaken some inquiries from the principal of Alva Construction. This company had undertaken the excavation and road preparation for the new highway as it crossed over

the Claimant’s property. He had also spoken to Mr. DeCoste of C.J. MacLellan & Associates Inc. about a crossing to access the rear portion of the lands. Mr. Doucet had been advised that a relatively minimal amount of fill and gravel would be required to make this land a usable area for the laying down of building materials. So, he valued one of the wetland areas at the same rate as the other land. However, he acknowledged that the cost estimated by Alva Construction should be offset from the value of the land.

[160]In his report, Mr. Doucet referred to several off-site storage areas utilized by Central, being the Elmsdale Lumber and Ledwidge Lumber yards at Elmsdale and Enfield, respectively, and the Truro Reload area.

[161]Mr. Doucet anticipated that approximately $37,000 would be required for fencing in order to secure the property. Fencing at the rear of the developed area was not in place at the present time, and he stated:

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 57 -

…the Central property was secure because there was no access to the property from the rear. As a result of the expropriation and construction of the new highway securing issues will arise as the property will be readily accessible from the new highway…

[Exhibit S-1(b)(C), p. 31]

[162]The proposed fencing would not need to entirely enclose the area because of an earthen berm installed along the lands acquired by the Province. Mr. Doucet described this amount as disturbance damages.

[163]In considering the highest and best use of the property, as a whole, Mr. Doucet stated:

According to Central, but for the expropriation, the expansion of the site would have continued and the residual portion of the property rezoned to Gateway Commercial, as required

. . .

…In the absence of the Antigonish Bypass, it is calculated that up to 28.83 acres of land was available for future expansion and development. Site work would have been required to relocate an elevated portion of the expropriated land. The extension of municipal water and sewer services would have taken place as the site was expanded. But for the expropriation, Central advises it would have completed development of an integrated distribution centre on this site.

In the “before” situation there was no material impediment to future expansion of the subject property. In the “after” situation all future expansion on this site has been halted. [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-1(b)(C), p. 37]

[164]Mr. Doucet said that the discussions he had about the history of Central’s

property supported his conclusion on highest and best use. He said:

I’d have to say that in all - - I can’t recall another situation where what the owner did to his property as far as expansion - - expanding the business, trying to get into other business, to have linear expansion like getting into the window business and everything for that property would - - points to the fact that, if not for the expropriation, that site would eventually have gotten fully developed.

[SF05692, 1:06:56-1:07:27]

[165]Mr. Doucet said that Mr. Ingram did not have a summary of any discussion with the property owner and he was unsure if this had occurred. While such

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 58 -

discussions are not mandatory under professional standards, he saw them as an element of due diligence. He opined that if Mr. Ingram had talked to the owner, he might have made different assumptions in his analysis of the highest and best use of the property instead of relying heavily on zoning.

[166]It was Mr. Doucet’s opinion that achieving a maximum return on the property after the expropriation would be compromised because of the area of land which would not be available. Mr. Doucet opined that any future expansion would have to be limited, as a result of the expropriation, to an alternate site, which would result in dual site operations for the Claimant. He stated that this would involve additional operating costs which would be assessed by the financial experts acting on behalf of the Claimant. In his view, the lack of expansion capability has a “…negative impact on the remnant lands to the north of the new highway.” He concluded that any potential

purchaser would seek a discount in price because of the lack of expansion lands. Mr. Doucet opined that this was a form of “economic obsolescence” which equated to injurious affection applicable to what he calls the north remnant (sometimes referred to as the developed land in other appraisals). He later said the term “economic obsolescence” could be exchanged with “external obsolescence” or “depreciation”.

[167]With respect to the south remnant, Mr. Doucet said there is no road or walking trail by which to access it. It is land locked. He had seen no indication of access granted by owners of neighbouring properties and did not agree with Mr.

Ingram’s suggestion that such access could be negotiated. He stated it is “…no longer accessible and has little or no use after the expropriation. Therefore, the highest and

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 59 -

best use of the land is that of forest land for harvesting and future regeneration.” This means the south remnant has been injuriously affected, as well.

[168]Mr. Doucet used the “before and after” method, but chose to use the summation method in his appraisal. In response to Board questions, he said:

The “before and after” method - - the reason I didn’t use that was that the market value of the taking and injurious affection are blended. So you do a before and you do an after and the difference is everything. The market value is one number.

THE BOARD: So in the “before and after”, you’re saying there’s no separation of injurious affection from market value.

MR. DOUCET: It’s easier to separate it than the summation method.

THE BOARD: And why would it be preferable to do that?

MR. DOUCET: Because it deals with the market value of the expropriated lands itself and then the injurious affection separately. You could use both methods, really, and it’s a matter of how you present the numbers. But the results would be the same.

[SF05700, 7:20-8:25]

[169]Mr. Doucet said that the loss of special economic advantage to the owner is part of what is covered in PwC’s business valuation, as is disturbance or business

loss. He did not address these issues in his report.

[170]Mr. Doucet used the direct comparison approach in valuing the land and noted that, because of the unique nature of every parcel of land, this is a difficult task. He examined a total of eleven transactions (land sales and listings) in the Antigonish Town and County area. The nine sales ranged over a period from December 23, 2003, to March 8, 2007, and ranged in value from $30,083 per acre (time adjusted) to $257,516 per acre (time adjusted). Of the two listings which he identified, one had a price per acre of $33,939 and the other had a price per acre of $93,333.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 60 -

[171]Based on a relative comparison of the market data, Mr. Doucet concluded that a value of $65,240 per acre, or $1.50 per sq. ft., reflects the market value of the

developed area of the Claimant’s property. He said:

Size, depth and utility are perhaps the most important site characteristics requiring

adjustment because larger parcels often sell for less per unit (per acre or square foot) than smaller parcels, all other factors being relatively similar…Depending on the use, the depth of a commercial/industrial property can impact its utility and thus value. The impact of depth is lessened for a DC site since much of the land is used for storage and laydown area…[Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-1(b)(C), p. 53]

[172]Mr. Doucet said, in taking depth into consideration, certain portions of the

property have a greater land value than others, and he therefore applied a “rule of thumb called the 4-3-2-1 rule” to create a depth table. Under this rule, the first 25 percent of depth equates to 40 percent of the market value, the next 25 percent to 30 percent of the market value, the next 25 percent to 20 percent of the market value and the final 25 percent to 10 percent of the market value. In using this table, Mr. Doucet found an average per sq. ft. value of the property to be $1.18, and the total value to be $2,519,000. He confirmed, in his evidence, that exact 25 percent areas were not applied because the Claimant’s property did not divide into four parts of equal size.

[173]This rule is usually applied to irregularly shaped property. Mr. Doucet agreed it is subjective and some flexibility is allowed to arrive at a reasonable value. On cross-examination, he acknowledged that the percentages in the rule and the table he

prepared were “a bit skewed”. However, he maintained that it was reasonable and not enough to make a difference. He had used the rule in other appraisals. He based the percentages used in the report on the data available to him, using a range of sales from his overall market analysis.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 61 -

[174]Mr. Doucet did not agree that the rule was not applicable and confirmed

he had used it as “a check” to his conclusions about the value of land at various depths. In response to Board questions, he said that his conclusion would not have changed if he had not used the “4-3-2-1 rule”.

[175]While Mr. Ingram had seen some potential for development of the southern remnant, Mr. Doucet disagreed. The nearest roads, he said, are 2 km and 5 km away. He opined it is resource land and doubted any development would occur there because of the lack of access, even though it is adjacent to the “new” highway.

[176]Mr. Doucet then took the total value of the property and subtracted the value of the expropriated lands, which he calculated at $630,000. He then added to this two elements of injurious affection, the first being an amount of $711,200 based on the

“before and after” values of the south remnant, and an amount of $557,500 which he had determined to be injurious affection to the north remnant.

[177]Mr. Doucet did not limit injurious affection only to the severed south remnant. The amount of $557,500 was reached by comparing values for warehouse and distribution space, manufacturing space and office space (all of which were elements of the north remnant) and making various adjustments.

[178]As far as the south remnant of the land is concerned, Mr. Doucet said that

the expropriation resulted in a “near complete loss of utility.” He went on to say:

The more challenging question relating to injurious affection is how the remaining developed portion of the DC is affected by the loss of future development land. Central advises that it must now acquire additional land and develop a dual site DC, particulars of which will be described by PWC.

Apotential purchaser of a dual site DC property would consider all c osts associated with the operation of a “dual site” versus a “single site” DC. In our opinion, under the dual site option, the remaining property (DC and 17.71 acres) would suffer from an additional loss in value due to economic or functional obsolescence.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 62 -

The DC property has been developed over the years by Central and has suited its needs. But for the new highway, expansion would have continued in a southerly direction. Central has built many additions to existing buildings and added new buildings on the site. Integrated expansion would have taken place in an orderly fashion. Central would have benefited from the special economic advantage arising from its occupation of the land. This falls under Section 26 (d) of the Expropriation Act which entitles the owner to claim “The value to the owner of any special economic advantage to him arising out of or incidental to his actual occupation of the land, to the extent that no other provision is made therefore in due compensation.”

These benefits are over and above the monetary compensation calculated by PWC for the operation of a dual site DC versus a single site DC.

If the existing 17.71 acre DC site, with its supplementary second site, was exposed for sale on the open market, it is our opinion that the existing buildings would suffer from the measureable probability of supplemental, functional, and economic obsolescence. A potential purchaser would have to consider the dysfunctionality of the various buildings and land uses over the long term, as part of a dual site DC operation. In the absence of expropriation, the continued, orderly integration and expansion of the business would secure and bolster the future economic life of existing buildings. However, by forcing Central to go with a dual site DC model, the life expectancy of the existing buildings will in all probability be compromised. These types of commercial and industrial buildings have an estimated economic life within the range of 40 to 50 years. The effective age of the existing DC buildings range from “new” to 30 years. The weighted average effective age of the buildings is calculated to be 20.4 years. This places the remaining economic life of the existing buildings in the range of 20 to 30 years.

In our opinion, it is probable that a single site DC would continuously upgrade existing facilities, to extend economic life of the buildings. However, a shift to a dual site configuration will, in our estimation, probably discourage such dysfunctional upgrading and extension. A prudent owner would be reluctant to perpetuate a dual site configuration indefinitely. More probably, a prudent owner would at best maintain the status quo with the existing buildings, without continuous maintenance and upgrading of the increasingly obsolete facilities.

In our opinion, the probability of this functional shortening of economic life expectancy of the existing buildings would be a direct consequence of the expropriation and its resultant dual site configuration.

The impact of the expropriation on the existing buildings is reflected in the accelerated depreciation rate caused by the shortening the remaining economic life of the buildings. [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-1(b)(C), pp. 67-68]

[179]Mr. Doucet opined that the probable accelerated depreciation is a “direct

consequence of expropriation” and could be considered injurious affection.

[180]In Mr. Doucet’s opinion, while the GC-1 zoning ends at what he termed

the “original site”, changing the zoning of the rear portion would be probable and reasonable. He did not consider the requirement to rezone as having an adverse

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 63 -

impact on value. It would be more efficient for the Appellant to use its site instead of the temporary storage sites. Full utilization of the remaining lands was not possible; therefore, the Claimant required a dual site operation as a result of the expropriation.

[181]Mr. Doucet saw the Central property as one contiguous property over which future development would logically occur, based on its existing use. He did not agree that the degree to which development potential was limited as a result of the taking is captured in the value of the lands taken. He was adamant in stating, in response to Mr. Rieksts, that it was not double recovery to claim both compensation for the market value of the land and injurious affection.

[182]Mr. Doucet then concluded that without the “expansion lands” a purchaser would see the property (i.e., “the remaining distribution centre site”) as not efficient.

Thus, a purchaser would seek a discount in the value of the property. This represents economic obsolescence which, Mr. Doucet stated, is injurious affection.

[183]Mr. Doucet acknowledged that the total injurious affection he calculated is the highest he has ever valued in his career, but he did not know this would be the case when he started the assignment. He agreed that the issue of injurious affection to the developed lands is the main difference between his report and the Ingram report.

[184]Mr. Doucet testified that in his experience, in an expropriation, the property owner is to be made whole and compensated for any advantage he has.

[185]Mr. Doucet filed a supplementary report in which he provided additional information to support the valuation of $1,000 per acre, which he applied to the wood land or resource land in the south remnant after the expropriation. He also made adjustments to his calculation for depreciation, acknowledging that accelerated

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 64 -

depreciation does not apply to the land. However, he had not applied it to the infrastructure on the property, nor to the paving. He recalculated this amount to allow for an additional total of $54,000 in accelerated depreciation for the northern remnant, which he added to the injurious affection to the land of $711,200, and the injurious affection to the Distribution Centre property (north remnant) at $557,500, to reach a total injurious affection amount of $1,322,700.

3.2.2Respondent John Ingram

[186]Mr. Ingram prepared an appraisal report dated August 12, 2013, for the Province. It was his opinion that the market value of the land expropriated was $200,000 as of the effective date of May 1, 2012. He calculated that compensation for injurious affection to the remaining lands of the Claimant should be $60,000, and found that there was no basis for a claim for either disturbance or special economic advantage.

[187]Mr. Ingram had undertaken a physical inspection of the property on November 30, 2012, the same date on which Mr. Doucet attended at the property. He, Mr. Doucet and James Hardy of Altus were shown around the property by Jim Murray. From the highway corridor, he viewed the area which was not cleared. His appraisal report noted that he had also inspected the neighbourhood and obtained zoning information from the Eastern District Planning Commission (“EDPC”), as well as ownership and assessment information from the Service Nova Scotia Property Online data base. He had also considered comparable sales and rental data obtained from various sources.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 65 -

[188]While Mr. Doucet and Mr. Hardy were taking measurements of the buildings, Mr. Ingram met with Mr. Smith for about 45 minutes. During this time, they

discussed Mr. Smith’s concern about the loss of expansion capability and his plans for a 50-80,000 sq. ft. distribution centre. Mr. Smith told him about off-site distribution and laydown areas. Mr. Ingram said he was not shown any plans, or told anything about when expansion would occur.

[189]Mr. Ingram said it was an oversight not to have referred to this conversation in his report. The interview was a significant part of his initial analysis; however, business issues and business loss were beyond the scope of what he was engaged to do. He could not identify any other impact. As a result, he did not include any of this information.

[190]Mr. Ingram did not agree with Mr. Doucet’s conclusion that, but for the expropriation, the rear lands would have been re-zoned to GC-1. He said that, in general, one would expect to re-zone, but that approval was not automatic. Time, costs, and uncertainty surrounding a re-zoning could be accounted for, but Mr. Doucet had not done this.

[191]Mr. Ingram testified that he was familiar with the concept of economic obsolescence, or external obsolescence, which Mr. Doucet had discussed, but he was unsure how it would, or should, be calculated. He had seen no support for this in Mr.

Doucet’s report. He also said he had not seen any evidence of the support for Mr. Doucet’s analysis of additional depreciation.

[192]Mr. Ingram stated that the “parent parcel” was made up of six parcels on the south side of the current Highway 104, and consisted of “…two distinct components

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 66 -

which are (1) the developed areas to the land acquired and (2) undeveloped woodland comprised of the land acquired and the remaining land to the west.” He described the property as level at road grade and sloping downward to another level area, about 300 feet in from the highway frontage. He went on to describe the land beyond the developed area as follows:

The land acquired and the remaining land to the west consists of undeveloped wood land. The grade is rolling with a total elevation change in the order of 30 feet. Most of the property has been cut over and has young regrowth. There are stands of softwood around the wet areas of the property. There is a brook running through the westerly end of the site which forms a pond at the southerly boundary. Wet areas are located along the watercourse as well as over an area at the acres being located in the land acquired and 4.40 acres located in the remaining land to the south of the land acquired….

[Exhibit S-4(c), p. 11]

[193]He based his information on the topography and area of wetland from plans provided by the Department and the Strum report. He saw the brook on aerial photographs.

[194]Mr. Ingram described the expropriated land as a 492 foot wide highway

corridor and “…a mix of cut over and wooded land with wetland area toward the southerly boundary.”

[195]Mr. Ingram stated that the front portion of the property is zoned Gateway Commercial (GC-1), and the rear portion is zoned Rural Development (RD-1). His report included some of the permitted uses in the GC-1 and RD-1 zones. He concluded that the existing use of the developed portion of the land is consistent with the GC-1 zoning, but a similar use for the rear would not be consistent with permitted uses in the RD-1 zone, which are more restrictive.

[196]In response to Mr. MacIntosh’s questions about the probability of re- zoning the property from RD-1 to GC-1, Mr. Ingram noted that this was a consideration

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 67 -

but not an automatic assumption. He had not spoken to the Warden of the Municipality but looked at the zoning information on the EDPC website. The EDPC had taken over responsibility for planning from the Municipality in 2005. Mr. Ingram agreed, that based on the correspondence from the Municipality to the Department, there was a high probability that Central would be able to rezone the property which should be considered, subject to reflecting the time and cost involved. He agreed that the cost would be relatively nominal. He did not agree, however, that pre-existing zoning was not his primary criteria rather than the highest and best use of the property.

[197]Mr. Ingram had estimated the GC-1 zone extended about 1000’ from the

existing highway, but agreed he had no data to support that was its extent. He said it was a “blend” of the zoning, physical characteristics and the surrounding uses. Those uses were in the broader area, not the immediate mobile home park and Christmas tree farm.

[198]Mr. Ingram considered the highest and best use of the property before the expropriation, both as if it were vacant land, and as improved. He opined:

6.1.1As if Vacant

Given the zoning and surrounding land uses in the subject area, the highest and best use of the property, as if vacant, is considered to be commercial development consistent with the GC-1 zone to a depth of about 1,000 feet, which is the estimated depth to the westerly boundary of the GC-1 zone. The lands beyond this depth lie in the RD-1 zone and would not be expected to have imminent development potential. There is a significant supply of rear wood land in the surrounding areas and no demonstrated demand for new development. The topography of the subject lands would increase the development challenges which would further limit the development potential. Therefore, the highest and best use for this area would be a holding use in anticipation of future development. Based on the existing timber growth on the property there would not be any significant timber harvesting potential in the short term but such a use could serve to offset holding costs in future years.

6.1.2As Improved

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 68 -

The lands within the GC-1 zone are improved with buildings related to the S & D Smith Central Supplies operation. This use appears to be feasible and is consistent with the estimated highest and best use for the GC-1 zoned land. The rear lands are undeveloped and are not utilized as part of the S & D Smith Central Supplies operation. On this basis, the highest and best use would be consistent with that outlined in the foregoing section 6.1.1. Therefore, the highest and best use of the improved property is considered to be the existing building supply use for the GC-1 zoned land with a holding use in anticipation of future development consistent [with] [sic] the RD-1 zone for the balance of the property. [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-4(c), p. 21]

[199]Based on Mr. Ingram’s opinion of the highest and best use of the land, after the expropriation, he concluded that there was no impact on the value of the currently developed portion of the property, whether the land was vacant or improved. He noted that the parent parcel was severed as a result of the expropriation and that the expropriated corridor, and the land to the south or west of it, was in the RD -1 zone. Since the land is severed from the road frontage and no longer has accessibility, Mr. Ingram stated:

the utility of these lands have been significantly diminished as the timeline for potential

development has been lengthend….it would not be expected to be developed until land

to the north, south and/or west had been sufficiently developed to warrant extending development into the subject area. Therefore, although the highest and best use remains

a holding use for future development, the timeline for potential development is extended due to the isolation of the land. [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-4(c), p. 22]

[200]In cross-examination, Mr. Ingram acknowledged a very long timeline before the south remnant lands could be developed, and that they were significantly impaired as a result of the expropriation. He thought that they might be accessed from adjoining lands, although he agreed that the probability of such access was unlikely.

[201]Mr. Ingram used a Direct Comparison Approach in valuing the property. He confirmed that he had not valued the developed portion of the land since he concluded there was no impact on its value as a result of the expropriation.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 69 -

[202]As Mr. Doucet had used a similar approach, Mr. Ingram testified about the comparables which Mr. Doucet had used, which were, for the most part, different than those he had used. He said that Mr. Doucet should have cautioned that the two listings

which his report had included represented an “upper limit” of value. Additionally, he said Mr. Doucet had failed to use the asking price at the effective date which was lower for the first listing used, and had not stated how long the property had been listed.

[203]In general, Mr. Ingram disagreed with Mr. Doucet’s comparables, in part

because they did not recognize the impact of location, but were in areas where there was more concentration of development and less land available for development. They were also further west of the Central property than those he had used.

[204]In Mr. Ingram’s opinion, commercial density was greater closer to the

Town of Antigonish than at Lower South River. However, he agreed that there were a number of commercial and light industrial properties there. At Market Street, there are highway frontage commercial properties and “big box” stores, and no light industrial properties in the Town. He agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that Lower South River may well be the most successful light industrial and commercial area in the County.

[205]Mr. Ingram specifically noted the difficulty he had with Mr. Doucet’s use of the “4-3-2-1 rule”, which he had heard of, but never seen applied. He would be

reluctant to use this approach. Mr. Ingram thought that any allowance or discount for depth should be based on a market analysis which he did not believe Mr. Doucet had done.

[206]Mr. Ingram was asked about the “nominal” rate of $1,000 which Mr.

Doucet had attributed to wetland. Although he said that it was not evident where Mr.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 70 -

Doucet derived the rate, it struck him as low. Mr. Ingram said it was difficult to say whether it was appropriate or not.

[207]With respect to the warehouse, manufacturing and office building properties which Mr. Doucet had used, Mr. Ingram believed that they were not comparable and overstated the values of the components of the Central property, considering the location of many of them in areas where demand for such space is greater. He also thought there should be an adjustment for height in warehouse and distribution centre properties because it means there can be greater storage capacity.

[208]Finally, while he did not agree that there is injurious affection to the north remnant, Mr. Ingram said if one accepted the concept, he could see how it would relate to the infrastructure, but not to the land itself. The land would not be impacted in the same way, in his view.

[209]Mr. Ingram examined seven vacant land sales, of which six were in Antigonish County. The sales covered a period from October 2004 to October 2010, and the median price he calculated was $14,667 per acre. A time adjustment applied to this value resulted in a median of $16,498 per acre. Mr. Ingram also considered an active listing for a parcel east of the Antigonish County Industrial Park on the highway at Lower South River, which had been listed in December 2011, for a price of $21,212 per acre. The asking price was increased in March 2013, to an amount which equated to $33,939 per acre. He concluded that the fact that this property had not sold, after more than one year on the market, and had better servicing available, demonstrated what the upper limit of value for the RD-1 zone portion of the Claimant’s property would be. He

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 71 -

had not made any inquiries about the listing and the reasons for the increase, but did not ignore it.

[210]In response to Mr. MacIntosh’s suggestion that the wide range of values in

his comparables meant some should be excluded, Mr. Ingram said, while it was preferable to have a narrow range, he thought all sales he looked at were useful. He also agreed that there were not a large number of sales in the County; a bigger pool of sales with a closer range would be more desirable.

[211]Mr. Ingram confirmed that he had placed most reliance on his third to seventh sales, and in particular, the third and fourth sale, as well as the listing. He took zoning and topography of the comparables into account, but said he made no quantitative adjustment for the latter. He was, however, critical of Mr. Doucet not making such adjustments. He used a value of $20,000 per acre for an approximately 9.5 acre portion of the expropriated land. He reduced the per acre value of wetlands, which he considered encompassed approximately 1.85 acres, to be worth about 25 percent of the non-wetland. He acknowledged that wetland could be remediated, but at a cost. In his experience, 25% for wetland value was what he had seen used. While he had not seen the letter from Alva Construction (Exhibit S-17) regarding the cost of restoring the land, he said it might be more than the cost of acquisition. Thus, Mr. Ingram reached the market value of the lands acquired as a rounded sum of $200,000.

[212]Mr. Ingram opined that there was no injurious affection suffered by the developed portion of the property. The requirement to undertake any activity off-site is an impact on the business but not the land, in his opinion. He did, however, calculate injurious affection for the rear lands, although he considered them to be divided into two

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 72 -

areas due to an increase in grade near the center of the property. He stated that both areas included wetlands. He applied the same value to the front land as he had applied to the land taken, but applied a reduced rate of $8,000 per acre to the non-wetland portion of the rear lands, and $2,000 per acre to the wetland area, which he said had very limited utility. He then went on to determine injurious affection by using the “before and after” approach. The value after the taking was described by Mr. Ingram in this way:

8.4.2Value After the Taking

As a result of the taking, the land area is reduced by 11.34 acres. Additionally, the remaining land to the west of the land acquired has lost direct accessibility and now has value only in association with adjoining rear lands. As a result, the property has a longer development timeline and reduced marketability . Primary reliance has been placed on the adjusted rate from sales 5 and 6 which have similar scale and topographical characteristics. However, the profile of the comparables is superior to the subject remaining land as they have accessibility with some frontage on Highway 104. Therefore, a rate at the low end of the range from the two strongest comparables would be applicable and a rounded rate of $4,000.00/acre has been adopted. As noted in section 8.3, the wetland area has very limited utility and the value and the value has been estimated at 25% of the non-wetland value ($1,000.00/acre). [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-4(c), p. 33]

[213]Mr. Ingram summarized his calculation of injurious affection in the following manner:

[Exhibit S-4(c), p. 34]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 73 -

[214]As noted earlier, Mr. Ingram stated he had not identified any losses resulting from disturbance. Since, as far as he was able to determine, the owner was not occupying or using the land which was acquired, or the remaining land beyond it at the time of the expropriation, he concluded there were no losses resulting from any special economic advantage to the owner. He testified that the use could be replicated elsewhere, and there was nothing specific to this location which would create a special advantage.

[215]On cross-examination, Mr. MacIntosh raised with Mr. Ingram the differences between his August 2013 report and a draft appraisal report which he had prepared, dated February 14, 2013 (Exhibit S-29). Mr. Ingram submitted the draft to Steven MacKenzie at the Department. He said it would have been reviewed before he issued his final report. He was unable to explain, on cross-examination, why there was a delay from February to August 2013, before he issued his final report, but did not think he had caused the delay. The average time between a draft and a final report would be 2-3 months; only rarely would it be longer.

[216]In the draft report, Mr. Ingram had opined that the market value of the land which was acquired by the Province was $230,000, which is $30,000 more than his final report, and had calculated injurious affection in an amount of $240,000, or four times what appeared in the final report. This indicated a total compensation of $470,000. The differences between the draft and final reports, other than the conclusion, were: the details of the size and location of wetlands and watercourses over the expropriated area and the undeveloped land behind it; and more importantly, sale No. 5 on the final report, referred to as the Gaklis or Christmas tree property, was not included in the draft report.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 74 -

The description of the listing in the draft report and the final report differ because of the passage of time over which the asking price increased. The result of these differences was to decrease the median value per acre, since reliance was placed on different comparables for vacant land to $14,667 per acre from $14,809 per acre and the adjusted median to $16,498 per acre from $16,824 per acre in the draft report. The emphasis on the size of wetland, part of which the final report says is on GC-1 zone lands, resulted in no significant premium relative to RD-1 zone land. The changes in valuation to be split between non-wetland and wetland areas account for the difference between the market value of the expropriated land in the two reports. Generally, in the final draft there was greater elaboration on the physical characteristics of the remaining undeveloped lands and references to expansion potential, including negative comments. Mr. Ingram said he had not been as aware of the extent of wetlands as he was when he got the reports.

[217]In the “before taking” value in the draft report, the front and rear lands were not divided and wetlands were ascribed to each area. The value in the draft report was $630,000, compared to $330,000 in the final report.

[218]In response to cross-examination, Mr. Ingram said that he had reviewed material provided by the Province regarding purchases and settlements for properties along the highway corridor, although he had only looked at those on which he had personally done appraisal reports. Nothing he had reviewed caused him to change his opinion. He and his firm had started doing this work from the mid to late 2000s. The Central appraisal was the last one he had done.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 75 -

[219]When asked if he was aware of any situations where a property owner was paid more than the appraisal amount, he spoke of one property owned by Stora Enso, where he said the Province wanted a structure which was on the property, and acknowledged there may be others. He was not involved in any negotiations and did not know what had transpired in these instances.

[220]Mr. Ingram said that he had, generally, dealt with Steve Chaisson and Rod MacInnis of the Department, as well as Steven MacKenzie. He was retained in about October 2012. He had an exchange of emails with Mr. MacInnis regarding his engagement and coordinating arrangements for the eventual site visit on November 30, 2012. Mr. Ingram did not recall being told anything about Central before the visit or why the valuation might be difficult. Nor did he recall being told by anyone not to speak to Mr. Smith; Mr. Ingram was certain that it was he with whom he had met. His notes were made contemporaneously with the visit. He left the site after speaking with Mr. Smith and had no further conversations with Mr. Doucet. He was not told to only deal with the real estate and do nothing with respect to the business components, but he was aware that he was not valuing the business; however, he did not think this restricted him from asking questions. It is customary to speak with the property owners, though not expressly required by CUSPAP standards. He was not aware of any repeated requests by Central to discuss its losses with the Department.

[221]Prior to his arrival at the site, Mr. Ingram was not aware of any discussions regarding fencing at the Central property. He was never asked his opinion on the request for fencing, but stated it was reasonable to seek it for security. He acknowledged that there is a difference between the yard operated by Central and the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 76 -

“truss yard” at Shubenacadie, about which Mr. Cross had written to Mr. MacKenzie, pictures of which were sent by Mr. MacKenzie to him on June 14, 2013. Mr. Ingram did not recall any discussion with Mr. McKenzie about fencing.

[222]Mr. Ingram said, in cross-examination, that the sale of the Gaklis property to 2376650 Nova Scotia Limited had been brought to his attention by Mr. MacKenzie. Mr. Ingram had attended a meeting with staff of the Department and had been asked if he was aware of the transaction. At the same time, he was given a copy of the Strum report. The transaction for this property had the lowest value per acre. Mr. Ingram said

the property was immediately adjacent to Central’s property, and in his view, highly comparable in view of its topography. The transaction was not part of the highway acquisition. Mr. MacIntosh explored Mr. Ingram’s investigation of this sale on cross- examination. He elicited Mr. Ingram’s acknowledgement that he had looked at the property from aerial photographs and driving through the area. He agreed that the property was an old Christmas tree lot and very swampy, far wetter than Central’s property and “largely useless”. Mr. Ingram said it was not landlocked and had highway frontage, but he acknowledged he was unaware that the frontage was inaccessible. He agreed it was inferior to the Central property, though still valid for his use as a comparable.

[223]Mr. Ingram agreed he had not been given information on any other comparable transactions or settlements at the time of the meeting. He was not concerned that this was compromising his independence, since it was a private sale. Mr. Ingram said he was never encouraged to follow what the Department may have considered appropriate benchmarks in opining on value, and agreed that it would not

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 77 -

have been appropriate to do so. He affirmed that his valuation was arrived at independently.

[224]In response to Mr. MacIntosh, Mr. Ingram said he was not aware that the

same property had been later sold to the Province for “more than double the price”; nor was he aware that the entire property had been purchased by the Province. Mr. Ingram testified he was not aware of any other property where the Province had not taken or purchased the full remnant, or provided access. He made no inquiries as to why this had not occurred with Central’s property.

[225]Mr. Ingram did not consider the use of corridor sales in establishing values, but suggested this should be a last resort. He had not been discouraged from using them, but preferred to use private sector transactions because they do not have the same motivations or premiums attached.

[226]Mr. MacIntosh questioned whether Mr. Ingram had been informed that the Department had told people that they could not develop in the corridor area, and whether, if that was established, it would change his view on injurious affection. Mr. Ingram said he had not been told this and remained firm in his opinion that there was no injurious affection to the northern remnant. He considered the functionality of the remaining property was not relevant; in any event, he did not perceive any change in the functionality. It would be a business loss; Central would be compelled to look at an alternate option for expansion, but this would not reduce the value of the land, in his view.

[227]Mr. MacIntosh suggested that Mr. Ingram was preoccupied with the physical characteristics of the northern remnant, and not its functionality; however, Mr.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 78 -

Ingram said that he considered functionality as a physical characteristic. He did not agree that severing a property would result in a change in the characterization of its highest and best use, unless it could not be used in the same way it had been before.

[228]Mr. Ingram had not been aware of the November 13, 1997 correspondence from Wendy Tse of the Municipality to Michael Croft of the Department, the reply dated December 10, 1997, and the letter from Kevin White of Central to Mr. Croft of July 2, 1998. On being shown these letters, he said they would not change his assessment of how the property would have been used. He said that the expansion had continued in a southerly direction. However, he agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that the information contained in the letters was relevant and would have been helpful.

3.3Financial/business loss witnesses


Paul Bradley and Charlene Rodenhiser

[229]The Halifax office of the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

(“PwC”) was retained in July 2012, to opine on the economic losses suffered by Central as a result of the expropriation. Paul Bradley and Charlene Rodenhiser were the principals of the firm who prepared a report dated June 27, 2014, filed with the claim. Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser testified as a panel on behalf of the Claimant.

[230]Both Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser are Chartered Professional

Accountants (“CPA”) and Certified Business Valuators (“CBV”). At the time the June 2014 report was prepared, Mr. Bradley was head of the business valuation department of PwC but, since that time, he has taken up a similar position with another national accounting firm. He said that thereafter he was, in essence, contracted by PwC to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 79 -

continue the work on this matter. His input into the report did not change after that time. Mr. Bradley has been a CBV for 20 years. Ms. Rodenhiser is a Vice-President with PwC, and has held the CBV designation since 2003. They were both qualified as experts capable of giving opinion evidence on business income, profit and loss valuation and past and future loss quantification.

[231]Mr. Bradley confirmed that the PwC report was prepared in accordance with the standards of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators for an expert report. He testified that the standards also cover what is called a “limited critique report” where a valuator does not come to an opinion or conclusion on value, but

comments on the report of another CBV, including assumptions of that report.

[232]In addition to the June 2014 report, PwC filed an addendum dated August 25, 2015, signed by Ms. Rodenhiser, which corrected several calculations. A letter dated November 4, 2015, also signed by Ms. Rodenhiser, amended the opinions expressed in the earlier reports as a result of various disclosures and requests for information which had occurred in the interim. Ms. Rodenhiser also provided clarification regarding vendor discounts and transfer profits in a letter of December 7, 2015. There was further refinement of the calculations in the course of the hearing resulting in the figures in a March 10, 2016 document prepared by Ms. Rodenhiser (Exhibit S-62).

[233]Ms. Rodenhiser described a “reasonability check” that PwC undertook at

the end of their assignment to determine whether their overall conclusion made sense. This was done by comparing each of the average net income before taxes for Antigonish retail for the years after 2005 (adjusted for Market Street rent that would not

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 80 -

have been paid), the average net income for the distribution centre after 2008, and an average of two years of Sydney income, and the average amounts before those years. The differences were then multiplied by the number of years in question. This led PwC to determine that their conclusions were supported.

[234]Ms. Rodenhiser said that they had many conversations with Mr. Smith, Ms. MacPherson, and Mr. Murray, toured the Central operations and, over more than a year, met at the Central offices as part of their due diligence. Additionally, they reviewed materials about the industry and undertook their own research.

[235]Mr. Bradley described their assignment as one of the most complex he had worked on because the business itself is relatively complex. They had to understand the distribution centre concept and how it impacts the retail aspect of the business. Additionally, there was the delay experienced by Central, and the impact of the Market Street store, and the time period over which they had to review information. In order to understand the business, it was also necessary to look back before the delay

period to assess the reasonableness of the proposed expansion and Central’s track record. He said they observed a consistent pattern of robust growth over the years. He described the growth as above-average.

[236]Mr. Bradley opined that in addition to the growth in operating revenue, the gross margin was increasing, which meant the business was profitable. In his view, the growth in gross margin is critical. He identified the primary motivation in having a distribution centre is the ability to buy in greater quantity, thus getting a more advantageous price, and consequently a better gross margin.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 81 -

[237]Mr. Bradley said that he considered Mr. Smith was responsive to industry trends and market demand. He observed that Central followed a deliberate plan, responding to its initial success by expanding when demand increased. Ms.

Rodenhiser said that, having looked at the growth in “big box stores” in Canada, they had observed that Central was, in the earlier years, ahead of the trends, and continued to expand.

[238]PwC understood that Mr. Smith would have proceeded with the expansion at Lower South River once the water line servicing the property was in place.

[239]Mr. Bradley testified that while they had made some assumptions in their report, they were based on their analysis on actual operating results of Central, which he considered more reliable.

[240]In their view, the loss period was more than the five years of delay. They did not take into account the time of the environmental review before the route was finalized in assessing the delay period.

[241]Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser based their opinions on information they received from Central, as well as Mr. Doucet of Altus. They knew that Mr. Doucet was quantifying real estate losses, but they worked independently. They had no discussions about any possible double recovery between their respective reports.

[242]Further, Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser did not have any discussions with anyone from the Department about the highway alignment and pending expropriation, or Central’s plans. Mr. Bradley said they were relying on Mr. Smith

regarding the delay and his planned expansion and were quantifying the effect. Any

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 82 -

information from the Department would not have impacted or been relevant to what they were doing.

[243]Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser reviewed a significant number of documents as outlined in the June 2014 report, and conducted economic and industry research. The ultimate opinion reached by PwC in calculating the losses of Central was an amount of $6,800,896 for past losses and $3,354,023 for future losses, for a total of $10,154,919. They were quantifying a business loss, or the financial impact of the delay on the business, under s. 26, but did not specifically refer to the heads of damage under the Act. They were familiar with them, however.

[244]Mr. Bradley said they understood from Central management that it wanted to expand its retail and distribution sides of its business and that they knew some of their land would be taken; however, he said Central did not know what area of land would be taken. He understood from Mr. Smith that the business was growing and that Central would have ultimately used all of the Lower South River site. He acknowledged, however, on cross-examination that they had not been shown any documents showing any plans for the retail store or expansion, saying:

I don’t think there was any, and we did ask about that. And, you know, the answer that there weren’t any documented plans, and that issue was brought out by Mr. Thompson in his report. To me it’s not that unusual for a small business - a small to mid-size business

to not document its plans very thoroughly. You have, I believe, a situation where if a business that’s growing and an owner that’s busy and different owners - - different managers have different styles. Some are very, you know, assiduous at note-taking and maintaining history and maintaining minutes and having lots of committees. Others operate more - - they’re just more - - they keep a lot information in their head. They may not document it that well. So I wouldn’t - - we didn’t use or consider that the lack of

documentation meant that they weren’t going to carry out the plan, it just meant that it wasn’t documented.

[SF05795, 27:50-29:00]

[245]When they prepared the June 2014 report, Ms. Rodenhiser and Mr. Bradley had not reviewed any management notes or corporate minutes of Central.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 83 -

They were not aware of them until after Mr. Smith’s discovery in the summer of 2015, and reviewed them prior to the November 2015 revised report. The 1996 and 2003 strategic business plans were received after the date of their initial report, as was the Daniels report. However, they said that none of this information had any impact on their subsequent reports; they considered them, but did not feel they warranted any change in their opinion.

[246]Ms. Rodenhiser said that the Daniels report re-affirmed the concept of adding another retail store at Lower South River and the uniqueness of that existing destination. The business plans did not change what they had gleaned from their discussions with Mr. Smith about his proposed expansion.

[247]Mr. Bradley said that Central was a growing and dynamic business, and sometimes plans are not well, or at all, documented; the absence of a reference to Lower South River expansion in the plans did not contradict what they had been told, or render their assumptions unreasonable. They gave little weight to the absence. They

gave greater weight to Mr. Smith’s representations which they found credible and consistent with timing and market demand.

[248]Mr. Bradley said that Ms. MacPherson was thorough in providing all information as it became available, whether it was favourable or unfavourable to

Central’s claim.

[249]In their June 2014 report, Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser said:

28. .…Management had originally planned to utilize its available lands to develop a new warehouse -

style retail home improvement store and a fully -integrated DC operation at its Lower South River site. A fully integrated DC would allow for improved control over the movement of inventory to the Company’s retail locations through a lower cost model. As a result of the pending expropriation:

the new retail store for Antigonish was instead developed on Market Street;

a smaller and less functional DC was developed on the Lower South River property, limited by the size constraints of the remaining Northeast Remnant; and

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 84 -

the Company was unable to functionally develop the lands expropriated and the usable lands on the Southwest Remnant.

. . .

32. .…Prior to the expropriation, Central intended to consolidate its operations at its Lower South

River property. This would have included a new fully -integrated DC and new retail store, together with the required yard space to store lumber and other building products inventories. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the expropriation, Central deferred these plans.

33.…Once the general Highway 104 Alignment route was established and it was known that

Central’s property would be significantly impacted, Central determined that the site would no longer allow for the size and scale of its planned operations. The Company determined that its best course of action for development of the remaining Northwest Remnant was re-locating the Antigonish retail store and developing a DC at its Lower South River property. In 2000, the Company began the process of analyzing alternative sites for relocating its retail store in Antigonish.

. . .

35.While business plans were delayed at Lower South River, Management decided to upgrade the

Company’s retail store in Sydney by adding a new 50,000 sq. foot warehouse-style store. This provided a total of 68,000 square feet of retail/warehouse space at this location. The new Sydney store was completed in April 2002. Management has indicated that, but for the expropriation, this project would likely not have proceeded until fiscal 2005. However, the Company had the resources available to develop the Sydney location due to delays in development of its Lower South River property. Therefore, the expropriation has resulted in the additional profit stream generated by a larger store in Sydney two years earlier than expected.

. . .

38.When the Company moved its Antigonish retail operation from the Lower South River property to the Market Street Location in 2005, the Company began to reconfigure the vacated Lower South River space to allow for the establishment of a DC. The reorganization of the Lower South River property, including DC, was completed in 2007.

39. The physical capacity of the DC was not sufficient to carry all of Central’s product lines…

. . .

41.Following the expropriation, there is not sufficient land within the Northwest Remnant to accommodate the lumber storage.

. . .

44. Expansion of the DC would displace much of the current outdoor storage area….

[Exhibit S-1(c), pp. 5-8]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 85 -

[250]The components of each of the categories of loss resulted from certain key assumptions employed by Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser in calculating the

losses. These were stated in the June 2014 report, and included inter alia:

. . .

. . .

[Exhibit S-1(c), p. 2]

[251]On cross-examination, Mr. Rieksts asked whether and how the panel had assessed the reasonableness of their assumptions. Mr. Bradley said:

And there a whole host of factors that would have informed one about whether it’s a reasonable assumption or not, and ultimately it will be to the Board to decide whether that is a reasonable assumption. To me, for our quantification, the issues of greatest importance are: did the company have the financial resources; had it demonstrated the historical ability to do that; did management have the experience; did they have previous experience in expansions? Those to me were more important factors than whether the issue of expansion is actually documented in a report or in a minute. So for me, I believe that we did adequate diligence - - adequate due diligence on the assumption, within the confines of what our expertise is, and in the context of the information we were provided.

[SF05795, 1:20:42-1:21:50]

[252]The panel confirmed that nothing that they had seen in the minutes discovered after they had done their report, or the revisions to it, caused them to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 86 -

change their assumptions. Mr. Bradley further said there was nothing in them to contradict their assumptions. He expected various matters would be discussed at meetings of the Advisory Board, Directors or Management Committee, but did not afford great weight to notations of discussions. They had assumed that the new retail store and distribution centre at Lower South River would have been undertaken at the same time. Ms. Rodenhiser said that inherently they had recognized the disruption of the retail store by using 2006 as a proxy for 2001, because the results at Market Street were initially down in 2006. She did not believe that there would be any significant disruption associated with the distribution centre.

[253]In preparing their report, Ms. Rodenhiser confirmed PwC did not rely on any other experts or consultants.

[254]As a result of their assumptions, the sub-categories of past losses included loss of profit at the Antigonish (Lower South River) retail store; loss of profit at the distribution centre; loss of vendor discounts; and incremental operating costs incurred. These were offset by benefits of delayed financing costs for the retail store, and earlier profits from the Sydney store.

[255]PwC’s approach was to look at the impact of the expropriation. They concluded it was delay, because Central could not expand the retail store and build the distribution centre at Lower South River. They considered what would have happened, but for the delay. Mr. Bradley said:

So the loss period for us started at the year 2000 because we’re trying to measure the profits but for the delay, and we effectively used the actual results from 2005 through 2014 as a measure – as a basis for estimating that would have happened but for the delay.

MR. MACINTOSH: Explain why you chose that and what other options, or were there any other - - what was your best evidence to do the calculation you were about to try to do?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 87 -

MR. BRADLEY: In a loss quantification or an evaluation, valuators will use, and seek to use, the best information and the best most reliable data that they can to support their conclusions. There may be situations where just looking at historical and the years prior to the event will give you the best indicator of what would happen but for the delay. But in many instances the best information is market data, information that has actually occurred, and in some cases, valuators will seek information from other companies – from other companies in the industry.

So for example, if we were doing a valuation of Central, we might look at publicly reported information for companies like Home Depot, or Rona, or very large companies, and then we’d try and adjust those numbers so that they’re comparable to Central. So that might be a strategy that you would use in a valuation of Central, or an analysis of Central’s loss.

But in this situation, we determined, in our view, that the mos t reliable indicator of what Central would have done or - - the most reliable indicator of the financial results of Central for the 2000 time period forward, was the actual information from when they did the expansion. Because what we were seeking to estimate actually did happen; it just happened five years later.

And when I say that, I mean they built the box store at Market Street, they expanded the business so that there was a distribution centre located at Lower South River, so we have the results of operations of a retail store operating in tandem with a distribution centre and it’s located in the very market place that we are concerned with. It’s selling to consumers and contractors and do-it-yourselfers in Antigonish. It’s not that we’re going to another region or another country, this is market data from the subject community that we’re seeking to estimate.

So it’s not very often that a valuator has the luxury of getting comparable information from such a close geographic area. So subject to being able to make adjustments for things like inflation, which we did, we believe that the market information and the sales and the earnings information from operating the retail store at Market Street provided the best information and the best evidence to estimate what would have happened but for the delay.

MR. MACINTOSH: Now there were - - in choosing that model you’re using from 2005 forward at Market Street, there were some differences from what would have been at Lower South River. And the first and most obvious one is two different geographical locations and Mr. - - Professor - - Thompson and Mr. Wintrip make much of the fact, well you shifted the customer base entirely, and that throws out all the numbers. What do you say to that?

MR. BRADLEY: Well, as we understand Central’s business, the store that was built at Market Street – a box store – and the way that that operated in conjunction with the distribution centre, that’s the very concept that they were seeking to build at Lower South River. They were going to build a 30,000 sq. ft. retail store at Lower South River and operate that in tandem with some existing structures that would be just as efficient and be just as profitable as the store that they ultimately built.

MR. MACINTOSH: So that as a consequence of your due diligence inquiries, you came to that opinion that Lower South River, as configured, as intended, would have been just as profitable as Market Street?

MR. BRADLEY: That’s - - the premise of our calculation is that we’re operating under the assumption that the store that would have been built, and based on our discussions with management and their explanation of how the store would have been set up, the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 88 -

products that would have been sold, their method of buying, that they would have been the same, and therefore, it was appropriate for us to use the same earnings from the Market Street location.

[SF05792, 1:10:05-1:15:15]

[256]While Mr. Bradley agreed that the configuration of Market Street is different than what would have been erected and used at Lower South River, the physical differences would not have impacted the financial results. He understood from Central management that there would be no differences in expenses, staff or operating results. He said that the capital cost at Lower South River would have been considerably less. The proximity and extended inventory of the distribution centre would have added to efficiencies.

[257]Ms. Rodenhiser testified how they had come to understand the importance of a distribution centre:

Yes, so as we progress through this assignment, Mr. Smith, you know, explained the importance of a distribution centre to us. And what we understood from him, as well as through our own independent research, was that a distribution centre essentially allows a retail operation of any kind and size to bring goods to one place, to one location, and then distribute those goods out to the various retail locations from there. And what that does is allow the business to take advantage of buying in bulk in order to satisfy their inventory requirements. So if you think about the way retail cycles work, you know, here we are, we’re heading into the spring. By now, Central will already have things like lawnmowers, you know, in their warehouse ready to roll out into their store. So it’s that kind of buying that allows the operation to successfully transfer inventory to their stores And in doing so, by buying bulk, vendors will provide discounts to those retail operations because they are buying large quantities at once and because they only have to deliver to one location versus, in Central’s case, seven stores. But you can imagine other operations like Superstores and Sobeys and Kent, and the like, with much greater stores, it simply allows that distribution to happen seamlessly.

For Central, in particular, you know, Mr. Smith has always stated that his fill rates are very important. And what he means by that is he doesn’t want a customer walking into his store and finding, you know, that the screws that they need to do their project that day are not on the shelves. And a distribution centre allows the individual stores to ensure that their inventory is always maintained, and yet they can maintain it at such a level that they’re controlling their costs as well. And so that’s - - you know, a DC really does improve the profitability of an operation over all because of that inventory management. So you’ve got savings by bringing in bulk; by getting discounts; you’re able to fulfill your store’s requirements through inventory management, so it’s very beneficial in that way.

[SF05792, 18:11-20:35]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 89 -
[258] Mr. Bradley said that, while PwC could have used the results from Lower South River for the period from 2000-2005, it would have understated Central’s performance because it would not have had the advantage of the distribution centre, and would have been a smaller retail outlet. That historical data would not have been a good indicator in his view. It would not have indicated what would have happened but for the delay. Mr. Bradley said that Mr. Wintrip had taken a different approach, equally weighting the first year at Market Street results and the 2000 fiscal year results from Lower South River. Mr. Bradley did not agree that this was reasonable. For him, the increase in sales when Market Street opened in 2005 was a compelling reason to give weight to the first year at Market Street. Similar kinds of increases were seen with other new stores or expansions by Central. Mr. Bradley also said that Mr. Wintrip had used the lower gross margin from the operation without a distribution centre. Mr. Wintrip had used a five-year loss period.
[259] Mr. Bradley said that determining the impact of the delay would require looking at the 14-year period. It could be argued, he said, that by 2011 the net estimated earnings and the net actual earnings were the same, so the loss has ended. However, including the results after 2011 to 2014, actually reduced the claim, he said; he deducted these accordingly from the claim. Mr. Bradley said that this was the most accurate and inherently conservative approach. According to Mr. Bradley, this method was more reliable and accurate than taking the results of the 5 years at Lower South River.
[260] Mr. Rieksts explored this further with Mr. Bradley:
MR. RIEKSTS: If I could just take you to Assumption 3(i) “Despite differences in economic conditions operating results of the period 2006 to 2010 are a reasonable proxy for operating results of the 2001 to 2006 time frame. ” So you acknowledge there that
Document: 257289

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

- 90 -

those two time frames - - there are differences in economic conditions between the 2006 and 2010 versus 2001 and 2005 time frame, correct?


MR. RIEKSTS: And my understand - - your report - - you’ve used the DC and the retail store in 2006 what was established in 2005, sorry, as a proxy for what you say would have happened in 2001.


MR. RIEKSTS: And did you make the assumption that you’re making here about the operating results being a reasonable proxy for from 2006 to 2010 shifted to the 2001 to 2005 - - are you making that assumption because Central had no financial plan for its DC or the new retail store at Lower South River reflecting the economic conditions in 2001?

MR. BRADLEY: No, even if there had been a forecast or a plan, that would be just - - I mean that would be something prepared in advance that would be relevant. We would look at it but we’d still ask ourselves what’s the best evidence - - what’s the best indicator of what the results would have been if they had constructed in 2000. And whether or not a plan existed, it seems to us - - it was clear to us that the best indicator of the results but for the delay were the actual results of year 1, year 2 and year 3 from the Market Street from 2005 onward.

MR. RIEKSTS: Did you ask Central to develop a plan for what the DC and the new retail store would look like starting in fiscal 2001, given the economic conditions at that time?

MR. BRADLEY: You mean to prepare a forecast kind of in hindsight?

MR. RIEKSTS: Yeah, yeah.

MR. BRADLEY: No. No, I - - to me the actual results and to have the benefit of being able to look at actual results from the very kind of business that you’re trying to estimate what would have happened, there’s just no substitute for that and - -

. . .

MR. BRADLEY: I was just going to say that you have a number of options, one of which is to construct a forecast about what would have happened if you had built in 2001 - - construct some assumptions about what you think would have happened, but there are also other sources of evidence and there’s other ways to go about it. And I think the results of operations from the retail and the DC that was operating in Market Street was the best evidence.

MR. RIEKSTS: Mr. Wintrip did the same thing, really. He used the Market Street store as proxy, just like you did.

MR. BRADLEY: I don’t agree with what he did, though. If you look at his forecast or his depiction of the results, he uses the gross margin in his but for - - he uses the gross margin from an outdated smaller store at Lower South River. He doesn’t use the gross margin from a retail box store that’s operating with a DC. That’s a big difference. That’s a gross margin - - when you’re operating with a larger store and a DC, the gross margin is over 30%. When you’re operating from the Lower South River smaller store, the gross margin is only about 25 or 26%. And as I was saying yesterday, the years where the difference in gross margin is 5 points. It’s 5%, and that can be three quarters of a million

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 91 -

dollars a year in profit. So that’s a big difference between what he did and what we did. And as Charlene mentioned, he used sales assumptions that were more conservative

because he based his first year of his depiction of the but for results - - he based them on the previous Lower South River store, which is the smaller store without the range of products, and without the ability to get the faster fill rates and the broader product offering that you would have with a DC.

[SF05816, 53:43-58:32]

[261]Ms. Rodenhiser testified that they had used the same approach with respect to distribution centre losses, where the results trends were similar, in order to determine the transfer profits. Central brings products at a cost from their vendors, and there is a cost charged to the individual stores. The difference is the transfer profit.

They made adjustments to the reported sales to determine a “but for” transfer profit. Central would have performed better if it had had the distribution centre in place before 2005.

[262]Mr. Rieksts questioned the panel on why they had not stopped calculation of losses at 2005. He suggested that the losses were mitigated by that time; however, Mr. Bradley said that they were not. He said:

…I think there’s more to it than just the time period of opening the doors of Market Street. There is a - - by being disadvantaged, the company has permanently lost those incremental sales and then there’s a continued growth with respect to those incremental sales that, if you will, ripples into succeeding years. And that’s why, when you look at the graphical trend of the profit, it shows that the projected profit and the actual don’t converge until much later - - 2010, 2011.

So it’s like any business – if a business interruption event happens and a business has to close for two years, and then it opens the doors, it doesn’t follow that the loss period stops there. If they’ve lost customers, if there’s growth opportunities on those customers that have been lost, it’s not going to be a tidy end of the loss period just when the two year interruption happens. There’s growth because of the other ripple effects on the broader business. So that’s why I think it’s more appropriate to look at what would the results have been but for the delay and looking at it in a longer time horizon. And by then looking back retrospectively we’re looking at, really, the cumulative profits to date and I think that more effectively captures the long-term effect on the business, rather than just looking arbitrarily at the five-year delay period itself. `Cause the business isn’t that simple that you just deal with an event and then the event stops and then you get on with business as normal. There’s a time period of catch-up before the business gets back to where it would have been.

MR. RIEKSTS: But certainly it’s not reasonable though to extend the period of time that you’re calculating your but for situation out to 2014. If you’re using - - put it this way, if

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 92 -

you’re using the Market Street store and the DC that was opened in 2005 - - the profit centre in 2005 as your proxy, how can you go beyond the period of time that they were open to continue to calculate what you say the effect of the delay period would have been?

MR. BRADLEY: I don’t think it’s appropriate t o stop at when the Market Street store opened. I just don’t think five years - - I don’t think the opening of the Market Street store signals the end of the loss period. For me, the loss period ends when the claimant is back in the position that it would have been but for the delay. And when you look at the trend of the earnings, that happens around 2011 or 2012. And if we’d stopped it there, versus taking it up to 2014, the loss would have been higher.

MR. RIEKSTS: You’re assuming though, are you not - - it’s not a stated assumption, but you’re assuming that all of the losses after May 2005 are attributable to the delay. Is that correct? That has to be what the assumption is.

MR. BRADLEY: Yes, and we’re - - I guess the thought process there is it’s the same business, it’s the same management, the economic factors are stable in the 2000 to 2005 period compared to the period after 2005, the economic indicators are consistent, information like housing starts and retail sales are consistent, so we did that analysis before deciding whether it was appropriate to use the later sales as a proxy for the earlier time period. So having made that determination, and then knowing that the actual sales already reflect the economic events that are going on, I think those impacts are already reflected in the numbers, so I don’t think there’s any need to make any other adjustment for any other factor.

MR. RIEKSTS: But why stop at 2014? Couldn’t you just continue on forever? Why did you choose 2014 to stop?

MR. BRADLEY: We thought it was appropriate to consider the impacts up to the date of our report. And as I say, there was an element of conservatism, if you will, in continuing to consider that actually the loss period perhaps did stop earlier when the actual line crossed the “but for” profit line. But I guess I would go back to what I said yesterday. It’s difficult to say the loss period ends at a particular date, or within a particular month, or quarter or what have you. We felt it was appropriate in the circumstances to take it up to the date of our report and consider a more long-term approach. So if you were to ask me what was the impact on the value of the business of the delay to the date of the report, I think the best answer for me is to look at what the cumulative profits were from the date the event started up to the date of our report.

MR. RIEKSTS: But the result of what you’ve done is what I’ve just pointed out; your incremental profits, but for the expropriation at the retail store location, is the sum of your estimated net profit before income tax from 2010 to 2014. Does that make sense?

MR. BRADLEY: It does, it’s five years of profits. And when we do our reasonableness check, and we did that comparison of the average earnings income before tax prior to the delay and after the delay, and that reasonableness check reinforced to us that our conclusion was in fact accurate and supportable.

[SF05797, 13:44-19:55]

[263]Mr. Bradley said, however, it was for the Board to decide when it would have been reasonable to mitigate the loss. He considered that in later fiscal years when

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 93 -

the actual results were greater than what was projected, it could be concluded that the loss period had ended. While this occurred around 2011, he said an element of judgment was involved; going beyond that allowed them to be conclusive about when the negative impacts had ended. It would have been more aggressive to stop at 2011.

[264]The Board followed up on when the loss calculations should end:

THE BOARD: …I guess my initial reaction was that the effective date for the expropriation was in 2012, so why did you go beyond 2012? Is that - - I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you explained having gone beyond 2005 because you felt there was a ripple effect. So is the same thing true for 2012?

MR. BRADLEY: There’s no impact in 2012 that we saw that would have an impact. But I think it’s beyond the fact that it’s - - if that is the expropriation date. But we continued to 2014 because we were reviewing all of the information and all of the data up to the date of our report.

THE BOARD: Did I understand you to say that if you had stopped in 2012 that the loss, in fact, would be greater?

MR. BRADLEY: It would be greater.

THE BOARD: And why is that?

MR. BRADLEY: Because in years 2013 and 2014, the actual profits of the business of the Antigonish retail were higher than what were projected in the “but for”. So when we did our projection of what would have happened had they started the DC and did the expansion in 2000, we did that projection; we took those out to 2010, 11, 12. And when you get to 12 and 13, those projected profits are lower than they were actually earning. So it seemed to us that if they’re actually earning more than the “but for” scenario, the loss financially - - from a financial perspective, is over. There’s no longer that impact.

[SF05797, 2:27:37-2:29:14]

[265]Mr. Bradley confirmed, on cross-examination, that PwC had used the same reasoning in using the losses for the distribution centre, using calculations up to 2014. The impact of the five-year delay plus the impact on subsequent growth was similar. He described the impact as cumulative.

[266]Mr. Rieksts explored with the panel their assumption that vendors would have shipped directly to the distribution centre rather than to individual stores. They agreed they had assumed this would be more beneficial to both vendors and Central.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 94 -

Ms. Rodenhiser said they were aware that some vendors would more logically deliver direct to the stores, and had only considered what would go to the distribution centre. She acknowledged they had not spoken to vendors directly. Ms. Rodenhiser said that when she had done a site visit at Lower South River she did not see that there was room to erect a new warehouse building on the site, given the level of outdoor storage.

[267]Mr. Rieksts also explored what he said was an additional three months of results in calculating the loss because the Market Street store opened in May, and

Central’s fiscal year ends on January 31st. Ms. Rodenhiser said that while Mr. Wintrip had pro-rated the periods, and PwC had used fiscal years, they still have a five year delay period. She did not agree that this overstated the loss.

[268]With respect to vendor discounts, Ms. Rodenhiser said that when the Market Street retail store location opened, Central was able to use the Lower South River location for a distribution centre. She said, however, that the size of the location did not permit Central to have the extent of products for which they could have obtained

vendor discounts. PwC examined a sample of vendors and determined what discounts, and the level of discounts which Central was not able to obtain.

[269]Ms. Rodenhiser explained that as a result of inquiries from the Respondent and Mr. Welsh, further examination resulted in adjustments to both volumes and levels of discounts. Because Central could not verify all of the discounts from vendor bulletins, it was decided that, as a conservative approach, they should be removed from the claim. This led to various corrections to the figures by PwC, although Ms. Rodenhiser did not characterize this as a correction of errors, but rather a re- evaluation of information.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 95 -

[270]On cross-examination, Ms. Rodenhiser confirmed that they had accounted for the mitigating effects of the proposed 60,000 sq. ft. distribution centre, which has yet to be built, by stopping the amount of vendor discounts after two years, rather than capitalizing them for an indefinite period.

[271]Ms. Rodenhiser explained the category of delay in financing costs. PwC had assumed that there would be financing costs associated with the expansion, but the expansion did not proceed as Central intended. Thus, they deducted from the claim financing costs that were not incurred until the Sydney store was constructed. Later, when more information was made available about the cost to build the distribution building of 30,000 sq. ft. at Lower South River, a further adjustment was made. Previously, PwC had understood that the new retail store at Lower South River would be the same as the size of the Market Street store.

[272]Mr. Bradley explained that the Sydney store was taken into account as part of the claim because PwC understood that the new store there was done two years earlier than it would have been, had Central been able to proceed with the Lower South River expansion. To that extent, it had provided profits at an earlier stage. As a result, PwC calculated the incremental sales results from the new Sydney location over the old one, and credited it as an offset. There had been an error in calculation in the original PwC report, which was later corrected.

[273]Ms. Rodenhiser confirmed that she understood Central did not intend to do the expansion of Sydney and Lower South River at the same time. She had understood that the Sydney expansion would have been done in 2004, but was actually done in 2002; however, Ms. Rodenhiser confirmed that Mr. Smith had not specified

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 96 -

which year the Sydney expansion would be constructed. On cross-examination, Mr. Bradley agreed that this moved the revenue stream ahead by two years. He also agreed that they assumed that the early Sydney expansion and the Lower South River expansion delay were linked.

[274]Ms. Rodenhiser identified a number of elements of “incremental operating

costs - past” as part of the claim. These related to the insufficiency of the distribution centre at Lower South River, and the use of a hardlines distribution centre at Market Street for a period of time. These included: the cost of containers at Lower South River; extra handling of products; additional staff required at Market Street; additional freight charges; and, demurrage charges when goods could not be unloaded due to insufficient space. The containers were a “stopgap” measure, as they took up less room than the building they did not have room for, due to the expropriation. Ms. Rodenhiser acknowledged that Mr. Wintrip did not dispute these costs.

[275]For future losses, PwC included two years of lost vendor discounts, two years of future incremental operating costs related to a second site, additional operating costs for an indefinite period relating to the second site, and future capital costs, not including land costs at the second site. Even though Central now has a second site, these costs have continued for the two years, and will continue, because the new distribution centre at Lower South River has yet to be built.

[276]Mr. Bradley addressed the “incremental operating costs – future” included in the claim. These related, in part, to the “second site” which Central determined it would need in order to have the larger (60,000 sq.ft.) distribution centre at Lower South River. PwC quantified these costs for a period of two years. Costs included additional

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 97 -

wages, and some freight, associated with inventory management, as well as equipment costs, delivery and occupancy costs associated with the second site. They would not have been incurred but for the expropriation. PwC concluded these were permanent costs which would continue indefinitely, so they applied a capitalization rate to determine the present value of those costs.

[277]Additionally, PwC estimated future capital costs or one-time costs for the

second site. Initially, these costs were estimated by Central’s management, but since that time the site at Pomquet was acquired, so actual costs were known. This resulted in a revision to the amount initially estimated. However, no costs for the real estate itself were included, which was similar to the acquisition of the Market Street lands, as PwC said they were quantifying the impact on the earnings of Central.

[278]Mr. Wintrip had suggested in his report that such costs were uncertain with respect to timing and quantum. Operating future costs for the second site were, of necessity, estimates, according to Ms. Rodenhiser, which they reviewed as a result of the Pomquet acquisition. In her opinion, the PwC calculations were reasonable projections, based on historical information provided by Central.

[279]The panel understood that it was some time in 1999 or 2000 that Central knew its site would no longer be large enough to accommodate what it planned to do. Then, Central began looking into alternatives. Mr. Smith was consistent in telling them that the arrival of the water line in 1999 would have facilitated his expansion plans.

[280]Ms. Rodenhiser said that the ability of Central to obtain vendor discounts depends on the number of retail stores it needs to supply, which drives the need for the space to accommodate the required inventory.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 98 -

[281]Mr. Rieksts explored the emails from Patterson Law with the panel. They had seen and discussed them with Central. Mr. Bradley said that the absence of any

discussion about a distribution centre did not contradict Central’s intention to construct one. They had reviewed the potential claims noted in the email. Mr. Bradley said that rather than a using an approach of a claim of the increased capital costs, PwC had taken what Mr. Rieksts called a “delay approach” in determining Central’s loss, as a result of their own due diligence. Based on their discussions with Central, Mr. Bradley understood that there were inaccuracies in the Patterson Law emails, and that Central’s discussions with the firm were at a preliminary stage. He went on to explain why they did not agree with the Patterson approach:

The Claimant stated that they could have created the same entity, the same operation at Lower South River, at a lower cost of $900,000. They have constructed a $4 million asset which they still own, which they have the value in that asset. They’re continuing to generate profit from. But what they have lost financially is the differential, or the lower profits for the time period that it took them to construct the alternative facility and for the years where they - - their income-earning capacity was diminished because of the delay.

[SF05795, 1:54:47-1:55:35]

[282]Mr. Bradley said that in the context of all the documentation, there was nothing to contradict their opinion of a five-year delay. While he agreed that the sort of information which Patterson Law said should be compiled would be helpful to establish the claim, the absence of it did not mean the assumptions were incorrect. He confirmed PwC had asked Central for a chronology of events and business plans.

[283]Mr. Rieksts questioned why PwC had made so many revisions to their reports. Mr. Bradley said this was not because of the lack of plans, but attributed it to the time period, and the memories of those involved. He said some items had been simply overlooked. In his opinion, the lack of documented plans was not uncommon in many small businesses.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 99 -

[284]While PwC was not provided with details of the layout and size of the planned store and distribution centre in its initial meetings with Central, Mr. Smith

repeatedly said it would be “the same as Market Street”. However, they later learned this did not mean the size and cost would be the same. When they realized, after Mr. Smith’s discoveries in the summer of 2015 and the responses to interrogatories, they had not understood the size of the store and the distribution centre, they obtained the details from Ms. MacPherson.

[285]Mr. Rieksts explored this further with the panel:

MR. RIEKSTS: …did anything in this - - so the layout that’s provided here - - did anything in this affect - - when it came to your understanding of what could be put on the retail site, sorry, on the lands left over after the alignment, did this have any impact for you on what could be actually positioned on the site?

MS. RODENHISER: I’m sorry. Can you repeat the question?

MR. RIEKSTS: When you looked at this, did you have a better understanding of what could be put on the site?

MR. BRADLEY: Whether the site could accommodate this?

MR. RIEKSTS: Whether it could or not, yeah.

MS. RODENHISER: I don’t know that we’re necessarily experts in configuration of the site and square footages and where things should be placed on a property.

MR. RIEKSTS: You didn’t discuss that with Central at the time you got this. Did you discuss, well where was all this going to go?

MS. RODENHISER: Yeah, I think there was also some drawings provided, which you should have as well, as to where things would have laid on the property.

MR. RIEKSTS: Did that impact though? Did this make you reassess what could have been built at the site after the alignment had actually been chosen? So we’re talking about a 30,000 sq. ft. store. Did you understand where that was going to go - - where they planned that to go?


MR. RIEKSTS: And was your understanding that it could be built on the site - - a 30,000 sq. ft. store could be built on the site after the alignment?

MS. RODENHISER: After the alignment? With the DC as well?

MR. RIEKSTS: Yeah, with the DC warehouse expansion. What’s described at 5947.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 100 -

MR. BRADLEY: But not the DC. It couldn’t do both.

MR. RIEKSTS: Well the DC warehousing is here, so this talks about the DC warehousing, right?


MR. RIEKSTS: It talks about the retail structures. Did you have an understanding of where they would go and whether they could fit on the site after the alignment?

MS. RODENHISER: They wouldn’t have been able to fit there after the alignment, not with all the other inventory that they have.

MR. RIEKSTS: Yeah, I’m just talking about the warehouse - - the actual buildings. So we’re talking about the DC, 4th warehouse, 5th warehouse, 6th warehouse, the new DC warehouse, right.

MS. RODENHISER: Again, I’m not - -

MR. MACINTOSH: Objection, Madam Chair. My friend, I believe, is putting a proposition for which there is no evidence and which his own expert has said is an impossibility. There was never any consideration of having both the new DC and a new retail store. Mr. Welsh is very clear on that. Mr. Smith is very clear on that. The witness just said that. Mr. Paul just said, you could have one or the other but not both. My friend keeps putting it to them.

MR. RIEKSTS: I understand. I’m asking them once they received this, did they change any of their views on what could or couldn’t be put on the land. What buildings could or couldn’t be put on the land after the alignment?


[SF05795, 2:07:03-2:10:02]

[286]Ms. Rodenhiser confirmed, on cross-examination, that they had not discussed the relative benefits of the Market Street and Lower South River locations with Mr. Smith. She said that he consistently said that he believed Lower South River would do better because it was a destination location, and would have had the distribution centre. This would have allowed more choice of product and greater availability. While PwC had not obtained any independent analysis of this, they considered that Lower South River would have had the same customers, and the same region as its market.

[287]Ms. Rodenhiser said on cross-examination that they had not considered any need to adjust profits as a result of the lower investment required to build the new

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 101 -

retail store at Lower South River, compared to the investment at Market Street. PwC assumed that, operationally, the new store would have been the same or similar. The only material difference was the cost of the stores, which as she had noted, PwC had initially misunderstood.

[288]Mr. Rieksts referred the panel to the data on the net income before tax for the Lower South River and Market Street retail locations, questioning how PwC could suggest that the profitability would be similar. Ms. Rodenhiser said that the historic Lower South River results were based on a store without an expansion and a distribution centre.

[289]Mr. Rieksts referred the panel to a financing proposal for the Market Street location. They confirmed that they had seen this after they prepared their report. They had not discussed the proposal or the statements therein about the expansion plans with Mr. Smith. Ms. Rodenhiser said that, at the time of that proposal, Central was already aware that it could not build as it had planned at Lower South River. The comments in the letter were relevant only in context with what Central actually had at Lower South River. Mr. Bradley said that this is a financing proposal, and not necessarily a weighing of the benefits of the locations. They did not review it with

Central because it was a financing proposal which essentially was “selling” the proposal to the financial institution.

[290]In Mr. Bradley’s view, this was Central making the best of the situation in

which it found itself at the time. It did not cause them to change their assumptions. When Mr. Rieksts questioned why there was nothing in the document which discussed

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 102 -

the expansion plans for Lower South River, Ms. Rodenhiser did not consider this would have been relevant, and neither she nor Mr. Bradley would not have expected it.

[291]Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser were questioned regarding the report filed by the Respondent’s expert witness, Mr. Wintrip. They were also asked to respond to Mr. Wintrip’s critique of their reports. Mr. Bradley testified that he was uncertain

whether Mr. Wintrip was doing an expert report or a limited critique report, which would normally be a separate “self-standing” report. The disclosure standards are different.

[292]Mr. Bradley said that when Mr. Wintrip was retained, PwC made themselves available to answer any questions he might have. Other than one email, and some requests through counsel, Ms. Rodenhiser had one phone call from Mr. Wintrip.

[293]Mr. MacIntosh took the panel through the critique of their report which Mr. Wintrip had done in his report. Mr. Bradley confirmed that it is within the requirements of the CBV professional standards to take into account any new information which comes to their attention, and amend their conclusion. In his view, this increases the reliability of the opinion expressed.

[294]Mr. Bradley explained that, over the course of their engagement, they relied on recollections of their client. Through various inquiries, more information became available, and some documentation was found. They considered this and made revisions to their report where necessary. They were not required to restrict themselves to “anthropological paper trails”, but to seek information from various

sources and assess its reliability and credibility. He said a CBV is required to have sufficient information to support the report. He said that in an expert report, the onus is

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 103 -

on the expert to seek out information if it is believed that information is missing for a time period, or is not sufficient to resolve any uncertainty.

[295]The first adjustment Mr. Wintrip had commented on related to expenses related to the Guysborough store. Ms. Rodenhiser said this resulted in an adjustment to their figures as it had not been clear that these were included in the Antigonish results.

[296]With respect to inflation, Mr. Wintrip had suggested that PwC had not accounted for this in using subsequent sales. Mr. Bradley acknowledged this was correct; initially, PwC had not thought this was material because of the offsets. However, they did determine it to be material, and reduced the sales earnings accordingly. This ultimately resulted in a net reduction in the claim.

[297]Mr. Bradley did not agree with Mr. Wintrip’s comment that PwC had failed

to take into account all the conditions of the economy and the industry, because he said they were already accounted for in their numbers because they were actual figures. As for differences in location, he said Lower South River would be the same operation in the same marketplace; PwC did not consider there would be any difference in the financial results. He acknowledged that capital costs would have been lower, however.

[298]In its analysis of income, PwC had made a deduction for depreciation. Mr. Wintrip did not agree this was relevant in a loss quantification, but Mr. Bradley did not

accept Mr. Wintrip’s position. Mr. Bradley said it needed to be accounted for because they were analyzing a time period which was different than the life of the asset. He considered the fairest and most accurate way of accounting for the cost of the asset was to apportion the cost over the time in which income would be generated from its

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 104 -

use. Otherwise, the entire cost would be treated as an expense in one year and distort the financial results. It does not amortize the expense.

[299]In Mr. Bradley’s opinion, Mr. Wintrip had taken the full cost of the new

Antigonish retail store and deducted it in the first year, and did not reflect the “wear and tear” over the following years, resulting from its use. While he agreed with Mr. Wintrip that it is a non-cash item, Mr. Bradley said depreciation is relevant. Mr. Bradley acknowledged that Mr. Wintrip had added the capital cost back five years later (in 2005), but did not accept that this represented economic reality.

[300]Mr. Rieksts further explored the use of depreciation in a business loss quantification with the panel. He suggested that a business loss represents “out of pocket” items. Mr. Bradley said there are cash expenses, but there are situations where

a non-cash measure should be used. In the panel’s view, the quantification is to put a claimant in the position it would have been. For Central, the capital which would have been spent at Lower South River for the new retail store has benefits over a long term. The panel considered that accounting for depreciation is the best measure of its economic utility. This contrasted with Mr. Wintrip’s cash flow approach.

[301]Ms. Rodenhiser said that, for the period from 2007 to 2009, property taxes at Market Street had been recorded in the related company which has legal title to the land. Before and after that period, they had been recorded in Central, so PwC had corrected that. She described the impact as minimal.

[302]Ms. Rodenhiser also pointed out that, in reviewing some of their figures, PwC had noted an oversight on their part to transfer some figures regarding delivery wages. With respect to transfer profits, she said that, upon reflection, they had

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 105 -

concluded “but for” sales would have been different, and therefore they changed the “but for” profits. This change was not made because of anything which either Mr. Wintrip had said, or that Central had raised.

[303]Further adjustments were made with respect to depreciation to reflect additional capital costs for the 12,000 sq. ft. distribution centre, as well as for fixed costs for the building, on an annual basis, based on information from Central. They adjusted those costs for inflation.

[304]As a result of the discovery of Mr. Smith, there had been questions regarding cross-docking. It was learned that there had been some level of discounts which had not been taken into account because Central had not recorded it. PwC made

some estimates, and Mr. Murray had undertaken investigation with Central’s vendors. PwC assessed that the amount involved was reasonable, based on the size and space of the operations at that time, and accounted for it.

[305]Ms. Rodenhiser agreed that Mr. Welsh had raised some questions about the vendor discounts, which caused PwC and Central to re-examine how they had treated them in their initial report. As a result, there were a significant number of changes where some documentation could not be located to support the discounts. The changes related to discount rates or volumes for vendors over the 14-year period they were examining. PwC reviewed material from the vendors in order to satisfy themselves of the reasonableness of the changes. In Ms. Rodenhiser’s view, this did

not increase, but rather decreased, uncertainty.

[306]Mr. Wintrip had concluded that the number of these changes suggested the amounts claimed were not reliable. He reduced the lower range of his estimate for

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 106 -

loss of vendor discounts to nil. Mr. Bradley opined that this was an extreme conclusion; in fact, he said, the changes added to the certainty of the claim. He said that if Mr. Wintrip had thought there was increased uncertainty, he should have sought further information or made inquiries. Mr. Wintrip had not asked PwC for any information to resolve any uncertainty. The panel said that they understood the information surrounding the changes had been supplied to the Respondent.

[307]Ms. Rodenhiser said that, in determining delayed financing costs, PwC had made an adjustment when Central had brought to its attention an error regarding the costs of the Sydney store, which had in fact straddled two fiscal years. This decreased the offset of delayed financing costs and had increased the claim. An adjustment was also required regarding the mitigating sales from the early new Sydney store, as well as for inflation.

[308]Mr. Bradley went on to describe how the capital cost of the Lower South River expansion had been determined, as PwC had understood initially that the cost of Market Street was an appropriate proxy. Once they learned the cost would have been significantly less, they adjusted the figures. Mr. Wintrip had said that this should have also resulted in a reduction in the sales. However, Mr. Bradley said there was no reason to change the sales, as they viewed the profitability that Lower South River would have enjoyed would be the same or better. Mr. Wintrip had suggested that PwC had not considered the impact of the difference. However, Mr. Bradley described the discussions that PwC had with Mr. Smith and Ms. MacPherson about the type of operation, staffing, and functionality. PwC concluded that there would be no difference

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 107 -

in the ability of the store to offer a larger range of products. As it would have been supported by a distribution centre, they considered it to be a good proxy.

[309]Mr. Bradley testified that Mr. Wintrip did not ask PwC any questions about this store format. Mr. Wintrip identified concerns in his February 2016 report, but Mr. Bradley said that Mr. Wintrip had not stated a contrary opinion. Mr. Wintrip had also noted that the Lower South River store would be different from the other stores in

Central’s operation, and questioned whether Central would have updated it during the loss period. Both Mr. Bradley and Ms. Rodenhiser said that they had discussed this with Mr. Smith and accepted his description of the location as a destination, unique as Central’s flagship. They were satisfied that the operating costs at Market Street would also have been reflected at Lower South River. Further, they considered there would have been some efficiencies resulting from the proximity of the distribution centre.

[310]Mr. Rieksts presented the panel with a document, prepared with Mr. Wintrip’s assistance, calculating the “but for” sales estimates and the actual sales for

the years from 2001 to 2014, which showed that after 2006 the actual sales were higher than the estimates. He suggested that this meant there was no real loss. Mr. Bradley said that sales were only one element, and they had done their analysis based on income. Further, he said that this did not take into account the benefit of having a distribution centre which increases gross margin.

[311]Mr. Rieksts also presented a summary of gross margins for the “but for”

and actual results. He suggested that the differences accounted for a component of the loss. The panel did not disagree, noting the influence of the distribution centre in the actual results for later years.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 108 -

[312]Mr. Rieksts questioned whether growth in sales at Lower South River prior to any expansion could be attributable to the business acumen of Central, rather than being driven by an expansion. Ms. Rodenhiser said that would be one factor and was something on which Central wanted to capitalize. Mr. Rieksts questioned then whether the growth after 2005 could be attributable to the same reason, or reasons other than the delay in expansion. Mr. Bradley said that the growth is a function of all the internal and external factors, in both the scenarios, and they have accounted for them. Any one factor taken in isolation could impact the results. While he agreed different economic factors were at play over the years and need to be taken into account, Mr. Bradley opined that, for that reason, it was attractive to use actual results. He acknowledged that there is some imprecision, but he maintained the estimates they used were the best representation.

3.3.2Respondent Ian Wintrip

[313]Mr. Wintrip, the principal of Wintrip Consulting, Inc., located in Toronto, Ontario, has been a chartered accountant since 1998, and holds the CBV designation. He also has a Diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting. He was qualified to give opinion evidence in the quantification of business loss quantification, including both past and future losses.

[314]The Province retained Mr. Wintrip to provide a critique or review of the PwC report filed on behalf of Central. From this, he was asked to provide his opinion of the losses based on what PwC had done. He said this was a common practice in his

profession. He said he would describe his engagement as “forensic” in order to meet

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 109 -

the standards of the legal system. He did not consider it was an investigative engagement, but a loss quantification engagement, which had forensic elements. It was not merely a calculation.

[315]Mr. Wintrip acknowledged, on cross-examination, the professional standards which apply to his work. He agreed that it was his duty to seek out further information where it was required, and that Central had not denied any information being made available. He acknowledged that there were some tight timelines which were challenging, but he was able to address later information which became available in his revised report. There was no investigation which he thought necessary that he did not perform.

[316]Mr. Wintrip prepared a report dated September 14, 2015, in which he

quantified Central’s business losses at a low of just over half a million dollars, to a high of slightly more than $4.4 million. A revised report, dated February 11, 2016, was prepared by Mr. Wintrip as a result of the various amendments to the PwC report filed by the Claimant. The revised report also contained a critique of the PwC amendments. Mr. Wintrip said his two reports should be read together. In his opinion, it made more sense to discuss the critique first, which would then explain his calculations. The quantification of losses in the revised report ranged from a benefit of approximately a quarter of a million dollars to a loss of just over $4.9 million.

[317]Mr. MacIntosh explored the standards which Mr. Wintrip was obliged to


The standards, as I understand them, require you to satisfy yourself that the assumptions you adopt are reasonable, or otherwise require you to insert a proviso. Correct?

MR. WINTRIP: Correct.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 110 -

MR. MACINTOSH: So that the assumptions you have adopted you have considered to be reasonable, correct?

MR. WINTRIP: Correct, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: At paragraph 13 of your report are your assumptions, including the assumptions that the new retail store and DC at Lower South River would have been open and operating effective May 1st, but for the expropriation. And that the retail store plan for LSR would have been the same size and format as the store built and opened on Market Street. So you have accepted those assumptions as reasonable.

MR. WINTRIP: Yes, absent a documented plan in place at 2001, those were the assumptions that I adopted.

MR. MACINTOSH: So, OK. If that is so - - if you cross that threshold, Mr. Wintrip, why are so much of the reports, including, particularly, the Thompson and Welsh reports, so full of references to the minutes of the company, or the strategic business plans, or the Patterson documents, or this or that? This is your assumption. You crossed that threshold when you decided to adopt that assumption, correct?

MR. WINTRIP: Again, in the absence of a plan, you have to look for, OK, well how are we going to approach this from the perspective of the claim, which is there was a plan in place in 2001. Pricewaterhouse chose to make those same assumptions that, you know, a retail store would have been open in 2001 and that a DC would have been open in 2001. And absent that documented plan, we believe that was probably the next best reasonable assumption to make. In terms of using that assumption, as you suggest, part of the standards of what we do as forensic accountants, is to test the reasonableness of this. So we explored those types of minutes and meetings, and so forth, to see if we could glean anything from that to support the plan.

MR. MACINTOSH: And out of that you came to the professional conclusion that you could support those assumptions as reasonable, correct? Independent of what PwC did.

MR. WINTRIP: Yes, those were the assumptions we determined that were reasonable, and it will have to be decided by the Board as to whether or not they are reasonable.

[SF05826, 15:27-18:42]

[318]Mr. Wintrip had met and communicated with Donald Thompson and Sandy Welsh in the preparation of his report. He had also met with Linda MacPherson and Jim Murray of Central in late May or early June, 2015. He had never met with, or spoken to, Mr. Smith. Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson had toured the Central operations at Lower South River, Market Street, Sydney, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton. He said this had allowed them to compare locations, including how the stores were set up and operated, as well as the distribution centre. He believed that this represented the due

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 111 -

diligence he was required to undertake. However, with the exception of one telephone conversation with Ms. Rodenhiser, Mr. Wintrip did not question PwC to verify the uncertainties he was concerned with in doing his calculations.

[319]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. Wintrip about the relationship between himself, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Welsh:

…Why, then, did you allow Messrs. Thompson and Welsh to go on at such great length about the strategic plans, and the corporate minutes, and the Patterson stuff, and all that other, what I will argue, is irrelevant junk that should be struck from their reports. Why did you allow them to put that in their reports?

MR. WINTRIP: It’s not for me to decide what goes into their reports. They were engaged as experts and what’s in their reports is their opinion. I don’t have control over that.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well let’s shift to that then. In fact, according to your paragraph 9 in your report, you say this report has been prepared by Ian Wintrip, CPA, CA, DBB, DIFA, with the assistance of other professionals under his direction and supervision, correct?

MR. WINTRIP: Correct. That did not include Mr. Thompson and Mr. Welsh. Those are accountants that work with me in helping to prepare my report.

MR. MACINTOSH: Mr. Wintrip, are you purporting that these two experts were not accountable to you? Because we’ve got 4000 pages of emails and exchanges, and we’ve reviewed them rather carefully, and we know the pattern. I suggest to you, Sir, that they were - - that you acted as a collective group.

MR. WINTRIP: We acted together under the engagement of the Province of Nova Scotia. But they weren’t under my direct ion or supervision. They were acting independently, as I was acting independently in the preparation of my report.

MR. MACINTOSH: Is it your sworn testimony, Sir, that Mr. Welsh was acting independently of you and that you had no influence or supervision over him?

MR. WINTRIP: Yes, I wasn’t supervising or directing him. He was acting as an independent expert.

MR. MACINTOSH: But the foundation of your report is built on their findings.

MR. WINTRIP: Correct. As independent experts.

MR. MACINTOSH: Now, Mr. Rieksts, this morning or last night, in his letter explaining the delinquency in providing Mr. Thompson’s report - - that the Province had had for months - - explained well, he couldn’t file it, and he couldn’t file Mr. Welsh’s report until it was coordinated with yours. So clearly, all three of them came together as one unit, as one collective statement of position. Is that fair?

MR. WINTRIP: My report relies on the opinions that they include in their reports, correct.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 112 -

MR. MACINTOSH: So I’m going to have to re-think - - and maybe I’ll think more tonight -

-I’m caught by surprise. If you tell me, I accept that you’re telling me that you considered them independent of you. I would have thought, and I’m sure I have read in your professional standards, that when you rely on others you have a duty of supervision and oversight. I’m somewhat confused that you consider yourself independent of them.

MR. WINTRIP: I provide my independence as an accountant, and they provide their independent expertise within their scope of expertise.

MR. MACINTOSH: And you have no - - despite the fact that your report has a foundation of their opinions - - you have no duty of supervision or due diligence oversight. That is your position.

MR. WINTRIP: Well, I would suggest that it’s not due diligence and super…- - sorry, it’s not supervision and direction, as you implied from the paragraph that you read. What I have is a responsibility, when I rely on the expertise of others, to make sure that I believe that that expertise is reasonable.

MR. MACINTOSH: And did you believe that the expertise of Messrs. Welsh and Thompson were reasonable?

MR. WINTRIP: Based on their experience and backgrounds, yes.

[SF05826, 31:04-35:48]

[320]Mr. Wintrip agreed that he was the “lead” of the group. He allowed them to arrive at their opinions and said he did not try to influence that in any way. Draft documents were exchanged so that Mr. Wintrip would see what to include in his report. However, in an email from Mr. Thompson dated August 20, 2015, Mr. Thompson suggested that Mr. Wintrip had said that group influence should be minimized. Mr. Wintrip confirmed that he, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Welsh had weekly calls scheduled, although these did not always occur. They were intended to be status updates.

[321]Mr. Wintrip did not personally ensure that Mr. Thompson and Mr. Welsh understood their responsibilities as independent experts. He relied on Mr. Thompson as an academic for his expertise in marketing and strategy, including retail location, as well as the operations of a distribution centre. Mr. Welsh was engaged due to his

experience “in the field”, particularly Nova Scotia, with a focus on distribution.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 113 -

[322]Mr. Wintrip had not worked with Mr. Welsh before and, in some instances, he had to discuss the limited scope of his retainer. He provided comments to Mr. Welsh

on occasion and “reined him in” when he strayed into accounting matters or calculation of losses where he was not qualified or which were not relevant. He chose not to rely on the calculations which Mr. Welsh had included in some email exchanges. He was not, however, concerned about Mr. Welsh’s independence. To the extent he had referenced them in his report, he accepted Mr. Welsh’s opinions.

[323]On cross-examination, Mr. Wintrip said he did not accept Mr. Welsh’s

opinion that operating results from 2006-2010, used by PwC, as a “reasonable proxy” for the results from 2001-2006, was a reasonable assumption. He did not accept it because he believed it was Mr. Welsh’s opinion at an early stage, before he fully understood the situation. He said that, in his report, Mr. Welsh said it was not reasonable due to locational issues.

[324]Similarly, Mr. Wintrip acknowledged to Mr. MacIntosh that he did not question the foundation of Mr. Welsh’s opinion on when Central would have erected a distribution centre, because he relied on his experience.

[325]Mr. Wintrip had worked previously with Mr. Thompson on another matter where he gave location analysis, and one other matter. They have also socialized to some degree over the years. It was he who suggested Mr. Thompson be retained.

[326]Mr. Wintrip did not reject any opinions which either Mr. Thompson or Mr. Welsh put forward. He accepted that the concepts which Mr. Thompson discussed regarding distribution centres were general, and agreed that they had a better appreciation of Central when they saw the operations at Lower South River.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 114 -

[327]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. Wintrip about communications with Mr. Thompson about assumptions which were being made. Mr. Wintrip said he relied on

Mr. Thompson’s conclusions about the lack of a documented plan in order to test the reasonableness of the assumptions. He agreed that he relied on the best evidence available for his loss quantification and ultimately shared the PwC assumptions about when Central would have proceeded with the new retail store and distribution centre in 2000. Mr. MacIntosh suggested that this ultimately meant that all of the discussions about corporate minutes and strategic planning had no impact on Mr. Wintrip’ s opinion, but Mr. Wintrip said that, without a documented plan, he had to look for any meeting notes or other documents which might be some evidence to substantiate the plans. It was necessary to include references to this in order to explain the foundation of his methodology. Since there was insufficient information, Mr. Wintrip’s evidence was that he had defaulted to the PwC assumptions.

[328]Mr. Wintrip did not recall if he had seen the correspondence between Mr. Croft and Ms. Tse. He recalled the letter from Kevin White to Mr. Croft. He told Mr. MacIntosh that he had not referred to that correspondence because he had accepted

what was said in the letter as the “launching point” for the assumptions which were employed.

[329]Mr. MacIntosh explored a number of email communications sent by Mr.

Thompson in which he questioned whether “one person could carry all of this in his head”. Mr. Wintrip agreed that this was probably referring to Mr. Smith, and agreed that some of Mr. Thompson’s comments regarding Mr. Smith were not professional. He was unaware of the basis on which Mr. Thompson had identified elements of Central’s

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 115 -

decision making on supply chain cost minimization, and agreed that he had not observed that type of complexity in Central’s operations.

[330]Mr. Wintrip acknowledged that he relied on the opinions of Mr. Thompson and Mr. Welsh as experts with regard to the Market Street location being superior to Lower South River. He said he was only required to determine whether the opinions were reasonable, which he concluded they were, based on financial results. He did not question Mr. Welsh’s qualifications to provide such opinion, but relied on his experience

in the industry in Nova Scotia. He also said that speaking to management on the issue would not necessarily yield an independent result.

[331]The elements of the loss calculated by Mr. Wintrip were essentially the same categories as the PwC report, although in a slightly different order. They adopted the same assumptions about the timing of opening a similar store to Market Street at Lower South River in May 2001, and the distribution centre in fiscal year 2006. However, he said he made different use of Market Street as a proxy and had other assumptions as well. Mr. Wintrip said that the loss he had calculated was based on a delay claim for a loss period of five years. He assumed that when the Market Street store opened, the losses stopped because the same level of sales was being achieved, which mitigated the loss.

[332]Mr. Wintrip prepared a table using the PwC estimated “but for sales” and “actual sales” from 2001 to 2014, and noted that, by 2006, the two were almost equal. In his view, after that period, any changes are due to factors other than the delay period. In contrast, PwC had, he said:

So, PwC’s approach was to take the actual results again, from 2006 to 2014, and shift them to the earlier, starting in 2001. And what they did in that process also is, in their “but for” scenario, they moved those actual results forward and then added an extra five

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 116 -

years of forecasted “but for” scenario to bring them back up to 2014. So, in other words, the 2006 to 2014 was shifted to represent 2001 to 2009, and then, as I say, they added another five-year period to bring the loss period up to 2014. And that’s in the “but for” scenario. And so what they do next is then they deduct the actual results . And so, in deducting the actual results, they deduct the same results from 2006 to 2014, plus they deduct the actual results at Lower South River from 2001 to 2005. And that’s how they set up their calculations. Essentially, the loss period is from 2001 to 2014.

[SF05824, 1:50:48-1:52:37]

[333]Mr. Wintrip agreed that the table he prepared included sales only and nothing else. He said it was only one measure of the loss. He agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that it was not a measure of loss or profitability, but said it indicated whether or not losses were being suffered and whether Central had gotten back to where it

should have been. He did not agree with PwC’s assumptions on costs.

[334]Later in his testimony, Mr. Wintrip said that the end result of the PwC calculations did not make sense to him because, in their “but for” scenario, PwC says

Central would have earned from 2001 to 2005 what they estimated for Market Street for 2010-2014, and they did not use actual results from 2006-2014, but inflation-adjusted results. Recreating PwC’s schedules, Mr. Wintrip isolated calculations from 2001-2005 and removed the analysis beyond 2005, which resulted in losses of an approximately $1.9 million lower amount. The margin calculations were also determined to be nearly $3.9 million lower.

[335]Mr. MacIntosh explored with Mr. Wintrip the Respondent’s interpretation of

Schedule 2 of the PwC report where 2010-2014 was used as a proxy:

…but I suggest to you, sir, that analysis is visually appealing when we look at the schedule. I can tell you when Mr. Rieksts made the argument, it certainly caught my attention. Oh, why do we bother doing all of this work and all of these calculations – we just take those first five columns. It seemed overly simplistic, but I suggest to you that it is superficial because it misconstrues Schedule 2, which is set up to overlay the time period of 2006-2014 back on top of 2001-2009 in order to get the “but for” results for 2001-2009, and for that reason of necessity, PwC had to have created those first five columns which simply recreate and project the years 2010-2014, not based on actuals, but based on the growth rates in those five years. And so that those first five left columns

are not actuals, they’re projections or, as Paul Bradley would say, it is analogous to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 117 -

pushing a pig through a python. You’d have to take those numbers and shove them back in through the earlier years. And he tells me - - he assures me you will understand this, as an experienced accountant, that where one time period is longer than the other, it is a mathematical certainty that the loss will equal or mirror the projected income of the missing years 2010-2014, which are merely projections. That it’s a mathematical certainty. Of course those five columns, by definition, by the analytical mode followed, must equal the net claim down below of - - the net amount of $7.8 million. Is that correct?

MR. WINTRIP: Well, what is correct is the net results of what Pricewaterhouse has done is those last five years of projections less the actual results from 2005 equate to their loss.

MR. MACINTOSH: And that’s not my question. I think you understand that’s not my question, Mr. Wintrip. My question is, what I just described, is that a fair description of the mathematical certainty of taking the accumulative total of those five years from 2010 to 2014? Of course they are going to match up with the line of $7.8 million. Am I correct?

MR. WINTRIP: That’s correct because you are in the “but for” scenario, adding together the years 2001-2009 and then subtracting them thereafter. So they offset each other.

[SF05834, 12:14-15:40]

[336]Mr. Wintrip agreed that the chart prepared by PwC, based on their updated report showing the “Net Income Before Taxes” for the Antigonish retail store (Lower South River), demonstrated that the loss period continued beyond the five years he had identified, although he did not agree with their analysis.

[337]Mr. Wintrip acknowledged, on cross-examination, his agreement with

PwC’s economic and industry comments.

[338]With respect to loss of vendor discounts, Mr. Wintrip said:

MR. RIEKSTS: So then if I go down to the loss of cash flow vendor discount, you set out a methodology there for those as well. Just describe that - - how you - - what methodology you employed there.

MR. WINTRIP: Correct. And this methodology is similar to what Pricewaterhouse has done. Again, the nature of the claim being that the DC that Central had established at Lower South River was not of the size that they had originally planned. And but for the expropriation, it’s claimed that they would have had more space available to them to manage purchases through that central location, and with greater purchases flowing through that central location, they are claiming that they would have attracted higher discounts from their vendors. And so what we’ve done, based on the information provided, is reviewed those purchases that management is saying would have flowed through that site. We’ve looked at agreements with Spancan that sets out the kind of discounts that they would be able to achieve on volumes and come up with a calculation of, had more purchases, more inventory been able to flow through there, that, you know, what kind of discounts - - additional incremental discounts could have been obtained.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 118 -

Now, with that kind of estimation, there are some uncertainties with it. And we can talk about that more now or later, but at the end of the day, it’s a “but for” scenario. We don’t know for sure what products would have flowed through a bigger warehouse, or in what quantities, but we make assumptions and come to a conclusion based on those assumptions.

MR. RIEKSTS: We can talk about that now, I guess, in terms of the uncertainties. If you go to your table, both for the - - I guess, yeah, let’s talk about the uncertainties then for the vendor discounts. So what are you speaking to?

MR. WINTRIP: Well, again, you’re coming up with a scenario that hasn’t happened, and so you have to make assumptions. And the first assumption you’re making is that you could have had a warehouse that would accommodate more purchases, first of all. The second assumption is that the quantities you’re assuming that you would have had the demand in your store to be able to sell those purchases, and therefore justify bringing the increased volumes through the warehouse. And so, there’s uncertainty with those volumes as to whether or not they would have been brought through. The other assumption is that, as we had discussed with Jim Murray, is sometimes the products that were brought through that DC were based on opportunity. So, did it make sense to bring certain products through versus others? It wasn’t just a matter of all products coming through the DC, it’s a matter of, you know, what makes sense to bring through a DC? And so, you know, if you have a vendor in Sydney, for instance, does it make sense to transport product all the way to Antigonish and then have it brought all the way back out to Sydney again, for instance, just as an example. You don’t know with absolute certainty, because it didn’t happen, what products would come through and what products wouldn’t come through that central warehouse. Even if there was the capacity available.

[SF05824, 52:40-56:42]

[339]Mr. Wintrip noted a number of adjustments which PwC had made with respect to vendor discounts and said he found the calculations uncertain. As a result, he reduced his low end of the range to nil. It was his opinion that a lot of the uncertainty came from the lack of documentation, which led to changes about what the plan was. He was concerned about a lack of support for the changes PwC had made. Mr. Wintrip stated that the range of losses for vendor discounts extended from nil to about $1.7 million and that the losses fell somewhere within that range.

[340]Mr. Wintrip said that he had applied a growth rate, but for the expropriation for the first year, based on what happened at Market Street in 2005-06 and the 2000-01 results for Lower South River. This was different from the approach ultimately used by PwC to use actual results adjusted back for inflation. For subsequent years, Mr. Wintrip

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 119 -

used the first year as a base and applied actual growth rates from the Lower South River store from 2002-2005. He assumed the planned Lower South River store would be the same as the Market Street store. He said that PwC had used growth rates from 2006 forward and then adjusted them back, which he did not believe was appropriate because different financial circumstances applied, using the example of the tax credit for home renovations in 2006 which boosted business.

[341]Mr. Wintrip also used the actual costs of sales, and the variable selling and delivery costs from 2001-2005. However, he used actual costs at Market Street for the period of 2006-2011 and adjusted for inflation. He said PwC has used the 2006 costs and adjusted them back to 2001. In his opinion, the biggest impact in their different approaches was in the actual costs of sales, as what PwC used was not as reflective of what the Lower South River store would have experienced. He said the Lower South River store would have been smaller and would have had a different format. In cross-examination, Mr. Wintrip said this was based on a 1992 plan which had been provided. Mr. Wintrip also believed that location has an impact on margins; PwC took the view that the same margins at Market Street would have resulted at Lower

South River, which he did not accept. In his view, PwC’s assumption in this regard was too broad.

[342]Mr. Wintrip also discussed the capital expenditure issue. He did not accept that the investment at Lower South River would have been at the same level as at Market Street. He said that PwC had used a calculation for depreciation instead, which, in his view, was not a cash item. He said that depreciation should be added

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 120 -

back and replaced with capital expenditures which are being incurred, and that the actual differential capital expenditure should be used.

[343]Mr. Wintrip also did not include a calculation of rent paid by the Market Street store to the owner of the land, which was a related company. He added back the rent expense instead. He said PwC had done this in an amendment and adjusted their depreciation calculation.

[344]Mr. Wintrip said that PwC changed its assumption about the cost of building a new store at Lower South River from the same as Market Street to a significantly lower amount, due to a different size and layout. He opined this might have an impact on the operating profits; he chose not to change the assumption about the cost to build at Lower South River. However, he said it raised a number of questions

which remained unanswered. Mr. MacIntosh observed that Ms. Rodenhiser acknowledged she had erred in assuming that the stores would be the same. On cross- examination, Mr. Wintrip said it would have been too complicated to start a new calculation.

[345]With respect to the distribution centre, Mr. Wintrip used the same approach to determine the loss of cash flow. There were actual results from 2006 going forward to 2014. Transfer profits were known for this period, but not for 2001-2005, so he used that data to determine what the transfer profits were as an overall percentage of the sales in the retail stores. He then applied them to the sales for 2001-2005 to estimate transfer profits but for the expropriation. He said this took actual results, and combined them with the market economics of the 2001-2005 period. He deducted the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 121 -

cost associated with the transfer profits to derive a figure; PwC had used the same approach in one of their amendments.

[346]Mr. Wintrip had used the same process for determining the loss period, resulting in a loss that was $1.5 million. There was also a change made by PwC to

account for transfer profits prior to 2005, using an estimate provided by Central’s management. Mr. Wintrip was not satisfied that the estimate resulted from a complete analysis. He suggested that the estimate varied by about 50% from what was recorded in the financial statements. He was concerned that basing their analysis on one year may not be representative. He ultimately concluded that if all vendors where discounts were given and transfer profits earned in 2012 were in place in 2001-2005, then the losses would be lower.

[347]Mr. Wintrip had the same issue with PwC’s approach in extending the period to 2014 for the distribution centre. Further, he did not include any adjustment for capital expenditure or depreciation for the distribution centre because he did not believe there was any incremental cost incurred. He said that the assumptions PwC made regarding the size of the retail store were not similarly made for the distribution centre.

[348]With respect to incremental future costs, Mr. Wintrip said that PwC had estimated temporary and longer term costs, based on management estimates. He said

these are not “out of pocket” costs, and they may not be incurred at all, or may be different, and therefore, uncertain. He said PwC had not done any analysis of what the incremental costs would be, because they had not looked at costs which would have been incurred but for the expropriation.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 122 -

[349]Where future costs were difficult to estimate, Mr. Wintrip said that the PwC figure represents the high end of the range he identified, while he assigned a value of nil at the low end of his range. He acknowledged that this was one of the biggest areas of difference between his revised report and the PwC conclusion. He said that, in his opinion, there was insufficient evidence to support it; one could never know what the costs would be and there was nothing to compare it to in order to look at incremental costs. Thus, he could not reach a conclusion on what those costs would be. He was aware that PwC had done a calculation, but said that they had not done a “but for”

calculation, and described it as speculative.

[350]Mr. Wintrip noted that, in its first report, PwC had talked about the possibility of a second site, and by the time of his revised report, a second site had been acquired. Because the incremental costs were unknown, this, in his view, added complexity to determining any loss. In the absence of a plan for what would have happened but for the expropriation, there is no basis for comparison. As a result, he estimated future costs at nil. The acquisition of the second site did not in any way change his opinion.

[351]Mr. Wintrip stated in his original report that “If it is determined that Central

should have considered alternative sites for the DC [distribution centre] sooner, the losses calculated by PwC would be lower.” In answer to a Board question, he said he did not have a view on when Central should have looked for an alternative site.

[352]Mr. Wintrip also said that the distribution centre at Market Street, which ultimately closed, made it uncertain what the future costs might be, because there would be no expenses for it and the retail store might benefit from the space.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 123 -

[353]Mr. Wintrip said that the new Sydney store represents mitigation to the losses claimed because it was opened earlier than it would have been; Central benefited from the earlier opening, so the results were deducted from the claim. He said that the approach which PwC had taken to this was similar to its calculations for the Lower South River store by deducting actual results from estimated figures without an adjustment for inflation. As a result of the change in financing costs, and opening Sydney earlier, there is a benefit to Central in his calculation, resulting in a negative figure, which he changed to nil.

[354]Mr. Wintrip also said that PwC had overestimated losses by three months by using fiscal year periods (February 1 to January 31) when the Lower South River store was estimated to open in May. He had deducted this overestimate in his

calculation. He did not disagree with Mr. MacIntosh’s suggestion that this was not material, saying, however, it was inconsistent. In his opinion, it would not have taken much effort to pro-rate the three month period. Further, he was unable to explain why PwC had brought losses up to 2014, the year before the preparation of his report.

[355]In Mr. Wintrip’s opinion, PwC’s approach considers all differences over the period they used are the result of the expropriation. He described this as a broad approach to attribute losses, and said it is difficult to extract specific impacts of

expropriation on the results, compared to “what would have happened anyway”. He said the lack of detailed documented plans forces the making of assumptions, and it is a challenge to determine how reasonable those assumptions are.

[356]Mr. MacIntosh challenged Mr. Wintrip on the subject of uncertainty in his


2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 124 -

I want to talk for a moment about uncertainty and its role in your report, Mr. Wintrip. I can tell you, again, that my - - I rephrase this respectfully - - our side of the table is concerned that - - I don’t mean this in a derogatory sense, but that you took the easy way out, didn’t do your investigation and put a value of zero on it. When it wasn’t easy, whenever you seemed to place the term uncertainty quite readily, when based on my research of your professional standards, it is your positive obligation to go out and get that information and not stop until you do get it, unless it’s obviously unreasonable. In this instance, you have acknowledged that both PwC and Central were reasonably accessible to you at all times, and yet you made no inquiries and, instead, chose t o say, well, it’s uncertain and therefore I’m going to put a low value of zero on it. I suggest to you, Mr. Wintrip, that that is unfair, and not in accordance with the high standards that you try to follow. What do you say to that?

MR. WINTRIP: The issue of applying zeroes to the low end of the range doesn’t mean that I’m saying the value of losses is zero. What I’m saying is it lies somewhere between zero and the high end of the range that I’ve calculated. And depending on how those calculations are viewed by the Board Member, the determination or conclusion will fall within that range. To address the issue of not following up with Pricewaterhouse on certain issues, again, that was done through written interrogatories, and through those written interrogatories came responses from Pricewaterhouse. And then through those further responses from Pricewaterhouse, more questions arise. Using the example of vendor discounts, as an example, there isn’t any more work or information that can be done to further support those calculations, and if there was, either Pricewaterhouse would have done it, or we would have done it. There’s assumptions made about the level of purchases that would have flowed through an expanded or larger distribution centre. Nobody can ever say with exact precision what that level of purchases would have been. You just can’t prove that; there’s no way to prove it.

But when we talk about uncertainty - - that brings uncertainty to the equation. But what brings further uncertainty is, in the original Pricewaterhouse report, they assumed a certain level of purchases and then changed a significant number of those numbers, subsequently, based on comments that we made and additional information that came forward. And so, now, the confidence in those numbers gets weakened. Now, is there more work I can do to support them? There’s nowhere really else to go. And so, at that point, you have uncertainty. And so we create this range, and as I say, at the bottom of my range I say zero for vendor discounts. And at the top of the range, if I go back to my calculations, the number is - - whatever it is. But my conclusion is not zero.

MR. MACINTOSH: I do want to come back to vendor discounts, as I will be suggesting to you you are fundamentally misinformed, and I’ll see if I can assist you in that. But before I get to that, at the risk of being way over my depth in the area of your profession, I would suggest when you say your value in the low end is zero, and the high end is a million dollars, you’re giving your professional opinion to the Board that either of those two extremes, or anything in the middle, would be reasonable, in your professional opinion, for the Chair to adopt.

MR. WINTRIP: Correct.

MR. MACINTOSH: So you are giving an opinion that zero dollars are - - in fact minus $254,000 - - that, out of this whole expropriation, it is your opinion that Central, arguably, is ahead of the game by $254,000. And that is actually your professional opinion?

MR. WINTRIP: Based on the assumptions I have made, yes.

[SF05827, 14:16-19:57]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 125 -

[357]Mr. MacIntosh suggested that Mr. Wintrip had failed to make any inquiries of Central or PwC when they had responded to comments made by Mr. Welsh regarding cross-docking. Mr. MacIntosh suggested to Mr. Wintrip that the revisions gave a high degree of reliability, but Mr. Wintrip said that it remained uncertain, and so he created a range which started at zero. He maintained this was professionally correct. He said that, when information became available late in the process, he did not inquire into it.

[358]Mr. Wintrip preferred to use the term “reasonable”, rather than

“conservative”, in assessing an approach to revisions made by Central and PwC. He said that excluding data for which there is no support is a reasonable approach, when questioned about how Central adjusted the transfer profits. He agreed that the removal of the Guysborough store results was a reasonable adjustment, providing more certainty, having reviewed the financial statements.

[359]Another example of “uncertainty”, which Mr. MacIntosh explored with Mr. Wintrip, was the future costs of a second distribution centre site. He said the information was provided to the Respondent once the Riversbend (Pomquet) property was acquired, but that Mr. Wintrip had concluded this was complex and uncertain. Mr. Wintrip had not inquired about it and received no analysis about it. He suggested it was up to the Claimant to say what the plan for that property was. Mr. Wintrip said he was aware of the November 4, 2015 report from PwC, which included adjustments about that site, but said it was an estimate and not what would have happened but for the expropriation. He was not aware of Mr. Welsh’s comments on future costs and

suggested Mr. Welsh was not qualified to opine on them.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 126 -

[360]Mr. MacIntosh questioned the late disclosure of a large amount of material

from Mr. Wintrip’s working file. Mr. Wintrip said that he had not understood the extent of what he was expected to provide.

[361]Mr. Wintrip said that, after reviewing additional information, he did not “feel comfortable” in making changes to his revised report. While Mr. MacIntosh reviewed

market conditions, which PwC testified it used in deciding that the Market Street results could be used as a proxy for Lower South River, Mr. Wintrip maintained his view that his methodology was better.

Donald Thompson

[362]Mr. Thompson is the author of two reports filed in this matter; the first dated September 14, 2015, and the second dated December 27, 2015. The second report was a revision due to additional information which became available from Central, including the Daniels report, which Mr. Thompson referred to as an additional strategic planning exercise report.

[363]Mr. Thompson is a retired professor and, currently, Senior Scholar in the Schulich School of Business at York University. He has taught in business schools in a number of universities, both nationally and internationally. He has been a consultant for a number of companies nationally and internationally, including large multinationals in the areas of marketing and management. Mr. Thompson was qualified to give opinion evidence in this matter as an expert on business management, marketing and strategy in the areas of retail management, marketing, distribution and supply chain managements.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 127 -

[364]At the beginning of his testimony, Mr. Thompson noted a number of corrections to his December report, most of which were not material to his opinion.

[365]Mr. Thompson had worked first with Mr. Wintrip in 2005 on an Ontario case. He prepared his reports in this matter to provide background for, and assistance to, Mr. Wintrip. He said he had not initially understood it would be a report filed in this proceeding. He had been asked to comment on assertions and assumptions in the original PwC report, and that was ultimately narrowed to four issues:

22.…The first three of these involve assumptions set out in the PwC Report as the basis for Central’s claim:

1.The assumption that the Central would have built a DC at the LSR site in 2001 or earlier except for the anticipated expropriation of land by the Province;

2.The assumption that there was a need to site the DC at the LSR location, and that this was of such importance to Central that no consideration was given at the time to a DC site in another location in Antigonish (or elsewhere); and

3.The assumption that the factors that should be considered in calculating

Central’s net loss from foregone DC discounts during the period 2001 to 2005 are those set out in the PwC report.

23.The fourth matter relates to the benefits and drawbacks of Central’s Market

Street retail location compared to the previous retail location at Lower South River.

[Exhibit S-38(c), p. 7]

[366]Mr. Thompson attended the meeting at Central’s Lower South River

offices with Mr. Wintrip, Mr. MacIntosh, Mr. Murray and Ms. MacPherson, at the beginning of his assignment. His intention at that time was to learn about the operations and history of the business; he said he was sure they talked about the expansion plans at that time. Subsequently, he reviewed documentation which was made available.

[367]Mr. Thompson acknowledged that Central’s representatives were “…most forthcoming and generous with their time…” in providing requested information. He

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 128 -

agreed, however, that he had never had any discussion with Mr. Smith about the distribution centre. On cross-examination, he agreed that perhaps he should have interviewed Mr. Smith.

[368]In answer to Board questions, Mr. Thompson agreed that his observations of the yard at Lower South River regarding inventory loading and unloading were that it was not an efficient operation, and that a larger distribution centre would counteract that.

[369]Mr. MacIntosh referred Mr. Thompson to the exchange of correspondence between Ms. Tse of the County and Mr. Croft of the Department, which mentioned the Central property at Lower South River, as well as Mr. White’s letter to Mr. Croft.

Mr. Thompson agreed that the references to Central’s expansion were part of an “anthropological paper trail”, but said they only spoke to intention, rather than any discussion of implementation of plans or the strategic steps to accomplish them; they did not cause him to change his opinion about the lack of documentation. He confirmed that correspondence from the County did not say, specifically, what the expansion was to be, nor did Mr. White’s letter say when the expansion was to occur.

[370]Mr. Thompson identified the term “integrated warehouse or DC” which, he

said, had been used by PwC, as a problem in this proceeding:

I came to realize yesterday this phrase may be a central problem in many of the discussions and disagreements we’ve been having. The term integrated warehouse - - but the term integrated DC and DC comes out of the PwC report. That term - - those terms, integrated warehouse, or DC have a specific meaning in marketing, and I think anybody in retailing would interpret that to mean integrated into a supply chain, and that implies much more than just a large storage area. It implies truck docking and implies an elaborate conveyor system that takes goods from one - - from suppliers and takes them to loading docks. It implies a switching system that switches them onto the right conveyor to take them to the right dock. Think of the way your suitcase gets to the right plane when you check into the airport. And it implies a very sophisticated software system to drive all this. Now, I’m not talking about a Walmart system or a Target system, but there is warehouse software that is integral to what everybody I know conceives as a DC. So when I see the terms DC, or integrated warehouse, or integrated DC in the PwC

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 129 -

report, I assumed initially that we were talking about a complex distribution warehouse. And I say that because - - and so all of the material in my first section, which says there’s no evidence of this, reflects the fact that to build a DC with a good software system driving it, the suppliers suggest, takes a period of three years. And so when I say - - when I focus on the fact that no committee deals with this, that none of the reports deal with it - - I mean, Mr. Smith said he had it in his head. I am talking about what I understood and I believe Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Welsh understood - -

. . .

MR. RIEKSTS: … but just in terms of what your view of what Central and PwC’s report -

-how they use the - - what your understanding is what they use as a integrated warehouse. What do you say to that?

MR. THOMPSON: Sorry. What do I see as integrated warehouse?

MR. RIEKSTS: In your report, you’re talking about Central’s use of integrated warehouse? That phrase, yeah. And I’m just trying to get from you exactly what your understanding of that is, what that phrase is - - Central’s use of that phrase.

MR. THOMPSON: My understanding of that phrase is common usage, marketing and retailing - - is of a warehouse which is integrated into a supply chain. No one builds a warehouse because they want - - because of its aesthetic. You build it because it’s one element in minimizing the cost of a supply chain from goods leaving a supplier’s dock to be on the shelf of the retail store. And it has, as I said, a number of elements, mechanical elements, software elements, computer elements, sensor elements , and which requires a long implementation period. And that is why I found it amazing - - amazing is perhaps the right - - curious perhaps, that there was no planning for this, there were no records for this, there was no discussion committees, there was no discussion and strategic planning exercises. Now if, as Mr. MacIntosh suggested yesterday, this was just - - it was called an integrated DC but it was just going to be a big shed with a roof to keep the snow off, then my analysis in the first section is unnecessary. And if that’s the case, I want to publicly apologize to Mr. Smith. Because, if I implied that he was not being completely honest in saying that he had all of this in his head - - if we’re just dealing with building a shed, I was wrong and I apologize. If we’re dealing with the concept of an integrated DC, as I certainly had assumed, then my analysis stands.

[SF05836, 31:43-37:40]

[371]Mr. Thompson said that the distribution centre at Lower South River was not computerized, and there appeared to be a long storage period for inventory.

[372]Mr. Thompson agreed, on cross-examination, he knew, as early as June 2015, from his visit that Central had only what he called a partially integrated distribution centre, but said that what he was trying to ascertain was what Central planned to do in 2001. He said this was a different issue.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 130 -

[373]Mr. Thompson said that if Central’s plan was for an integrated distribution centre due to the number of suppliers, given the required implementation period, and the software required, he would have expected there would be related documentation. Here, none was made available. He said he had never seen a business expansion plan that did not have documentation or a serious paper trail. He did not agree that Central

would not have had this where it was, in Mr. MacIntosh’s words, “under the shadow of expropriation”. He had commented, in his report, on the fact that at least some documents were retained or made available from third parties.

[374]On cross-examination, Mr. Thompson acknowledged that if the description of an integrated distribution centre, as he understood it to be commonly used in industry, was not what Mr. Smith planned for Lower South River, then the first portion of his report is not relevant. However, he said that his discussions with Jim Murray had led him to believe what was being discussed was an integrated distribution centre. When asked about Mr. Welsh’s statements in his report that the term was not commonly

used in the building material industry, and that what Central was planning would be called a consolidated distribution centre in the industry, Mr. Thompson stood by his contention regarding the use of the term. He said he would have made the same assumptions about a consolidated distribution centre.

[375]While he raised questions in his report casting doubt on Central’s plans,

which Mr. MacIntosh said should have been asked of Central, Mr. Thompson agreed he did not, in fact, ask the questions; he merely stated them.

[376]According to Mr. Thompson, there were references to plans for other stores in the summary of the corporate minutes. He found nothing in the materials

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 131 -

relating to strategic planning exercises before 2001 about the expansion plans. His report indicated he “…expected some record of the anthropological trail….” He

therefore concluded that there was “little or no documentary evidence” of Central’s plans in 2001 to have a new retail store and distribution centre at Lower South River, whether it was either an integrated operation, as he understood it, or otherwise.

[377]With respect to whether the distribution centre had to be located at Lower South River or adjacent to a retail store, Mr. Thompson said:

If you look at the assumptions in the PwC report, at 13(f) - - let me go back and look this up. I find this term rather interesting. For the retail store, they say it would have built a retail store at Lower South River – this is 13(e) on page 2 of the first of the June PwC report. But in (f) they say it would have commenced operation of a distribution centre, period – no locations specified. Now, that was a question that raised - - produced the discussion. If at LSR you had - - post expropriation you did not have enough land for a retail store or for a warehouse. You had two options: you could move the retail store, which they did, or you could move the warehouse. And one reading of the PwC wording is that they anticipated the option that the warehouse could be relocated. I argue here that there was an advantage, not to one or the other, but to not having them together on traffic grounds, aesthetic grounds and cultural grounds. But that was - - in any case, that is the foundation for my asking the second question.

MR. RIEKSTS: So if you could just take through the aesthetic and cultural grounds, because you do speak to those in this report. At paragraph 56 you started t his. Can you take me through that? You say there are basic principles of organization, culture and design that suggest it’s a bad idea. Can you speak to exactly what you’re talking about there?

. . .

MR. THOMPSON: Well, this comes in the context of the discussion why I think - - the argument is why I think you should not locate a DC next to a - - and again, I’m talking about a complex DC with large truck bays and a lot of trucks coming in, and a lot of machinery and a lot of people. I say there are traffic logistic and aesthetic concerns. The aesthetic concerns are obvious. The traffic concerns are clear if you think of a number of 18-wheel trucks on the highway waiting to get into the warehouse because the LSR has 100 foot frontage. The culture and design consideration suggest it’s a bad idea to have a retail store and a warehouse in close proximity. And I suggested - - I do not know any big box warehouse - - any big box store in North America that has its DC in close proximity. Now, Mr. Smith mentioned one in Quebec, which I have no knowledge of, but I know that example.

MR. RIEKSTS: And so what’s your conclusion - - sorry.

MR. THOMPSON: Well, the reason is that you have different organization cultures in a

warehouse and in a retail store. There are different personal skills, different

compensation systems, which is very important. There’s different degrees of unionization. Retail seeks people with people skills, communication skills, customer

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 132 -

solving problem skills. Warehousing logistics are efficiency driven and require physical abilities, and the workers tend to be unionized. And when you mix cultures like that, you get problems. And I suggested in here - - the example which is most commonly used, which is that of newspapers which split the three functions of a newspaper and put them in three different physical places and keep people as far apart as they can. One of those being logistics and delivery. So it is my opinion that it is accepted wisdom that you would not want to mix those two cultures if you could avoid it.

MR. RIEKSTS: And speaking of just the actual site itself, I think one of the things you were looking at here you say is the assumption there was a need to site the planned DC at LSR? That was one of the things you were looking at in this assumption - - that there was a need. Paragraph 62, you refer to a response that was given to a information request – May 27, 2015. And could you just speak to that in terms of the - - what you say this is indicating to you from the business management strategy side and when it comes to whether a DC was necessary for that site?

MR. THOMPSON: Well, my conclusion is in 63 and it’s - - having been informed of the expropriation, and understanding you couldn’t put a retail store and a DC on the same lot, one of the alternatives was moving the DC and leaving retail where it was. And that’s all

that the option was not just moving the retail store. If were desirable to leave the retail store there, the alternative was to move the DC. And there were some advantages and virtues to that.

MR. RIEKSTS: But prior to that, so prior to learning about the expropriation, what’s your conclusion on whether they - - Central had to site the DC there? You’re looking at the assumption that they had to do that – that there weren’t other sites.

MR. THOMPSON: I’m assuming they had the alternative of moving the DC, yes. Now, could the - - well, no, I’ve accepted that alternative that you couldn’t put both on the same site.

[SF05836, 48:16-54:47]

[378]Mr. Thompson had said in his report that, other than the Canac Marquis location, he had never heard of a distribution centre being located next to a retail store. On cross-examination, however, he agreed that Mr. Welsh had told him of one in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

[379]Mr. MacIntosh explored certain comments in an email communication which Mr. Thompson had with counsel on June 4, 2015:

…if we go over to page 249, about 10 or 12 lines from the bottom is where it starts to get interesting. “Every indication from our discussions was that it was Stephen Smith’s intentions to build a big box store at the Lower South River location and that it was and is

their intention to expand the DC at Lower South River, but move lumber storage to a new location.” That, by the way is not the testimony of Mr. Smith, the bracketed reference, but let’s continue: “Linda MacPherson argues persuasively that the long delay in taking any action on the DC or the retail store was due to uncertainty over highway placement and being unwilling or unable to commit to major expenditures without knowing the details and timing of their financial compensation from the government. Absent this uncertainty

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 133 -

they argue they would have completed the DC on the Lower South River site by 2001.” - here’s the key - “The date is feasible because their concept of a DC only required refitting two existing buildings and adding one new building.” So as of June 4, 2015, you were persuasively convinced that the assumptions upon which PwC built its report were fair and reasonable. You found Linda MacPherson, in particular, persuasive. The pieces of the puzzle fit together and made sense to you from a marketing point of view. Would you agree, Mr. Thompson?

MR. THOMPSON: The arguments were feasible and persuasive, and my conclusion, as far as you read, is correct but, remember, this is - -

MR. MACINTOSH: I’m just talking about this day. We’ll move on.

MR. THOMPSON: It’s at this point we start - - increasingly understand there’s no plan and no documentation.

MR. MACINTOSH: At this point - -

MR. THOMPSON: It is perfectly feasible to build a concept of DC with what they had.

MR. MACINTOSH: No, you said - - you went further, you said the date is feasible.


MR. MACINTOSH: As a marketing expert - -

MR. THOMPSON: But not without prior planning.

MR. MACINTOSH: As a marketing expert, more familiar with macro marketing than micro marketing, but as a marketing expert, Mr. Thompson, based upon all of your observations and all the questions that were answered for you, you had formed a preliminary conclusion – I’m not suggesting anything more – but at that point, both your head and your belly were telling you, yeah, this all makes sense. Is that fair?

MR. THOMPSON: It’s absolutely true. We started with the assumptions of the PwC report as being correct. That was the starting point in the analysis.

[SF05838, 1:22:50-1:26:03]

[380]The email communication continued with initial conclusions on the part of Mr. Thompson that Central had delayed from 1999 to 2005 with a distribution centre

due to “uncertainty about location of the highway and uncertainty about compensation”; that Central intended to build a distribution centre at Lower South River, saying “the economics…are strong”; and, that Ms. MacPherson and Mr. Murray “…are persuasive when they say that was Steven Smith’s priority”. Mr. Thompson said he had not formed his final conclusion at this time.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 134 -

[381]Mr. MacIntosh continued to explore this with Mr. Thompson:

…So I want to freeze flash this moment, Mr. Thompson. At this point, based upon your marketing professionalism and everything you had learned, it all made sense. Before we start talking about the anthropological paper trail, or the lack of it. Before we get into that stuff, you had formed the preliminary opinion that the assumptions in the PwC report were appropriate and made sense. Is that correct?


MR. MACINTOSH: So let’s turn the page, then, and see what changes. Page 305 –

eight days later. Third paragraph down: “My initial assumption was that we should accept this, even though there were no memos, no documentation, no applications for permits, not even a description of what an integrated warehouse was to be.” And of course you understand why there were no memos and no applications for permits, because they couldn’t do anything until the water came in, correct? You understood that.

MR. THOMPSON: I’m not sure I understood that at the time, but I point out the absence of these documents.

MR. MACINTOSH: You don’t recall being told about the water when you met with Jim and Linda?

MR. THOMPSON: I believe we were, but if I connected the two, I don’t recall it.

MR. MACINTOSH: So may not have connected the most fundamental basic fact that they couldn’t build the DC and the retail until they got water that the Fire Marshall demand that they have.

MR. THOMPSON: But you are using - - they are using DC, which implies a very long planning period.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well, we’re not going to chase that rabbit’s tail some more. You knew at the time that they couldn’t go ahead with either the retail store or the DC until they got Fire Marshall approval, which meant municipal water, correct?

MR. THOMPSON: A number of approvals, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: So let’s continue on. You say the claim made sense if, as argued, they needed a central DC to get them their discounts. And of course, Linda MacPherson and Jim Murray weren’t talking about vendor discounts, were they?


MR. MACINTOSH: They were?

MR. THOMPSON: I believe so, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K. You go on to say the DC would not likely have been the 50,000 sq. ft. DC referred to now. How could you state such an opinion, Mr. Thompson? What market research data did you do to contradict what Steve Smith said they were going to be doing?

MR. THOMPSON: This was based on existing warehouse buildings, and I think this reflects something that Jim Murray told us.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 135 -

MR. MACINTOSH: You think. Well there’s nothing in the record, and Jim Murray has been here and he’s testified and he said nothing to that effect, Mr. Thompson.

MR. THOMPSON: That is my recollection.

MR. MACINTOSH: And you go on to say the DC would have been something smaller, based on the existing warehouse buildings. Well you’re half right – it would have been based on the existing warehouse buildings, but upon what facts and evidence and research did you formulate your opinion that the DC would have been smaller? None, correct?

MR. THOMPSON: Several months after the fact, I don’t recall what that paragraph was based on.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K. And then you then go on: “The contrary argument is that they could have built a DC in 2001 and did not.” Were you asked to develop contrary arguments, Mr. Thompson? Or were you asked to determine whether it was fair and reasonable for PwC to assume that Steve Smith would have built in 2000. You weren’t asked to be an advocate developing contrary arguments, were you?

MR. THOMPSON: Learning curve.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., let’s continue on. Gets more interesting. “The DC would have fit on their former pre-expropriation property under almost any assumptions. They had 49 acres, they needed perhaps 10 acres for a new DC. It probably would have involved acquiring an adjacent property to provide a second road access.” Well, you were speculating there, weren’t you? You had no basis, you hadn’t asked, you didn’t know they already had a second access road.

. . .

MR. THOMPSON: I did not know they had a second access road.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., so you were speculating rather than inquiring. Let’s move on. The second last paragraph – and here’s where, suddenly, there is a massive 180 degree turnabout – you say: “I now think they may not have had any plans for a DC in 2001. What changed my opinion was reviewing on November 21, 2005, a two-page email from Robert Pineo of Patterson Palmer,” apparently their legal counsel at the time, sent to Linda MacPherson. This is after establishment of the new Market Street store and after establishment of the DC at South River. Mr. Thompson, everything up to this point, your every marketing instinct was it was good. How the Patterson Palmer document gets interpreted, or misconstrued, or properly construed, is not your role or function. It is for this Chair – it shouldn’t even be before this Chair, but it is, so she’ll determine it. But it had nothing to do with your professional skills as a marketing person, correct? And yet it caused you to totally change your opinion.

MR. THOMPSON: It - - I thought it was a relevant piece of evidence. I did then and I do now.

. . .

MR. MACINTOSH: So then you should have gone to Mr. Wintrip and said, well, should we create an alternate business valuation based upon the year 2003? That would have been the logical thing, if you’re an expert - - an independent expert, then that’s what you would do. But instead you simply form an opinion that he wasn’t going build in 2001.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 136 -

MR. THOMPSON: I do not recommend to Mr. Wintrip what shape his report should take.

MR. MACINTOSH: Did you ever go to Steve Smith and say, Mr. Smith, what is this all about? This doesn’t reconcile with your testimony. You didn’t, did you?


MR. MACINTOSH: But then you read his discovery and heard his very fulsome explanation. Did that change your mind back to where you were before you read the Patterson memo?

MR. THOMPSON: This - - given my assumption as to what a DC was, this was one piece of evidence, along with a total absence - - other absence of a documentary trail of planning for a DC. Part of the evidence - -

MR. MACINTOSH: Mr. Thompson, my question was, after having read the Steve Smith discovery where he fully answered all questions put to him regarding the Patterson Palmer emails, having read that explanation, did you then return to your previous marketing perspective and form the opinion that it may - - was reasonable, and all the evidence suggests he was going to go ahead in 2000? Did you do that? I suggest you didn’t. You stuck by your position and didn’t move an inch.

MR. THOMPSON: My position was, as in paragraph 50, that there was no documentation of a DC, period. And Mr. Smith’s testimony did not change my view that there was no documentation at that period.

MR. MACINTOSH: And anywhere, in any of your text books in marketing or in any other area of expertise, can you find me a principle that says a thing does not exist unless it’s documented in corporate minutes, or a strategic business plan?

MR. THOMPSON: I have never seen a major strategic initiative, or major implementation initiative in any business, ever, without documentation.

MR. MACINTOSH: Have you seen one now, Mr. Thompson. Do you accept the fact now, and did you acknowledge out in the hall, that you have seen one now?

MR. THOMPSON: If we are talking about a shed, your term, then no documentation was required.

MR. MACINTOSH: Don’t go by my terminology, sir, go by all of the evidence and information that Jim Murray and Linda MacPherson gave you, and Steve Smith, through hundreds, if not thousands of hours of his employees and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of his lawyer kept feeding you all of that information. You’ve been provided all of that.


MR. MACINTOSH: Does it cause you to now acknowledge that, despite the lack of anthropological paper trail, you accept without question that Steve Smith’s - - all of the evidence would suggest - - reasonably suggest to you that he was going to go ahead as he said he was going to go ahead?

MR. THOMPSON: You’ve dodged the point, sir. If he was going to go ahead with a DC, as the concept is understood in marketing and retailing, then I would have expected to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 137 -

see documentary evidence. If he was going ahead with something much less as, for example, a shed, I would not have expected to see documentation.

MR. MACINTOSH: Mr. Thompson, you know very well I am not giving evidence, I’m asking you to restrict yourself to the evidence you’ve been provided. And you’ve been given all kinds of it. I’m asking you, sir, do you, despite your prior full life history of apparently macro marketing issues in some pretty high circles you testified that you’ve never seen an entrepreneur businessman like Steve Smith make plans to build something without having plans. Do you now acknowledge that your perspective was limited and that there are people like Steve Smith, who are called entrepreneurs, who go ahead – have things in their heads, and then when they’re ready to roll they just get it done?

MR. THOMPSON: I’m trying to figure out whether I dislike more being called a macro marketer or Walmart clone, but that aside, if he was going to build a DC, I do not acknowledge that he could have done it without plans. If he was going to build a shed, I certainly acknowledge he could have done it. That’s the best answer I can give you.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well, let me just try a little bit harder and then we’ll move on. Mr. Smith never said he wasn’t going to have plans. What he said in his discovery, sir, was:

“There was no sense in me making plans after May of 1998, because I knew I couldn’t do anything until I got my water. And I knew there was no sense in June, July, August, September, October, November, December or January 1999 of spending money and wasting money on those plans because the Province had told me I couldn’t build until they would tell me where they were going to put their highway. ”

And it wasn’t until fourteen years later that they finally told him where they were going to put the property, and they expropriated his lands. So why should he have documents?

MR. THOMPSON: Because if what you just said is correct, then assumption - - paragraph 13(f) in the PwC report is incorrect, and that affects their conclusions.

MR. MACINTOSH: I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’m sure my friend will ask you if you wish, or you may explain it to us.

MR. THOMPSON: It is the assumption, sir, that a company would have commenced operation of a distribution centre in the physical year ending January 31, 2001, absent the expropriation.

. . .

MR. MACINTOSH: Yes, and that has been the position of Steve Smith all along. And then you go on in the balance of page 308 to opine and comment on the opinions of Patterson Law. And then at the end, again, you say there is no mention nor was there apparently any discussion of the DC. In fact, again, the evidence is clear that you’re wrong in that Mr. Thompson, and we heard from the people who were at that meeting. We’ve heard from Kevin White. We’ve heard from Steve Smith. We’ve heard from Linda MacPherson. But more importantly, and thank goodness, we’ve got the notes of Linda MacPherson at that meeting, and they refer, on at least two separate occasions, to DC. Why did you not note that in your memo, Mr. Thompson?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 138 -

MR. THOMPSON: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sorry, if you’re making reference to - - I thought you were making a reference to S82 and I didn’t know where it was.

MR. MACINTOSH: No, well I - - S82 is what I just - -

MR. THOMPSON: You at one point said page 308, and I don’t have a page 308.

MR. MACINTOSH: That’s in the upper right hand corner.

MR. RIEKSTS: Bruce, you put down the wrong - - you’re talking about Linda’s notes from 2006. This is not the same date.

MR. MACINTOSH: I haven’t referred him to the exhibit. He is referring to the Patterson documents. And were you aware in the Patterson documents, Mr. Thompson, that there was also - - there were not only the two emails from Patterson, there was a one or two- page I believe, handwritten notes of Linda MacPherson of one of those meetings, and in it she at least twice refers to DC? You didn’t focus on that.

MR. THOMPSON: The notes that I received were illegible.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well, did you ask to have them made legible?


[SF05838, 1:35:20-1:49:58]

[382]In his report, however, Mr. Thompson said he was not questioning the veracity of the representatives of Central.

[383]Mr. Thompson was of the opinion that the Market Street location was

“dramatically better” than Lower South River as a retail site. He considered it supe rior for “do-it-yourself” customers, impulse and convenience shoppers. He said that Lower South River was better for lumber, and contractor or professional sales. Sales were better at Market Street partly due to location, size, and what he called the “power centre” of Wal-Mart, Superstore, Staples and Central.

[384]Mr. Thompson said this was not surprising, and to be expected at this new store. He opined that there were a lot of customers walking across the parking lot, but agreed that he had not seen anyone going from one store to another, or across Market Street. In his view, whether one walked or drove from one store to another was not

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 139 -

relevant to his conclusion that the stores are competitors. On cross-examination, Mr. Thompson agreed that increased customer traffic was not a justification for moving to a new location.

[385]Mr. Thompson considered that the Market Street area satisfied many

consumer needs, and in particular, offered the opportunity to “comparison shop”, as well as unlimited parking. There is nothing similar, in his opinion, at Lower South River. In his view, the move to Market Street was “brilliant” and pre-empted competition from businesses like Home Depot for fifty years. He described it as strategically “very clever”. He thought it would have attracted customers from other similar businesses in Antigonish, who would not have gone to the Lower South River location.

[386]According to Mr. Thompson, it was important to consider what would have happened if Central had not moved to Market Street. If Central stayed at Lower South River, some customers would have gone to other stores at Market Street, or to other stores in Antigonish which carried similar hardline products, and sales would, therefore, have decreased. He considered that Wal-Mart, for example, carried similar products, and customers would consider it to be a competitor of Central. However, Mr. Thompson confirmed he did not undertake marketing research to support his conclusions on the decrease in sales at Lower South River.

[387]Increased sales at Market Street would also mean more product flowing through the distribution centre, which would have meant more profits for the distribution centre.

[388]Further, Mr. Thompson said that if Central had added another retail building at Lower South River, it would have had to upgrade its existing facilities over

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 140 -

time as it was Central’s ‘flagship store”; it would have to have the look and standard of its other large stores, which, he says, customers expect.

[389]Mr. MacIntosh challenged Mr. Thompson on a lack of market research and analysis in his report. Mr. Thompson said that he was asked to comment on the assertions in the PwC report in order to assist Mr. Wintrip, and he had not been asked to do such research or analysis. He said he did not know how he could have done that since Central could not provide the information he would have needed. He said, however, he understood why Central no longer had this information.

[390]Mr. MacIntosh explored with Mr. Thompson how he might have

corroborated the assumptions in Mr. Wintrip’s report. He stated that he had never attempted to influence the reports of Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Welsh, and they did not try to influence his report. While the three of them discussed their reports, they did so, in his words, as “devil’s advocates”.

[391]Mr. MacIntosh questioned whether Mr. Thompson had conducted a location analysis regarding Market Street. He said his opinion was based on his experience, but he had not undertaken any analysis. The research he undertook was asking the questions which were submitted through counsel. He had reviewed the Daniels report and said that the most relevant thing about it was the lack of a reference to a distribution centre. He went further and said:

The Daniels study was not a strategic business plan. He may have called it that but it was a series of operating suggestions which had no relevance in my view, to the issues I was reporting on to Mr. Wintrip.

[SF05838, 39:10-39:40]

[392]Mr. Thompson strongly dismissed Mr. Daniels’ statement that Wal-Mart is not a competitor for Central. He did not think that any marketing person would disagree

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 141 -

that competing firms are in the eye of the consumer. However, he did not dispute that he had not had any discussions with Mr. Smith, or anyone else, about the level of competition in Central’s operations. He was never asked to do an assessment of Central’s competition.

[393]Mr. Thompson agreed that, in July 2015, he was being reminded that Central was not Home Depot. He raised numerous questions in email correspondence with Mr. Welsh, and copied to Mr. Wintrip. Mr. MacIntosh questioned why he had not asked Mr. Smith instead. Mr. Thompson said he considered Mr. Welsh would have the answers.

[394]In his report, Mr. Thompson commented on the net loss of discounts. While he agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that he had no expertise to opine on the discounts, he said he was merely commenting on the assumption in the PwC report. In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Thompson said that taking advantage of discounts might require additional space.

J.A. Sandy Welsh

[395]Sandy Welsh, of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, provided reports under his business name, EBIT Management Consultants. Mr. Welsh has had many years of experience in Atlantic Canada in the building materials industry, in particular with inventory management, distribution, vendor negotiations and discounts relating to building materials, hardware and hardlines. After establishing his own consulting company, he was most recently a business development manager with a large chain of building materials centres.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 142 -

[396]Mr. Rieksts sought to have Mr. Welsh qualified as an expert to give opinion evidence on: retail, wholesale, and distribution of lumber and building materials; hardware and hardlines; retail and distribution centre design and layout and locations; and financial operations of a DC business, including vendor listings and discounts. Mr.

MacIntosh objected to Mr. Welsh’s qualification with respect to “financial operations of a distribution business”. He also objected to the admissibility of a second (revised) report which Mr. Welsh had prepared, submitting it was materially different from his first report and filed late without explanation.

[397]After submissions by counsel, the Board ruled that Mr. Welsh’s

qualifications should be limited to exclude any opinion on the quantification of loss. The Board also ruled the revised report admissible, with the exception of a new schedule which was added to revise quantification of lost discounts. The reasons for the Board’s rulings are on the record.

[398]Mr. Welsh acknowledged that this was the first time he had prepared an expert report and testified in a proceeding as an expert. Mr. MacIntosh said that in several parts of his report, Mr. Welsh had referred to his personal knowledge of Central from his own business. Mr. Welsh agreed he knew that, as an expert, he could not have a current connection with Central, but had not been told he could not use information from when Central had been a customer of his or of businesses in which he was employed. He said he was never given direction on what due diligence or analysis was required of him as an expert witness, except to provide an honest opinion. The only advice he received was from Mr. Wintrip, on two occasions, cautioning him not to comment on matters outside his expertise.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 143 -

[399]Mr. Welsh had prepared a report dated September 14, 2015, which was revised on February 16, 2016. He initially visited the Central site at Lower South River in August, 2015, and met with Mr. Murray for about an hour. He then toured the complete operation there, asking a number of questions of Mr. Murray, and then visited the Market Street location. He had spoken briefly to Mr. Smith at the Market Street store, but had not spoken to Ms. MacPherson during his assignment.

[400]Mr. Welsh testified that his revised report was partly in response to the PwC revised report, and some information which became available in December 2015. He had communicated in December 2015, with Mr. Wintrip, Mr. Thompson, and counsel about several areas where the new information might impact his report.

[401]In his report, Mr. Welsh said that the term “integrated distribution centre”

was not in common use in the building material industry. He first saw the term in the PwC report. He considered that the use of the term meant what is commonly referred to as a “consolidated distribution centre”. He said:

A consolidated distributer would be a distribution company - - in the building material business - - distributes a very large majority of all products handled by a building supply store. From lumber and building materials or LBM, as the term is given, and also would handle hardware items required by the building supply industry, and specialty items, which are not necessarily building supply related, but which are sold from building supply stores such as lawn furniture and snow blowers and - - garden items, dirt, soils, seeds. So it’s really - - they’re consolidating all of the building material products into their operation to distribute to their stores.

[SF05843, 41:50-42:42]

[402]On cross-examination, Mr. Welsh acknowledged that he was aware of what Central meant by an “integrated distribution centre”, and had explained his

understanding of it to Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson.

[403]Mr. Welsh said the matters he reviewed in his report were issues that Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson had tasked him to address. He concluded that “…the idea of

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 144 -

a distribution centre did, and does make sense for Central” with the number and size of stores that Central has. In 2001, they would not have had, in his opinion, sufficient volume for that because they did not have the large box stores at that time which could accommodate a wider range of hardware and hardlines items.

[404]Mr. MacIntosh challenged Mr. Welsh on this conclusion:

I can tell you when your first report was received, this was the paragraph that perhaps attracted more concern for my client because in it you’re effectively saying you know more than Steve Smith as to when he should have built his DC. And would you agree that Steve Smith has a pretty good proven track record of knowing how to grow his business and in what stage he should grow it?

MR. WELSH: I have the greatest respect for Mr. Smith’s abilities to run his business, to grow his business – I’ve watched him do it for forty years from a small garage to where it is today. And I have always dealt with him fairly, reasonably and understandably. Sometimes we’ve disagreed on things, but opinions - - we’re all entitled to them, and sometimes you change them. In this particular case we were - - that particular paragraph was written at the time of my first report when I was under the understanding that it was a 60,000 sq. ft. hardlines distribution centre. Now that I know that it is a 12,000 sq. ft. hardlines warehouse, I believe we are in agreement.

MR. MACINTOSH: …But no, first of all, then why didn’t you revise your report and take that out when you filed this revised report, Mr. Welsh? And there’s nowhere in here that I recall you saying it was based upon a 60,000 sq. ft. assumption.

MR. WELSH: I missed it.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well, let me tell you what else you missed, Mr. W elsh, and let me just

list it: In 1999 - - this is the old Bull Durham thing, you know, build it and they will come - - do you wait until your stores can’t keep up and then build a DC, or do you build a DC to make your stores more profitable so you can flow more goods out to them so you can sell more goods? And obviously, finding that fine line is part of the art of executive leadership, isn’t it?

MR. WELSH: Yes, it is.

MR. MACINTOSH: And you agree that Mr. Smith’s track and executive leadership in making those types of decisions is not under scrutiny or question here. He’s been pretty good.


MR. MACINTOSH: O.K. So let’s look in 1999, 2001 on, I’m just going to read you some statistics. So you can just listen, if you would. In 1999 there - - Central had 57,500 sq. ft. in New Glasgow, plus another 22,000 sq. ft. of warehouse. It had 25,000 sq. ft. box store in Windsor. It had 18,000 sq. ft. in Sydney, plus an extra 5,000 sq. ft. of warehouse. It had 20,000 sq. ft. box store in Port Hawkesbury, plus another 19,815 combined retail warehouse. Plus it had what it would have just built in 2000, but for the expropriation of its new store that would have totaled something over 50,000 sq. ft.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 145 -


MR. MACINTOSH: Why then, …you say, however, the idea of a large fully integrated DC would not have made sense as they had, at that time, not constructed the major box stores they have today. They had most of them. And why did you feel you were qualified to second guess the executive decision that Steve Smith had made that he did feel he had enough demand and he wanted to grow that business, and the figures speak for themselves. Once he got even this handicapped DC in 2005, his gross margins just blossomed. And he wanted to do that in the year 2000. Why were you second guessing him on that small aspect of his executive intentions? Did you do any calculations?

MR. WELSH: I’m sorry?

MR. MACINTOSH: Did you do any calculations to demonstrate that a 60,000 sq. ft. DC would have been a failure?

MR. WELSH: No, I did not.


MR. WELSH: To answer your original question, I was - - in doing the work on that, I was not second guessing Mr. Smith. I would never do that. What I was doing is responding to questions from Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson regarding would it work.

MR. MACINTOSH: However, in 2001, the idea of a large fully integrated DC would not have made sense? And you say that’s not second guessing Steve Smith?

MR. WELSH: That opinion is based upon my experience in setting up and operating a hardline and hardware distribution operation in Bedford, which was supplying 56 independent retailers with hardlines and hardgoods. And it was a struggle, at that time, to try and find sufficient volume to take the operation to profitability.

MR. MACINTOSH: Mr. Welsh, as I understand it, the difference between what - - first of all, you didn’t set up that Bedford disaster. You came in and they asked you to try and fix it, correct?

MR. WELSH: Well, I came in at almost the very - - they bought a building, they bought a bunch of racking, and they bought a computer system, and then I took it from there.

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah. And I would suggest to you, sir, that’s Jupiter and Mars between that operation and Central’s. In that situation, that failed disaster, you had 56 independent store owners all thinking they’re entitled to have this and that and I want 2 cents off that, or I’m gonna go over and buy it myself - - you had mass chaos there. Nothing like the centralized Central one person control of Steve Smith and the DC he was going to run. Is that fair?

MR. WELSH: I agree with that statement.

[SF05844, 53:14-1:00:21]

[405]Mr. Welsh was familiar with Central throughout his career and knew they

were a “destination location” or primary location in Antigonish for lumber and building

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 146 -

materials and some related hardware items. He said there were other stores in Antigonish which would have competed on hardware and hardline items. He opined that they would have maintained their contractor business and expanded their hardware business if they had a big box store at Lower South River.

[406]On cross-examination, Mr. Welsh agreed that in considering the locations he described as competition for Central, he had focused on the Town of Antigonish. Although he had not conducted a study of the areas from which Central drew its

customers, he acknowledged that Central’s customer base came from a broader area, including Antigonish and Guysborough Counties.

[407]No traffic counts had been conducted to assist in examining the sales at Lower South River and Market Street; Mr. Welsh did not think this would have been useful to assess buying behavior. He assumed most traffic passing Lower South River was through traffic to Cape Breton or elsewhere. Mr. MacIntosh drew Mr. Welsh’s

attention to a traffic count which had been conducted for the Department, reported in the March, 1999 Alignment Recommendation Report, which showed that approximately 70-80% of the traffic passing the Lower South River location was local traffic.

[408]Mr. Welsh had said that Market Street was a superior location; thus, he

was “shocked” by the percentage and said he could not recall the count being brought to his attention. He agreed that this would have impacted his conclusion about Market Street, but not in its entirety. However, Mr. Welsh distinguished highway traffic from store traffic, or foot traffic, being the customers actually entering a store, which is what he had concluded led to increased sales.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 147 -

[409]Being unaware of any traffic counts, Mr. Welsh applied some common sales ratios of lumber versus hardlines used in the industry. This led him to conclude that the sales volume at Market Street for hardlines and hardware sales, which are primarily consumer purchases, were greater, leading to greater profit margins. He concluded the same trend would not have occurred if Central had built the box store at Lower South River.

[410]Mr. MacIntosh questioned the ratio which Mr. Welsh had used, saying that Mr. Smith and Mr. Murray had said it was the reverse for Central. Mr. Welsh said the information he obtained from Mr. Murray related to contractor accounts and supported his ratio.

[411]Mr. Welsh said that Central had not separately identified, nor did it have, all the costs of distribution a business would have because it “…is its own customer”.

However, he was satisfied that the expense costs it reported would be at an acceptable level for the industry.

[412]Mr. Welsh said he was uncertain how Central would have fit all of the warehoused material which would be in a big box store, the products from two of the

warehouses at Lower South River converted to retail, and the “lost discount products”, into the size of the store planned for that location, but did not have the information to assess this. He thought it would be extremely difficult, but could not say so definitively.

[413]On cross-examination, Mr. MacIntosh referred Mr. Welsh to an email communication dated December 16, 2015, to Mr. Rieksts, in which he questioned whether there was enough space at Lower South River. Mr. MacIntosh asked what research he had undertaken on this point; Mr. Welsh said he was merely reporting his

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 148 -

observations and asking whether he needed to do more. He had not done more because he had not had a reply to a later email, to the same effect, to Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson.

[414]Mr. Welsh said that, although Mr. Wintrip had advised him in July or August 2015, what the scope of his report was to be, nevertheless, he had to undertake certain calculations to be able to understand the business and complete his report.

[415]Mr. MacIntosh challenged Mr. Welsh for a lack of research in undertaking his opinion, and instead relying on studies from more than twenty years ago. Mr. MacIntosh said that Mr. Welsh was critical of Central without having done proper research, but Mr. Welsh said it was based on the information provided to him. For example, in his use of CMHC data on new home construction to estimate the level of contractor business, he used what he believed was the best information available to him. He did not search for other sources of data which Mr. MacIntosh suggested would be more reliable; he believed that CMHC was the only reliable source, although the data is limited in geographic area. Information on the level of renovations did not exist to his knowledge.

[416]Mr. MacIntosh also questioned the language used at times in Mr. Welsh’s

report where he said, “I would suggest” or “I suggest” or “I would surmise”, and said that this was not the kind of language an expert would use. Mr. Welsh said that perhaps he should have described the comments as his opinions, but he stood by the observations from his years of experience and was not attempting to be equivocal.

[417]Mr. MacIntosh suggested that Mr. Welsh’s statements about the size of

the store were a “back-door way” of saying the gross margin sales of Central were not

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 149 -

as calculated by PwC. Mr. Welsh said that was “partially correct”. Mr. MacIntosh suggested that Market Street would not have existed, so what was there would not have had to go into Lower South River. Mr. Welsh said that Central would have had to have back-up inventory to gain the sales they claim; thus, the inventory would have to be somewhere. He said he was trying to find out if Central was able to do what it had claimed it was going to do, but he did not have the information. Mr. MacIntosh said that Mr. Murray and Mr. Smith had testified to their plans. The following exchange expanded on this:

MR. MACINTOSH: …do you have sufficient confidence in the way in which you went about page 18 to contradict and challenge their testimony? Or are you simply asking questions that you have been unable to answer yourself?

MR. WELSH: I was not privy to the testimony from Mr. Murray or Mr. Smith. That, perhaps, would have provided the information for me to do the analysis to - - and I would, perhaps, have agreed with them based upon having that information, but I did not have the data at the time.

MR. MACINTOSH: And would you agree that at all times Central took the position that any of your experts who wanted to get anything from us, come, sit down with us, meet with us, do whatever you want. You were aware of that. We never said that everything must be exchanged in writing through lawyers. Were you aware there was an open invitation to get information from Central?

MR. WELSH: I had heard the statement, probably three or four months into the - - no, two months into the - - my starting to do this. I had never received clear direction from anyone that I would be able to do that, and as a result, being new to this process, I did everything - - all my requests through email, which is what Mr. Wintrip and Mr. Thompson were doing.

MR. MACINTOSH: You never - - you’re talking about Mr. Rieksts. He was the one you were getting instructions from. You never got the green light from him, is that what you’re saying?

MR. WELSH: I never asked him the question. The only time I ever asked to speak to someone personally was when I asked to speak with Jim Murray and to make a visit to the store. And he accommodated that by contacting Mr. Murray and arranging the appointment.

MR. MACINTOSH: And do you recall, when you visited the store, you also met Mr. Smith. And Mr. Smith told you - - call any time, anything you need. He gave you an open-ended offer to contact him if there was anything you need.

MR. WELSH: Yes, he did. I do remember that in the store.

[SF05844, 14:30-16:58]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 150 -

[418]Mr. Welsh acknowledged that he did not know how high the racking was at Market Street, nor did he know the height for the new store proposed for Lower South River.

[419]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. Welsh about an email he had sent to Mr. Thompson on July 31, 2015, suggesting that the volumes from Central’s New Glasgow

store and its new store at Stellarton might indicate what the results would be with respect to Lower South River and Market Street. Mr. Welsh said that he was passing on information to Mr. Thompson at a time when he was not aware of the actual size of the New Glasgow store, and did not think it was the same size as the Stellarton store. He agreed it spoke to the similarity of the Lower South River situation, although he said moving from a high traffic area in New Glasgow to the Stellarton location meant that Central had taken customers with them, creating a destination. Market Street is a destination. He also agreed that it was Mr. Wintrip, not Mr. Thompson, who had raised the issue of capital renovations which would have been needed if the retail store had been built at Lower South River in 2001. Further, Mr. Welsh acknowledged that he was part of that conversation, and that they had all been operating on the idea of a larger size store and warehouse at Lower South River.

[420]Mr. Welsh agreed that he understood the critical importance of confidentiality. Mr. MacIntosh drew his attention to a comment in an email from Mr. Welsh to Mr. Thompson and Mr. Wintrip dated November 6, 2015, where he raised the possibility that Central might be changing a major supplier. Mr. MacIntosh questioned

why they would have been discussing such a matter. Mr. Welsh’s response was that he had been requested to provide information regarding building supplies and distribution

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 151 -

business, and had noticed a difference; it raised a question in his mind, and on cross- examination, he said he may have overstepped his bounds. Mr. MacIntosh also questioned why Mr. Welsh asked if he should “dig deeper” into other matters which Mr. MacIntosh said were completely unrelated to the quantification of Central’s losses arising from the expropriation. Mr. Welsh said that Mr. Wintrip told him he did not need to do anything further.

[421]Mr. MacIntosh asked Mr. Welsh about a document which was entitled

“Ian’s Initial Questions” which was provided to him and Mr. Thompson by Mr. Wintrip. In response to one of the questions, Mr. Welsh had agreed that “…using operating results from 2006 to 2010 are a reasonable proxy for the results from 2001 to 2006”.

[422]Mr. MacIntosh questioned why Mr. Welsh had subsequently reversed his position on that. Mr. Welsh said that he thought the document was from an early point in his retainer, and that at the time he was responding about the reasonability of the results for that period, not taking hardware into account. He did not start to take hardware into account until sometime later.

[423]According to Mr. Welsh, that was information he was seeking from Mr. Murray in order to determine the ratio of lumber sales to hardware. Mr. Welsh maintained that accepted industry ratios would apply to Central, and said that his conclusion was based on information from Mr. Murray. Once Mr. Welsh had concluded his hardline analysis, he changed his opinion about the use of the 2006 to 2010 operating results.

[424]For Mr. Welsh, big box stores are generally more consumer-oriented, so he attributed the growth in gross margins after Market Street opened to convenience

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 152 -

customers. He did not think that having a distribution centre would contribute to that where the distribution centre was a separate profit centre which charged the vendor- discounted price of products to the individual stores.

[425]Mr. MacIntosh asked Mr. Welsh how he could know whether the same growth would not have occurred at Lower South River, at a much lower cost than the cost of the Market Street store. Mr. Welsh said that he remained of the same opinion but was unable to explain why; he attempted to use the example of the Kent, Home Depot and Rona stores in the Bayers Lake area of Halifax Regional Municipality. He said that the Rona store was in an area of less traffic, and although it was a box store it was not successful, due to its location. He acknowledged, however, that Mr. Smith and the Central locations have been successful.

[426]Mr. Welsh responded to Mr. MacIntosh’s further exploration of this:

MR. MACINTOSH: If Central had opened its new box 30,000 sq. ft. store at Lower South River, accompanied by the other 12, plus the other – whatever it is – 4 or 5 it added up to, I think, somewhere around 50,000 sq. ft., plus. Have you any reason to believe that its sales would not have increased proportionately as did every other one of its box stores when it opened it in a location that Steve Smith believed would be commercially successful?

MR. WELSH: I believe that, had Mr. Smith constructed the store - - 30,000 sq. ft. box store in South River, it certainly would have been successful, as all of his other operations were. I do believe that his sales would have increased; however, I can’t say that they would have been at the same level as they were in Market Street.

MR. MACINTOSH: Absolutely fair. But you can’t say they wouldn’t have been either.

MR. WELSH: They wouldn’t have been which?

MR. MACINTOSH: That they wouldn’t have been equal to, or better, than Market Street. You can’t say that Steve’s opinion was, and it’s obviously just a personal opinion. He’s got a financial interest, so we all know that. But certainly, his opinion was he was going to make more money at Lower South River. First of all because his sales would be as good or better and, more importantly, he wouldn’t have had to spend $4.5 million. Do you have any professional opinion to counter that personal opinion?

MR. WELSH: Other than the discussions we’ve already had about sales and margins, my financial expertise does not extend to valuations and comparisons based upon the cost to build an operation, so I can’t comment on that.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 153 -

[SF05845, 1:16:36-1:18:46]

[427]Mr. MacIntosh asked Mr. Welsh about the Daniels’ report theme to focus

on the existing customer base and increase profit from them. Mr. Welsh agreed with that principle, but did not believe it would account for the increase in consumer sales experienced by Central.

3.4Respondent’s witnesses Steve Chaisson

[428]Mr. Chaisson retired as an employee of the Province in December 2010, having worked for the Department in its various iterations for 35 years. The last 18 years of his employment were in acquisitions and disposals of property and as a Right- of-Way Officer.

[429]In 2007, he became involved in the Antigonish highway project when Lester Tingley retired. Prior to that, he had been working with the Amherst and New Glasgow twinning projects. He was first involved in Phase One of the Antigonish project which covered the area, approximately, from Addington Forks to Beech Hill Road;

Central’s Lower South River property was in Phase Two.

[430]He testified that his duties were mainly to make initial contact with landowners to commence negotiations and keep them advised of what was taking place. He said that, at first, his role was more of a listening one as he could not deal with issues until right-of-way plans for use were available. It was standard procedure to meet with the owner if those plans were in place, with a view to purchasing the needed

lands. For most of Phase Two, there were “total buyouts” as they needed all of the land. This was not the case with Central’s property at Lower South River, however.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 154 -

[431]While Mr. Chaisson had kept daily journals on his expropriation work, he had destroyed these some years after he retired. Any emails or memos would have been included in the files, most of which were passed on to Rod MacInnis, his successor on the Antigonish highway project. He acknowledged, on cross-examination, that it was hard to recall events and discussions. He said he had refreshed his memory by reviewing Department files and minutes of the departmental Highway 104 Committee. Prior to that refresh, he agreed, his memory was “pretty vague”.

[432]Mr. MacIntosh referred Mr. Chaisson to an email communication from Lester Tingley to Michael Croft which said that an accurate record of calls and visits should be kept. Mr. Chaisson said they tried to keep accurate records; he had had a log, but did not fill it out daily. He did not keep any comment sheets for meetings with Central, such as the one used after public information meetings. These sheets were commonly used for such public meetings only, and he was not involved with them. He could not recall if he had used any “File Activity Worksheet” for Central.

[433]When he assumed responsibility for the Central matter, Mr. Chaisson was aware that the claim regarding the mobile home property adjacent to the Lower South River property of Central had been settled, but not that the former Christmas tree property had also been resolved. He recalled only one other property that had not been resolved at that time. He did not agree, however, that Central and the other property were necessarily the most complicated of those for which he was responsible. Where there were business plans, he acknowledged he did not have the expertise, so the Department obtained appraisals.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 155 -

[434]Mr. Chaisson’s first meeting with Steve Smith of Central was, he believed, in the fall of 2008, at the Lower South River offices, and related to a parcel Mr. Smith owned near the Trunk 7 intersection. By then, the environmental assessment had been completed and the route of the corridor chosen. He did not recall whether Mr. Tingley had told him he had met with Mr. Smith.

[435]At that time, Mr. Chaisson became more knowledgeable about the Lower South River property. He was unaware of anyone having told Mr. Smith, in May 1998, that the property was, as Mr. MacIntosh suggested, “under the shadow of

expropriation”. He did not believe that the Department could tell a landowner not to do anything with a property until expropriation occurred, or that the landowner would not be compensated. He would not do that, and did not understand it to be done as a practice.

[436]Although the Department’s main concern was the property at Trunk 7, Mr.

Smith raised concerns about how the alignment would impact his plans for expansion at Lower South River, including his plans to expand the truss mill operation. Mr. Chaisson did not recall any discussion about expansion of the retail store at Lower South River. He stated:

MR. RIEKSTS: Did Mr. Smith ever tell you, during your discussions with him, that he wanted to build on the alignment through his property at that time?

MR. CHAISSON: I recall he probably may have said that, yes.

MR. RIEKSTS: But, I’m not talking about in the past. I’m talking about at the time that you were talking to him.

MR. CHAISSON: I can only recall he said he had plans to expand because of his business requirement to the lands.

MR. REIKSTS: And was it your understanding he was talking about a plan in the past or a plan in the present, at the time you were talking to him?

MR. CHAISSON: I always talked plan in present.

MR. REIKSTS: O.K., and that’s why the tunnel issue came up.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 156 -

MR. CHAISSON: This is why the tunnel issue came up and this is why I think design and engineering - - they took that upon themselves - - I think they put it out to a consultant. I wasn’t party to any of that discussion when I went back through my manager and that situation is dealt with through engineering and design, who have the expertise in that sort of thing.

MR. REIKSTS: Maybe I didn’t make the question clear enough then. Did you have any discussions - - did Mr. Smith tell you, at any time in your discussions with him, that he was planning - - or that he wanted to build on the alignment itself - - on the property that was being taken for the alignment?

MR. CHAISSON: Yeah, I probably recall that he mentioned he had future plans to expand where the alignment was going through.

[SF05745, 39:48-41:18]

[437]Mr. Chaisson did not recall Mr. Smith showing him any documents for his business expansion plans.

[438]After his meetings with Mr. Smith, Mr. Chaisson brought Mr. Smith’s

concerns back to his manager, Stephen MacKenzie, including the discussions about a tunnel to lead to the southern side of the highway corridor. Mr. Chaisson could not recall whether he or Mr. Smith had raised the tunnel concept, but recognized it would give him access to and from his lands for his operations. He also recalled that Mr. Smith said he might have to move or get a second property. However, Mr. Chaisson was uncertain whether all three options had been raised with Mr. MacKenzie or the Department. His evidence was that it was his manager’s recommendations which were followed. He agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that he understood how Mr. Smith could feel nothing was happening, and would be frustrated. He said the length of time involved did not seem reasonable to him.

[439]Mr. Chaisson testified that his communications with Mr. MacKenzie were not in writing, merely verbal.

[440]In cross-examination, Mr. MacIntosh referred Mr. Chaisson to email communication on November 17, 2008, which referred to access to the Central

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 157 -

property, for the purposes of clearing and sampling, and obtaining the owner’s permission for this. Mr. Chaisson confirmed that there was no discussion of compensation at that time, and that it was fair to say that Mr. Smith did not know what area of land was being taken.

[441]Mr. MacIntosh also asked about a series of emails in late 2008 and early 2009, which discussed an examination of the feasibility of development on the Central lands. Mr. Chaisson was unaware if anyone had told Mr. Smith this was being investigated. Up until the time of his retirement, Mr. Chaisson did not recall if such a study had been done. He assumed that the tunnel and the feasibility study were being done to be used in an appraisal when undertaken. He recalled Mr. Smith asking him to get this resolved before he retired. Mr. Chaisson explained to him that “his hands were tied”, and had the sense he would not see this through “to the end.”

[442]Mr. Chaisson said that he and Mr. Smith met on a number of occasions, some of which were brief and informal. These meetings were held at the Lower South River offices. Mr. Chaisson confirmed that his discussions with Mr. Smith were always

amicable. He was able to view the extent of Central’s operations from the office window, and acknowledged he was told “things were getting tight for space”. He agreed that Mr. Smith had told him of his frustration about that. While he did not recall telling Mr. Smith that his property was “the biggest problem we have”, he agreed he may have said he had a “big problem”, noting that the Antigonish alignment was difficult “all over”.

[443]Mr. Chaisson believed that Mr. Smith wanted to deal with both the Trunk 7 and Lower South River properties at the same time, because he wanted to build at

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 158 -

Trunk 7 and wanted to know how much his land there would be affected by the alignment before dealing with Lower South River.

[444]There was some discussion about trading land in connection with the Trunk 7 property. For Mr. Chaisson, however, these two parcels were different; he had not told Mr. Smith that anything related to Trunk 7 applied to Lower South River. Although he could not recall whether he had told Mr. Smith he could not expand on the alignment, Mr. Chaisson said Mr. Smith was aware of where the alignment would generally be. Mr. Chaisson testified it was not until after he had retired that Mr. Smith knew of the exact location.

[445]Mr. Chaisson agreed that it took over five years to resolve the Trunk 7 property and even longer for Lower South River. He acknowledged that it was normally the practice that an appraisal was obtained prior to an expropriation and that the Department normally obtained the first appraisal.

[446]Mr. Chaisson testified he had no recollection of saying that the alignment at Lower South River might change. The corridor was set. The adjacent mobile home park was purchased and the alignment was going through next to it. Once that purchase was complete, the alignment would not change. However, he said that, up until his retirement, neither he nor Mr. Smith knew exactly the location, which would not be known until approved right-of-way plans were completed.

[447]Mr. Chaisson was not involved with the environmental review process and was not aware of the mandate regarding dispute resolution resulting from it. He was not told of the conditions of the environmental approval.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 159 -

[448]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. Chaisson as to whether he was aware of any other parcel along the corridor where there was a landlocked remnant of land. He was unable to recall if there were. This was further explored:

In your dealings over the years do you recall ever leaving expropriated property owner in that situation?

MR. CHAISSON: A landlocked parcel that you could not access?


MR. CHAISSON: Realistically, I think in some of the claims I dealt with, if there was a situation where there was a landlocked parcel, that wasn’t going to be accessed, you would probably look at possibly purchasing it, O.K. I can’t recall any I dealt with, that I landlocked in relation to a business like Mr. Smith’s, right? But involved with an alignment going through a landlocked parcel, they probably would have offered to purchase it because if he can’t get access to it - -.

MR. MACINTOSH: Or, as I understand occurred in some other properties along the corridor, you provide an alternate means of access. Were you aware that was done on some properties?

MR. CHAISSON: There was an alternate access put into some parcels of land, yeah, you’re right. That was typical along all the hundred s eries highways, right?

MR. MACINTOSH: So you know, Mr. Smith has sort of expressed his frustration - - well why me, why am I the one left with a landlocked remnant, when other people, as you say , they either get bought out completely, or an alternate access is provided. Based on the conversations you heard from your superiors, do you have any explanation for that type of treatment?

MR. CHAISSON: I have no explanation for that type of treatment, but I can’t be knowledgeable on exactly came out of the appraisals, O.K., because I wasn’t party to that.

[SF05747, 1:08:25-1:10:20]

[449]Mr. Chaisson responded to cross-examination about the notes of his successor, dated December 1, 2011:

MR. MACINTOSH: Could you turn to page 44 please? This is - - you’re now out to pasture, this is Rod McInnis making up a report after you retired. It’s titled “Expropriation Notes”, and I just want to review a few things that he is saying in his file notes. Right at the top, “Acquisition Disposal Office – Negotiations with S & D Smith Central Supplies have been in progress from 2008 to the present, with various NSTIR Acquisition Disposal staff. Were there any negotiations, Mr. Chaisson, up to the time you retired?

MR. CHAISSON: Well, I don’t think they call them negotiations. I think they were formal meetings tried to keep Steve Smith - - know in fact what we had so far and what was going on. But, no. Negotiations between myself and Mr. Smith? No.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 160 -

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., thank you. And then under No. 4, “Last Offer Presented to Landowner – No offers presented. There are site issues - - wetlands and water courses, business impact and moving usable area south of the new highway and proposed tunnel access. Costs associated with these and other items must be quantified and verified.” So there were no offers presented by the time you left.

MR. CHAISSON: You’re right.

MR. MACINTOSH: And here he is saying there are issues of business impact on moving the usable area south. You weren’t involved in any of that up until your retirement ?


MR. MACINTOSH: And in No. 5, it says “Amount stated, if any, by the landowner, which is acceptable to purchase the property.” Well, regardless of the business loss, the actual corridor that was being taken, there could have been something offered there, but up until you left, that hadn’t even been clarified enough to make an offer. Is that your - -

MR. CHAISSON: I think the amount stated by a landowner which would be acceptable, I think that’s if you were dealing with a landowner, O.K., and say Mr. Smith said, you know what, I think $10,000 - - I’d settle for that. I’m not dealing with his business, O.K., let’s just say I’m dealing with a plot of land, right? It may be a lot that he’s losing. That would be put in that $10,000, but that’s a statement by the landowner and not by something appraised by the Department or appraised by an independent person.

MR. MACINTOSH: But I like to think of it the other way around, and I’m just wondering what your training has taught you. I’d like to see it as, you know, the state, the government coming in, taking somebody’s land so there, isn’t the government supposed to say: well, look, we’ve looked at your land and we think it’s worth $100. You tell me whether you think that’s fair and if not y ou can go out and get another appraisal. So that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

MR. CHAISSON: That’s the way - - yeah, you’re right.

MR. MACINTOSH: And in this case, up until your retirement, nobody went to Steve Smith and said that what they were willing to offer.

MR. CHAISSON: No, because in Steve Smith’s case, we’re dealing with a business and that definitely has to be done by an AACI like, you know.

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah, but not the land portion of it. That’s the easy portion, isn’t it? The actual corridor?

MR. CHAISSON: Well, I don’t think we’d just do the land portion if you’re dealing with that particular case. I think you’d have to look at the whole scope of the problem.

MR. MACINTOSH: So if you turn to page 45, under Additional Comments, in the second

paragraph, it says: “Concern has been raised by NSTIR staff that the remaining lands may be unsuitable for development based on environmental wetland issues. An environmental review of the remaining lands would need to be completed to evaluate suitability for development.” And, again, up to your retirement, do you know who it was that was raising those concerns? Concerns had been raised. Do you know who it was above you that was raising those concerns?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 161 -

MR. CHAISSON: I’m only assuming where it’s an environment issue, it would be someone from their department, in our Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department, right? Because environment issues are mentioned, so I would say - -

MR. MACINTOSH: But you don’t know?

MR. CHAISSON: I don’t know who raised them, no.

[SF05747, 44:00-49:08]

[450]With respect to the Reply filed by the Respondent, Mr. Chaisson testified he never told the Department that there was no business loss, or that the Claimant profited from the expropriation. He never reported that what Mr. Smith said he planned at the property was speculative, remote or not feasible.

[451]Mr. MacIntosh directed Mr. Chaisson’s attention to CBCL Limited notes

from July 7, 2009, which stated “Steve MacKenzie (TIR) advised that there has been no resolution of the property acquisition dispute at this time,” in reference to the Central property. Mr. Chaisson agreed that there was no dispute between him and Mr. Smith and that it was fair to say that Mr. Smith was “waiting patiently” for the Province to deal with him.

Michael Croft

[452]Mr. Croft is a civil engineer, employed with the Department since 1989. He is currently Manager of Traffic Engineering and Road Safety. From 1996 to 2001, he was the project plan engineer for the Antigonish highway alignment. In this capacity, he was responsible for all aspects of planning the route and location of the highway corridor. While he had only minimal involvement with the environmental assessment, he attended the public hearings. He had no involvement with the Peer Review Report as it was reviewing his work.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 162 -

[453]After 2001, Mr. Croft continued to provide advice and guidance to his successor and attended some Community Liaison Committee (“CLC”) meetings. At these, he made presentations, mainly regarding access management, including driveways and intersections for the existing highway system. This related to areas which had controlled access to the highway; Central did not have controlled access.

[454]Mr. Rieksts initially asked Mr. Croft about the exit ramp issue. He was involved in the departmental response that had denied the existence of the particular exit ramp, which Mr. Smith claimed to have seen. While he said that at the time of the May 1998 open house, the exit ramps were not firmly fixed, he said that there had been an exit ramp at Trunk 4 on the blue route. Between 1998 and 2000, it was moved to Beech Hill Road, based on a safety review and traffic projections, as well as visibility of the Town of Antigonish. He recalled that the majority of those attending the May 1998

open house favoured the “blue route” with an exit at Beech Hill.

[455]In acknowledging that the plan or map, which Mr. Smith had produced at the hearing, appeared to be one of those presented at the May 1998 open house, Mr. Croft confirmed he was correcting the answer which had previously been given about the existence of the exit ramp. He had thought the original response was correct because it was his recollection that the exit was on the red route. He admitted he was

wrong when he “…actually went back and checked the records”. He had not gone back and looked at the plans, but relied on his memory.

[456]While he was not aware of the significance of the exit ramp issue to Mr. Smith, Mr. Croft admitted he was aware of some of the comments that Mr. Bushell had

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 163 -

made. He did not inquire or search out any documents because, he said, he was unaware of the importance of the issue.

[457]Mr. Croft had prepared the March 1999 Alignment Recommendation Report which recommended the blue route and proposed interchange locations, which included Trunk 4 east of Antigonish. Mr. Croft had not reviewed this report when providing the response on the exit ramp. The Report concluded with recommendations on exit locations which changed Trunk 4 to Beech Hill Road. There were a number of factors which went into the change, including the preferences expressed in questionnaire responses from the May 1998 meeting.

[458]Mr. Croft said that about 600 responses were received to those questionnaires, which were compiled and summarized in the Recommendation Report.

[459]In choosing alternate routes for the highway, there were three public consultations, the first of which was in 1997, which generally showed the constraints, primarily physical, which impacted possible route locations, but no alignment options. In May 1998, three options were shown, and there were formal presentations, and a third in either 1999 or 2000, which was to show the public the preferred alignment. Mr. Croft could not recall any direct meetings or conversations with anyone from Central at any of these meetings.

[460]A letter had gone out from the Department over Mr. Croft’s signature,

dated April 12, 2001, inviting owners of properties impacted by the alignment to a meeting on May 23, 2001. Mr. Croft agreed Central was not included in the list of invitees to the meeting and could offer no explanation for the omission.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 164 -

[461]While Mr. Croft said that there was no consultation with individual property owners, he said that a memo from him to Graydon Bushell dated April 22, 1998, which said that visits would be made to owners who would be directly affected, related to those where structures were being affected. Mr. Croft acknowledged that, if the Central greenhouse was in the location shown on one of the aerial maps filed by the Claimant at that time, it would have been directly impacted.

[462]A subsequent memo from Mr. Croft to Lester Tingley stated that the number of owners to be directly impacted was much higher than originally anticipated. Mr. Croft had emailed Mr. Tingley about keeping an accurate record of calls and visits. He agreed that there should be a record but did not recall seeing any; he was not aware of the practices surrounding any notes or records.

[463]In reply to Mr. MacIntosh, Mr. Croft said he was unaware that no negotiation had taken place with Central, contrary to information about the general intent set out in the text of a pamphlet attached to a memo he sent to Mr. Bushell and others. He understood, from both Mr. Tingley and Mr. Bushell, that negotiation was the desired goal with any property.

[464]Prior to the May 1998 meeting, Mr. Croft had sent a letter to Central dated May 11, which he said was, in essence, a form letter sent to all property owners advising of the public meeting and indicating the route options had been narrowed to

three, and stating “You have been identified as the owner of a property which may be impacted.” Such letters were only sent for this particular meeting, as far as he could recall. On cross-examination, he agreed there was nothing in the letter requesting any plans or documents be brought to the meeting.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 165 -

[465]Mr. Croft had an exchange of correspondence with Wendy Tse, a planner with the County, in late 1997. He confirmed that before the public information sessions there had been meetings which discussed the alignment options. In a letter dated November 13, 1997, Ms. Tse said:

The concern of dividing Silver Birch Estates and Shamrock Homes Mobile Home Parks and Central Supplies property was once again mentioned. Negotiations are presently taking place to extend municipal services onto the property owned by Central Supplies, for future development. This was discussed at a past meeting of the Working Group.

…There is extreme concern regarding the impacts on individual home owners as well as developers, particularly where they may have plans to expand close to the vicinity of one of the options….

[Exhibit S-42, Vol. 2, p. 812]

[466]In response, Mr. Croft wrote to Ms. Tse on December 10, 1997,

requesting that any major concerns of the County be brought to the Department’s attention as soon as possible. Mr. Croft continued:

With respect to future development that may be impacted by the highway alignment I would ask that all available development plans for areas of concern be provided as soon as possible. It appears that significant realignment would be required near Central Supplies to avoid potential developments mentioned in your letter. Options for realignment in this area are limited and may result in reduced visibility for local businesses (ie. the alignment would likely have to be moved further away from the existing highway).

…It is our opinion that one interchange in each of the following areas (Post Road/Addington Forks Road area, Beech Hill Road/Tkr Central Supplies area, and in the South River area) should provide a good level of service to the County. The exact location of these interchanges will have to be determined by the Working Group after public consultation. If the county strongly feels that additional interchanges are required I would urge you to provide more detailed information that provides a strong rational [sic] to support the large expenditures that would be required.

[Exhibit S-42, Vol. 2, p. 813]

[467]On cross-examination, Mr. Croft confirmed there was no effort made for the alignment to avoid the Central property. He said that changing the alignment would

have “ripple effects” in both directions and would require a further examination of environmental constraints.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 166 -

[468]Mr. Croft did not recall any discussion of Central at the Working Group

meetings. He received no plans from the County regarding Central’s property in response to the letter to Ms. Tse; nor did he receive any in response to a letter he sent to Alan Bond, the Municipal Clerk/Treasurer, in October 2000, where he made a general request for information on, or advanced notice of, any proposed developments. This was sent prior to the environmental assessment process. The Department was reluctant to acquire any land before that was complete, as the route might change as a result of the assessment. Mr. Croft described this as a standard approach taken by the Department.

[469]Mr. Croft explained how the Department considered socio-economic impacts, including review of the Berger report, communication with the Atlantic Expressway Committee, as well as undertaking a visibility study. There was a working group established before the May 1998 open house, and made up of representatives of the Town, County, businesses and residents, as well as the University. He said there was no discussion of Central; impacts discussed were at a high level, rather than on individual businesses. Consultations with this working group were the only form of public consultation, other than the open houses.

[470]Mr. Croft said that the consideration of economic impacts related to the area as whole, and not specific businesses. Mr. Croft did not recall any specific representation for the Lower South River area. He agreed that the Draft Terms of Reference for the Highway 104 Antigonish Working Group specifically referred to the impact on businesses in the County, and mitigation of negative impacts on the value of property adjacent to the highway. He agreed that, by early July 1998, the Department

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 167 -

withdrew from the Atlantic Expressway working group because it perceived it did not represent the wider community of the County.

[471]Mr. Croft agreed with Mr. MacIntosh that, in the Alignment Recommendation Report, on the subject of economic impacts, it was stated that the greatest impact would be experienced by businesses such as motels, restaurants, convenience stores and service stations which typically relied on highway traffic. He did not turn his mind to impact on Central. He was not aware it would jeopardize any employment there. He agreed that, had he followed up on Mr. White’s letter, he might have been aware of the impact. On the Alignment Decision Grid, he agreed it was said that the Blue route did not provide good access to Central.

[472]Mr. Croft confirmed that, prior to testifying, he did not refresh his memory or review his files regarding communication from Central. At the hearing, he confirmed

he had received Mr. White’s July 2, 1998 letter, but did not recall if there were plans or documents attached to the letter, other than the questionnaire. He said the letter did not mention when the expansion was to occur or any delay which was being experienced. He did not recall any discussions with, or information from, Central about any expansion plan at Lower South River. On cross-examination, Mr. Croft acknowledged that he did not feel he was responsible to do anything about Mr. White’s letter because he had not received any plans, considering the number of questionnaires received. He was unable to recall the number of serious concerns which were raised in the responses. Mr. MacIntosh explored this further with Mr. Croft:

When you received the letter from Kevin White, did you write him back and say: thank you very much Mr. White. I’d like to meet with you to understand it. Would you please send me your plans and documents?

MR. CROFT: I don’t recall responding, no.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 168 -

MR. MACINTOSH: I suggest to you sir that this letter went into foggy bottom and absolutely nothing was done about it. Is that not correct?

MR. CROFT: There was no response to that letter that I recall.

MR. MACINTOSH: And nothing done about it either, not just a response, nothing done about it. Correct?

MR. CROFT: Our way of dealing with development, when we’re working on a project like this, is through the Municipality. So we would have advised the Municipality to let us know of any development plans that would be impacted by this property, and we were not advised by the Municipality of any plans for development.

MR. MACINTOSH: Mr. Croft, what does the County of Antigonish have to do with the running of Central’s business? It’s not - - you weren’t expropriating the County of Antigonish’s property, were you?


MR. MACINTOSH: You had a property owner who wrote you and told you about the very significant impact and here we are seventeen some years later - - your department, through your counsel, is saying my client doesn’t have the documentation and the plans. Don’t you think that’s a little bit unfair and backwards?

MR. CROFT: You mentioned the word expropriation, but at that time we were still looking at options. There was no decision made - - there was nothing confirmed that the alignment was even going to go through. It was a potential, but there was certainly nothing confirmed at that time that the alignment was going to go through that property. So you know, the idea of, you know, talking about expropriation wasn’t even being thought of at that time.

MR. MACINTOSH: But you knew that 2 of the 3 corridors, including the one that your department preferred, was going to cut right through the middle of this, correct?

MR. CROFT: That’s correct, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: So whether it was going to be expropriated or whether it was going to

be negotiated, you knew what were on very appropriate notice from Central: hey guys, this is serious. And yet, nothing was done, correct?

MR. CROFT: Well, when you say nothing - - we did contact the Municipality and asked the Municipality - - that was our way, with the planning process, rather than dealing with dozens, if not hundreds of individual properties, we would go through the Municipality. They were on the steering committee. They were on the - you know - they were the group that we dealt with, and it was up to them to advise us of any development plans that would be impacted by the corridor. So unless something - - unless a plan was sent to the Municipality - - I mean, you know.

. . .

THE BOARD: I’m sorry Mr. Croft…I didn’t hear, fully, your answer. So if you could repeat what you said.

MR. CROFT: So I guess the way that we worked - - the way the planning process typically works - - now, if a property owner does call us, we will certainly - - or contact me

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 169 -

directly, I would certainly talk to them. I wouldn’t say, you know, we have to go through the Municipality. So you know, if somebody contacted me directly, or even wrote me

directly, you know, I would respond, either in writing or call. One way or the other. I wouldn’t ignore a property owner. But, as far as future development goes, our process is that we deal through the Municipality. And the reason we do that is because unless plans are formally submitted to a municipality, they’re just ideas. They’re just thoughts and, you know, we really, you know, we have to focus on concrete development plans. That’s what we have to deal with.

[SF05814, 12:10-16:04]

[473]While Mr. Croft said he would not ignore a property owner who made direct contact with him, he could not recall responding to Mr. White. He did not make a specific visit to the Central property. He was unaware of the economic activity going on there.

[474]Mr. Croft said he would not have advised a property owner about what might be done regarding future development plans. He agreed that there was never any statement to any property owner that the County was the intermediary in this regard. He also agreed that the Department did not have the authority to direct land use and development. He said he had never tried to personally influence a property owner.

[475]When asked if he was aware of any budgetary limitations which caused the Department to be slow in dealing with certain properties, Mr. Croft said he was not involved at such a stage. He was not aware of the transactions relating to the two adjacent properties. While he was “in charge”, he did not have detailed knowledge of negotiations undertaken by land acquisition officers.

[476]In an exchange with Mr. MacIntosh, Mr. Croft said:

MR. MACINTOSH: Could you turn to page 14. These are the minutes of the Highway

Working Group, June 12, 1997, bottom of the page: TPW will have to work closely with the County of Antigonish and developers to ensure protection of the corridor through negotiation and possible land purchases in some area.


2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 170 -

MR. MACINTOSH: So would you agree Mr. Croft that the Department was trying to place a shadow of development over all of these potential properties and to disc ourage anybody, including developers, from using their land if it was in the corridor?

MR. CROFT: No, I wouldn’t agree with that.

MR. MACINTOSH: You would not agree with that?

MR. CROFT: What the intent of that comment was is we need to be aware of proposed developments that may impact alignment options that were being considered. And if we are made aware, then we need to take appropriate action to protect the corridor.

MR. MACINTOSH: And how would you do that, sir?

MR. CROFT: There’s various different ways. One of the ways you protect a corridor is you actually purchase the land.

MR. MACINTOSH: Under any circumstances, would you have allowed - if you knew about it, would you have allowed a developer, like the mobile home park, to go ahead and start developing on your corridor?

MR. CROFT: As a Department of Transportation, we would have no ability to prevent development.

MR. MACINTOSH: And what would you do when you found out?

MR. CROFT: We would - - if development was imminent, we would - - I guess there’s several different options that could be taken. We could negotiate with the property owner to purchase the property. We could look at options for realignment. The other option - - it was never used, but it was still an option at the time, is under the Public Highways Act there is an option to preserve a corridor for up to five years, under the Public Highways Act.

MR. MACINTOSH: But your Minister gave you and your Department representatives very clear directions that you were not to use that, correct?

MR. CROFT: Well, we suggested that and then we were given direction not to use it, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: So if Central had ignored what it was told not to do, and if it had gone ahead and put its bulldozers out on that corridor in the same way that the mobile home park had done, one way or the other, would you have ensured that your corridor was protected?

MR. CROFT: Well, as you can see with the Silver Birches development, which did go ahead, if we - - certainly, it would be incumbent upon us to be advised by the Municipality that this type of development - - otherwise, you know, the development could go ahead and we wouldn’t even, as a Department, know that development was taking place until it was completed. Or well under way.

MR. MACINTOSH: You would have intervened, in one way or other, had that occurred. To protect the corridor.

MR. CROFT: If we are made aware by the Municipality that, you know, there were imminent plans submitted to develop a piece of property, whether it was Central or any

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 171 -

property, then we would most likely take some type of action to try and preserve the corridor.

MR. MACINTOSH: To preserve the corridor. That’s what it’s all about.

MR. CROFT: And/or look at options for moving the alignment. I mean, you know, it is possible if a large enough development went in, that it could actually - - and it blocked an alignment - - it might have actually killed the red and blue alignment and forced us into the brown alignment.

MR. MACINTOSH: So is a Kevin White letter large enough to have caused you to do an alignment impact study to see whether the corridor should be moved for the Central property?

MR. CROFT: We did look at the options of moving it and, you know, and as my letter to Ms. Tse indicated, to move the alignment at that location was very difficult. It would have had a lot of significant impacts and other constraints.

MR. MACINTOSH: Please tell me where is that paper? Who are the significant impacts? I’d like to see that, Mr. Croft. Because my understanding is that there isn’t a shred of paper anywhere to that effect. Please tell us. Who are the significant impacts?

MR. CROFT: That would have been an analysis that I would have done at the time based on property mapping, constraint mapping, the geometry of the road. So you know

- -

MR. MACINTOSH: So you did do that?

MR. CROFT: I would have looked at the feasibility and the ease of relocating the alignment. Because, as I indicated previously, I mean it’s certainly not our intention to have negative impacts on development. I mean that’s - - you know, if we can avoid it, we try to avoid it.

MR. MACINTOSH: So you will exercise due diligence to try to avoid it , if you can?


MR. MACINTOSH: You acknowledge that duty and that responsibility.


[SF05814, 52:55-57:44]

[477]In April 2000, the Minster of Transportation accepted the recommendation

for the “Blue route”. The Recommendation Report had been the subject of a Peer Review conducted by Jack DeChiara, a consultant engaged by the Department. Mr. DeChiara was provided with a document entitled “Corridor Preservation Study Procedure”, which had been prepared by the Department. Mr. Croft said this outlined

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 172 -

the procedure followed by the Department in recommending the alignment route. He acknowledged, in cross-examination, that the Peer Review was critical of the lack of an economic impact study as it related to the community as a whole.

[478]The Peer Review Report said there should be consideration of alternative locations of the alignment between Trunk 4 and Taylor Road. It also emphasized sensitivity to agricultural land uses, suggesting more analysis should be undertaken. Mr. Croft said, however, that it also considered business impacts, on a macro level, for types of businesses. He agreed that the Peer Review said there should not be the degree of reliance on the Berger report, which the Department had reviewed, as it was largely theoretical.

[479]In the Project Description for the federal environment assessment, the Department said that, while some areas will have negative impacts, there will be growth. Mr. Croft said the Department was made aware, on numerous occasions, that it was

important to keep the alignment close to “the community of Antigonish” in terms of economic effect, so they made every attempt to do so.

[480]Mr. MacIntosh drew Mr. Croft’s attention to notes from Mr. Corkum

commenting on additions to Terms of Reference which stated, in part:

…(Some businesses will suffer, others will benefit, who is going to choose which ones are more important and what changes in the new Highway 104 will be necessary?) …

[Exhibit S-41, Vol. 2, p. 158]

[481]Mr. Croft did not accept that this was the attitude of the Department in general, but agreed that some people did not believe an economic impact study was warranted.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 173 -

[482]In February 2001, the Department responded to the Peer Review recommendations, looking at another alignment which was called the “crossover” or

“blue to brown” route. Mr. Croft said the Department studied this route, but it was not pursued due to impacts on farmland and the South River crossing location. It would have moved the alignment on the Central property slightly to the south, according to Mr. Croft.

[483]Mr. MacIntosh asked Mr. Croft about a comment in a Staff Briefing Agenda for the May 2001 public meeting which said “perceived economic impacts” were

part of the reasons for rejecting the crossover route. Mr. Croft explained that these impacts were in the area of Lower South River further east, such as the service station, motel and restaurant near Highway 316.

[484]Mr. Croft did not recall that the report from the panel, which undertook the provincial environmental assessment, had been critical of a lack of consultation of businesses by the Department. Mr. MacIntosh explored the portion of the report regarding mitigation of effects on the local economy with Mr. Croft. He questioned

whether “open and early communication with landowners” had been undertaken with Central; Mr. Croft stated that it was, by their attendance at public meetings and discussions with Department staff at that time.

[485]Mr. Croft agreed that Mr. White’s letter referred to development on Central’s property, but he did not believe this was brought to the attention of the panel.

He said that the comments in the panel’s report, stating that the proponent (i.e., the Department) was not aware of “any specific commercial developments”, might have been interpreted to mean development proposals submitted for approval.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 174 -

[486]Mr. Croft could not recall if he was aware of the requirements resulting from the environmental assessment report regarding a dispute resolution process, and did not recall ever seeing a policy for this. He had no involvement with this or with setting up the CLC.

[487]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. Croft about a memo from Mr. Corkum, Manager of Highway Planning and Design, to Mr. Bushell dated February 16, 2001, which stated that the Minister of Transportation did not wish to employ the land reservation provisions of the Public Highways Act, but preferred to “…purchase properties as need be”. Mr. Croft was unaware of the rationale for this course of action;

however, he acknowledged that the memo contained instructions to proceed to purchase the Silver Birch property, where the property owner had gone ahead and started development. He said there was no policy to keep confidential any practice to purchase property in such circumstances. He stated, on cross-examination, that he “[had] no idea” why Central was not approached after the environmental assessment was completed in 2005.

[488]Mr. Croft had no recollection of a restricted public meeting in April 2001, in the area further east of the Central property near Highway 316. As of June 2001, according to Mr. Croft, the co-ordinates of the centre line of the blue route were known. Central gave permission to having the limits of the proposed highway surveyed on its property. Mr. Croft said that this was done to allow the Department to cut out and stake the centre line to facilitate the environmental assessment. He agreed, on cross- examination, that a property owner would not know the boundaries of land which would be taken until detailed design had been completed.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 175 -

Dwayne Cross

[489]Mr. Cross is a highway design engineer employed with the Department. In 2002-2003, he began his involvement with the Antigonish highway alignment project, primarily to assist in getting through the environmental assessment process. There was both a provincial and federal requirement for environmental assessment because of cost-sharing for the project. Mr. Cross’s only involvement in the route selection process

was assisting Mr. Croft with the public consultations. He was present at the May 1998 meeting, but could not recall if he attended the May 2001 meeting.

[490]Public notice was given of the environmental assessment report and the public hearing. He attended the Environmental Assessment Board hearing, held over two days in Antigonish, and did not recall anyone from Central appearing or making any

submission. There was an independent peer review of the “blue” route, which resulted in some refinement of the alignment and certain interchanges.

[491]In the Final Report provided to the Department, there was a listing of

various businesses in which Central was listed as “Central Home Décor” and described as a “Small Business” in the section which addressed socioeconomic effects of the project.

[492]While he did not know the size of Central’s workforce, Mr. Cross acknowledged that it was obvious from the highway that Central was not a “small business”, and he did not know why it had been described that way.

[493]Mr. Cross confirmed that the approval of the route was given by the Minister of Environment on August 29, 2005. He was unclear when the federal environmental approval was granted, although CLC minutes from its first meeting in October 2008 indicated it had not been, at that point, because federal funding had not

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 176 -

yet been committed. As a condition of the provincial approval, there was to be a CLC, and a dispute resolution policy was to be created. Mr. Cross was the Department’s representative on the CLC; his role was to be a “throughput”, in his words, between the residential and business communities and government and to disseminate information.

[494]Ms. MacIntosh reviewed selected minutes of the CLC meeting with Mr. Cross. He confirmed that part of the role of the CLC was to allow landowners and other community members to bring concerns forward. The CLC was to communicate this to the public. Their meetings were open to the public. He did not recall any specific discussion about Central regarding signage and exits at the CLC. He was unsure if negotiations were going on with Central in October 2009. These would have been the responsibility of the land acquisition staff, and the CLC did not get into the specifics of negotiations due to privacy concerns. He did acknowledge that, at times, there were specific situations discussed and noted in the minutes.

[495]Mr. Cross acknowledged, on cross-examination, that the two highest

priority issues for the CLC were “communication and awareness” and the “dispute resolution policy”; part of the due diligence would be communicating with all relevant stakeholders. He did not recall any discussion about direct communication with businesses, but there was discussion about various methods of communication. The responsibility was to communicate with the broad community and not any specific group. He was not aware of any situation where a dispute resolution policy was employed.

[496]Mr. Cross said there was a group of professionals mandated to engage with the community, and he assumed they were doing their job. The October 2009

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 177 -

minutes noted there had been a suggestion that there needed to be more effort to get information to the public, and the members of the CLC were tasked to do that.

[497]Ms. MacIntosh drew Mr. Cross’s attention to a statement in the June 29,

2011 CLC minutes:

Turning to page 27. So this is June 29th, 2011. It looks like Melanie Lantz has been brought in; she’s a project manager. And No. 2, it’s noting review of the open house and it says “Lightly attended, but those who came were very interested and had a lot of comments and suggestions.” And then if you go 2 bullets down below that, it says “The low number of attendance may indicate that there are no burning issues with the highway.” The issues with Central certainly hadn’t been resolved at this point, had it?

MR. CROSS: We’re still working on it today, so - -

MS. MACINTOSH: Would you not consider Central’s concerns and claims at that point in time to be a burning issue with the highway realignment?

MR. CROSS: I would have hoped they would have came to the meeting, if that was the case.

[SF05820, 24:13-25:10]

[498]Mr. MacIntosh explored this further:

Your last comment, Mr. Cross, that you hoped they would have come to a meeting. Can you tell me, anywhere, until the disclosures we got in this lawsuit, that Central was ever told that such a thing as a community liaison committee even existed? Can you show me where anyone told Central of such a thing? Because I can tell you the testimony of Central is they didn’t know about it.

MR. CROSS: When LURA Consulting was tasked with establishing the committee, they went through public advertising; they had a public meeting; people came out to the meeting; submitted application forms to participate on the CLC; and that’s what led to the establishment of the CLC.

MR. MACINTOSH: So these were people who had all kinds of political interest in the location and everything else. I’m talking about an affected property owner. Was a notice sent to every property owner that this committee existed?

MR. CROSS: I am not sure.

MR. MACINTOSH: Was a property owner notified that there was purportedly a dispute resolution mechanism that could have avoided all of this?

MR. CROSS: Did each individual property owner on the project get notified as a dis pute resolution policy? I’m not sure.

MR. MACINTOSH: As the single largest outstanding dispute, did Central get notice of such a mechanism, to your knowledge?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 178 -

MR. CROSS: I do not know.

. . .

MR. MACINTOSH: Did you, and perhaps my colleague already asked this, but did you consider Central a burning issue back in that timeframe?

MR. CROSS: During the time we were constructing Phase 1, it was not a burning issue.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., and then when you got into Phase 2?

MR. CROSS: I was not project managing the project at that time.

[SF05820, 27:40-31:40]

[499]Once the provincial environmental approval was received, Mr. Cross established the Highway 104 Antigonish Committee which he chaired from 2006 to 2009. He continued his involvement, to a lesser extent, after his term as chair ended. The committee was made up of Department personnel with expertise in highway planning, design, environment, and land acquisitions. Its purpose was to co-ordinate and manage the surveying, design, environmental permitting, and construction of the highway. While Mr. Cross was chair, the focus was on Phase One of the project.

[500]Mr. Cross confirmed that, at a meeting of the Highway 104 Committee on October 23, 2008, Mr. Chaisson had brought to his attention that Mr. Smith wanted to know what was planned for the Trunk 7 interchange before negotiating about Lower South River lands.

[501]Mr. Cross said that, during his involvement with the highway alignment project, nothing was received by him from Central regarding a retail and distribution centre expansion project at Lower South River.

[502]Mr. Rieksts asked Mr. Cross about an email message he had sent to Al MacRae on December 3, 2008, under the subject line “HIGHWAY 104 FROM BEECH

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 179 -

HILL ROAD TO TAYLOR ROAD – PROPOSED TUNNEL”. Mr. MacRae was the project manager for Phase Two. The message stated, in part:

…an inability to accommodate a crossing will likely cost TIR millions of dollars in business loss. It could also drive us to the point of relocating the business (if this is the case, I’m getting the impression that we could easily surpass the $10 million mark).

[Exhibit S-41, Volume 4, p. 31]

[503]Mr. Cross said this was at a time when they were dealing with another property where the highway was dividing a farm, and trying to get a handle on business losses generally. The reference to $10 million was not based on any analysis. He confirmed that the discussion of a tunnel at the Central property took place during the meeting referred to in the email.

[504]As a result of the discussion, CBCL was asked to investigate the feasibility of a tunnel. It reported back that it was not feasible due to grade, elevation and nearby wetlands and watercourses, as well as a large hill. It would be very expensive, although there was no detailed costing provided. Thus, it was not considered reasonable to pursue. In cross-examination, Mr. Cross was unable to explain why no one had talked to Mr. Smith about the tunnel until Mr. MacInnis had done so.

[505]Mr. MacIntosh referred Mr. Cross to an email message dated January 21, 2009, which raised the issue of the feasibility of Central’s Lower South River property

for business expansion. He also drew Mr. Cross’s attention to comments in the CBCL minutes of December 10, 2008, where similar comments appeared. He asked whether anyone had discussed this with Mr. Smith. Mr. Cross said that it was not his responsibility. He was not aware of anything that was done after that time to assist or facilitate the development which Mr. Smith wished to do.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 180 -

[506]Further, with respect to the comment in the CBCL minutes of July 7, 2009, where Mr. MacKenzie was reported to have said there was no resolution of the Central

“property acquisition dispute” (which Mr. MacIntosh said Mr. Smith was not aware of as a dispute), Mr. Cross was asked why this was not addressed under the dispute resolution policy. Mr. Cross was unable to offer any comment.

[507]Mr. Cross acknowledged that, in preparation for the hearing, he had been

looking for something to indicate the existence of an exit ramp closer to Central’s property on a plan, but that it was not located. He confirmed it had been a mistake to state that there had not been such an exit.

[508]Mr. Cross said that there were no budgetary constraints which delayed dealing with Central, but he was unable to explain why the two adjacent properties had been resolved by 2005, and Central was not addressed until 2012. He suggested that if the Department could negotiate, then resolution or settlement can be expedited. When Mr. MacIntosh said that the evidence indicated there had been no negotiations with

Central during that period, Mr. Cross’s response was that it was not his role to negotiate. He further said it was also not the role of the CLC.

[509]Mr. Cross was not aware of Mr. Chaisson’s reports about the need to deal with Central’s Lower South River property, but said that pressure was coming from Mr.

Smith on the need to resolve the Trunk 7 lands. He agreed that, in February 2006, he was aware that Mr. Smith was anxious to proceed with apartment projects on the property at Trunk 7. He was unable to explain why, over the course of 5 years, the Department was not responding to inquiries about the status of this property in order to

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 181 -

get its permits, and why he had described the Department as actively working with Mr. Smith on this.

[510]Mr. MacIntosh further explored economic impacts with Mr. Cross:

…at Volume 2 of our documents, at page 161, there is an email of yours to Mr. Corkum in June of 2003 … and bottom paragraph: “Although we are not socioeconomi c experts, I suspect full socioeconomic study would have to encompass all of Antigonish County, if not include Guysborough County, due to its heavy reliance on Trunk 7 and it’s direct connection to the TCH. We all know some businesses will suffer, as is detailed in the environmental assessment report. We also know new business and residential opportunities will evolve from the construction of the new highway. The ARDA have expressed their interest and support and its positive effect in the area, I do not see the benefit in attempting to quantify exactly who and how much even if this is possible.” I suggest to you Mr. Cross that that is a reflection of how you and your department took to trying to measure the adverse economic impact on specific property owners like Central. Some are gonna win, some are gonna lose. And let’s not study it, because it’ll just create more work and it won’t solve anything. What do you say to that characterization?

MR. CROSS: I don’t know what - -

MR. MACINTOSH: Is it fair?

MR. CROSS: Some will lose business, some others will gain opportunities.

MR. MACINTOSH: If you turn to page 163, please, the summary of the socioec onomic

component of the assessment, bottom paragraph: “Describe actions that will be taken to mitigate adverse impacts on private and commercial property.” That’s not some will lose, some will win. The terms of reference required study of private and commercial properties to at least find out there was something more than a home décor centre. Would you agree?

MR. CROSS: Could you repeat your question, please?

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah, the terms of reference summarizing the socioeconomic component of the assessment that was required under the Environment Act of Nova Scotia, and the Federal Act, required you to describe actions that will be taken to mitigate adverse impacts on private and commercial property. I suggest to you, sir, in the thousands of pages I have reviewed, I saw nothing where your department tried to, in any way, measure or mitigate adverse impacts on a private commercial property like Central. It just wasn’t part of what you did, was it, Mr. Cross? You took the macro high level like the Berger Report. Some will win, some will lose. Is that a fair characterization?

MR. CROSS: Given the location and the highway wasn’t changing, there’s only a certain amount of thing that you can do, whether it’s for residential or for commercial properties , relative to adverse impacts.

MR. MACINTOSH: But the little pieces of very few documents that were sent to Central in advance of the May 30th meeting, for example, it said, public come in. Property owners come in and let us hear from you, and tell us so we can take your situation into consideration. We have the letter that Keven White wrote to your department shortly after that meeting. Never got answered. You’re aware it didn’t even get answered?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 182 -

MR. CROSS: Through this process, I’m aware of that.

[SF05820, 46:30-50:53]

[511]Mr. MacIntosh asked Mr. Cross about a comment in the minutes of the Highway 104 Committee meeting of February 12, 2007, which referred to the concept of

a “global appraisal” for all of the properties. Mr. Cross could not provide any detail and suggested the question would be best answered by Mr. MacKenzie. He said the same thing about the reference to a “benchmark from which to negotiate” in a July 16, 2008 meeting.

[512]Finally, Mr. Cross was asked about the email he sent on June 6, 2013, to

Mr. MacKenzie referring to a truss mill near the highway at Shubenacadie, and Central’s request for a fence. Mr. Cross had queried why Central would need a fence in view of clear cutting Central had undertaken at its site. It was, in his view, a degree of scrutiny that was warranted. He said that the Department would not have cut the trees to the same extent for the highway corridor.

Roderick MacInnis

[513]Mr. MacInnis has been employed as an Acquisitions and Disposal Officer with the Department since 2007. He is also a Nova Scotia Land Surveyor and has held a real estate license and done private land development. His role, as directed by his manager, is to reach out to owners of parcels identified for provincial projects, generally, with appraisals. His main duties are to negotiate compensation and to obtain lands for highway projects. He does not have a role in route selection.

[514]Mr. MacInnis became involved with the Antigonish alignment project shortly after beginning his employment with the Department. He assumed the file for

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 183 -

Central from Steve Chaisson. He had very little discussion or direction from Mr. Chaisson about the property. Mr. Chaisson did not provide him with any notes. He was unable to say whether it was typical practice at that time for notes to be kept, although he acknowledged that it is his practice to make notes. He testified that his notes for this matter were his emails and some plans he had.

[515]Mr. MacInnis was not aware of any of Mr. Smith’s concerns prior to his

involvement with the file. He did not have access to any files before that, but was aware of concerns in the community. He knew only that Mr. Chaisson had spoken with Mr. Smith.

[516]Mr. MacInnis’s first contact with Central Supplies was in early February

2011, by telephone call with Mr. Smith. His recollection was that Mr. Smith told him there was another ongoing land negotiation regarding property near Trunk 7, and he wanted to delay dealing with Lower South River until that was resolved. The next communication he had was an email he sent to Mr. Smith on November 15, 2011, suggesting a meeting, as site clearing was being planned. In the email, Mr. MacInnis noted that “…there may be business damage issues that will have to be addressed…” which, in his experience, was often the case with business owners of lands.

[517]After further exchanges of emails, Mr. Smith and Mr. MacInnis met at the Lower South River offices of Central on November 21, 2011. Prior to this, a Right-of- Way Plan had been filed by the Department at the Land Registration Office. Mr. MacInnis confirmed he had not told Mr. Smith about the filing. At that stage, he said, the route was a foregone conclusion. He believed he had taken any relevant plans with him at that time.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 184 -

[518]The following day, Mr. MacInnis sent Mr. Smith an email summarizing what he understood from the meeting. Mr. MacInnis testified that he had made notes at the meeting, but it became clear, when he was giving his evidence, that not all of Mr.

MacInnis’s notes had been disclosed in this proceeding.

[519]Mr. MacInnis presumed that Mr. Chaisson and Mr. Smith had had “broad discussions”. Mr. Smith told Mr. MacInnis that he had discussed a tunnel to access the

rear lands with Mr. Chaisson, but Mr. MacInnis took from the meeting that Mr. Smith was not interested in a tunnel. He did not advise Mr. Smith about CBCL’s investigation because he was not aware of it at the time. He was not aware that the Department had concluded a tunnel would be too expensive.

[520]In the email, Mr. MacInnis also referred to expansion plans which Mr. Smith had told him about at this site, which was critical due to its location relative to the other Central locations, as a central storage area. However, Mr. MacInnis did not know the details of expansion plans.

[521]Mr. MacInnis was aware of some areas of wetland on the property from his view of the plans. His email indicated that he and Mr. Smith had discussed that the remaining lands south of the right-of-way might not be useable. On cross-examination, he acknowledged that, at the meeting, Mr. Smith did not agree with this, and indicated he intended to use all of the lands. The area of wetland identified by Mr. MacInnis was between the highway corridor and the developed part of the Central property. He did not survey the Central lands, but had walked on the corridor, after the expropriation, when it had been cleared.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 185 -

[522]Mr. MacInnis said he had referred to expropriation because that is usually

the way things happen when businesses are involved, compared to “ordi nary market value appraisals”. He went on:

MR. RIEKSTS: …why were you talking to him about expropriation at that time? What was the purpose of that?

MR. MACINNIS: Well, we had presumed that it would end up in expropriation. So I just brought it up because I presumed that it would just end up there. Just because, when we go through these expropriation processes, there’s studies to be done, the Province compensates, they pay legal fees on both sides, and it’s not uncommon for business people to go that route, knowing that they’re going to get fair treatment from the Government.

[SF05821, 15:35-16:01]

[523]On cross-examination, Mr. MacInnis acknowledged that Mr. Smith had not indicated he wanted an expropriation, but that this was his own assumption. He agreed that Mr. Smith was non-adversarial and kept asking for help to accommodate what he wanted to do with his business. Mr. MacInnis agreed he had suggested expropriation, and that it would be advantageous to the Department to allow access to the property. The suggestion of expropriation was made in good faith. He was unable to say why an appraisal had not been done when the Department was aware it would need a portion of the Central lands as early as 1998.

[524]Mr. MacInnis prepared a document for Steve MacKenzie entitled

“Expropriation Notes” dated December 1, 2011. He confirmed that, as recorded, no offers had been presented, and Mr. Smith had not stated any amount which would be acceptable. Mr. MacInnis acknowledged that there had not been negotiations; he knew there had been discussions, and called them “negotiations”, and agreed that there were no “renewed negotiations”. These Notes were a standard form, and he had only prepared one such form for this property. He said, in response to Board questions, that this would normally only be prepared when he knew that they were unlikely to have a

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 186 -

successful negotiation and the property was needed for construction. He was not aware whether Mr. Chaisson had prepared any such Notes.

[525]Mr. MacInnis confirmed that all information on the file was being referred back to Steve MacKenzie, the Manager of Acquisitions and Dispositions. The reference to concerns about the suitability of the lands for development related to Departmental discussions. Mr. MacInnis confirmed, on cross-examination, that it was Mr. MacKenzie who raised those concerns. Mr. MacInnis further testified that he had never told Mr. Smith that the Department was questioning the feasibility of development on the lands,

or Central’s plans for expansion on the rear lands.

[526]Mr. MacIntosh explored the instructions which Mr. MacInnis was receiving regarding Central:

So did anybody - - that’s a good point, a good lead in. What instructions were you receiving as to how to deal with Central?

MR. MACINNIS: Well, the instruction, well, was that we would likely end up having to expropriate because they wouldn’t be able to come up with a negotiated settlement.

MR. MACINTOSH: The big amount of money that everybody knew this claim was going to be?

. . .

MR. MACINTOSH:…did you know that, I think it was Mr. Cross who had a bit earlier, a year or so earlier, had said, you know, Jeez, this could be a $10 million claim. Were you aware that that type of conversation was going around within the department?

MR. MACINNIS: Not so much, cause I came into this file second hand, so I wasn’t privy to a lot of the back discussion on it.

MR. MACINTOSH: No, but you were aware there was a conscientiousness within the department that this is - - I think Steve Chaisson described it as the biggest problem on the whole project.

MR. MACINNIS: Well, yes. It would be the biggest business impact.

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah, and so there was a desire not rush this one because it was going to be so big, correct?

MR. MACINNIS: Possibly.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 187 -

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah. And was budget a problem in that time, you know, waiting for the approval, the Feds and coming up with funds?

MR. MACINNIS: I’m not privy to any of those discussions.

MR. MACINTOSH: So normally, it’s your job, isn’t it to just requisition the - - Mr. Ingram or whoever to go out and do the real estate appraisal on that back lot?


MR. MACINTOSH: So did you have instructions not to do that?

MR. MACINNIS: When I started the appraiser consultations, that’s when I was instructed to go ahead and start looking for appraisals.

MR. MACINTOSH: Well, you got involved - - was it - - when did you say you were appointed in 2000 - -

MR. MACINNIS: February of 2011 is when - -

MR. MACINTOSH: You took over this file. O.K. In February 2011, did you contact an appraiser to go out and do an appraisal of the lands?


MR. MACINTOSH: No. Why not?

MR. MACINNIS: I wasn’t told to.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., so somebody was - - somebody had told you not to do so, correct?

MR. MACINNIS: Correct.

MR. MACINTOSH: Who was the somebody?

MR. MACINNIS: I take my direction from the manager as that position disposes.

MR. MACINTOSH: And who is that?

MR. MACINNIS: Steven MacKenzie.

MR. MACINTOSH: O.K., so he told you not to do it. Are you aware that it was well over a year after the lands were expropriated before an appraisal even got done by your department?

MR. MACINNIS: I wasn’t sure of the timeline, but I knew it was after the expropriation.

MR. MACINTOSH: It was in - - I believe it was August 2013, if my memory serves me correctly. Well over a year, in any event. Had you ever heard of that happening, ever, in any other land that was taken for this corridor - that type of delay? A single other property owner who was ever held that long?


2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 188 -

MR. MACINTOSH: Thank you. So when you’re writing this email to Mr. Smith and you’re talking about we believe it’s a benefit for both parties to advance expropriation, and so on, that was a successful delay tactic on the part of the department, because it could get in and get control and ownership over the lands and not yet have to deal with the valuation part, correct?

MR. MACINNIS: Correct.

[SF05822, 29:53-33:37]

[527]In the Notes, Mr. MacInnis referred to significant delays regarding the Trunk 7 property. He testified that the Department presumed, because it was necessary to proceed with expropriation on that property, the same would apply to Lower South River. He understood from Mr. Smith that it was the reason for the delay in dealing with the Lower South River property. At the time Mr. MacInnis wrote the notes, the construction scheduling was an issue.

[528]Mr. MacInnis agreed, on cross-examination, that it is difficult to get appraisals done until final design is complete. Mr. MacIntosh suggested that it had taken about five years to resolve the Trunk 7 property, and obtained an acknowledgement from Mr. MacInnis that this would be frustrating for a landowner. He had never had the impression that Mr. Smith caused the delay, however.

[529]Mr. MacInnis agreed that Mr. Smith had communicated with him the day following his November 15, 2011 email:

MR. MACINTOSH: …this is your email of November 15th to Mr. McInnis - - sorry, to Mr.

Smith. You say: “Good morning Steve, we are moving forward. Want to meet to discuss the acquisition…”, and so on. And you describe to us how you were trying to get Mr. Smith to communicate with you and that he was the delay and didn’t seem to be responding. Mr. MacInnis, you did not file Mr. Smith’s response to you of the very next day, which says: “Hi Rod. It’s great to hear from you. I feel I have been in limbo. No attention has been made to my concerns for years. When are you available next week for an initial meeting?” So that is a slightly different perspective, isn’t it, Mr. MacInnis? That’s Mr. Smith getting back to you and saying finally, thankfully, somebody is going to talk to me. Not quite the one-sided view you gave to my friend in your direct examination. Is that fair?

MR. MACINNIS: I don’t know that it’s fair. I had tried to, in earlier February of that year, to contact Mr. Smith and we’d had no conversations between that time and this time.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 189 -

And when I contacted him on the 15th and he said that he wanted to meet, then we set up the meeting very quickly.

MR. MACINTOSH: He didn’t say he wanted to meet. He said: “Rod it’s great to hear from you. I feel I have been in limbo. No attention has been made by my concerns for years.” Why was that email not provided, Mr. MacInnis?

MR. MACINNIS: I can’t answer that. I presume - - I thought that they were looking for relevant information - - feeling to the - - as opposed to setting up meetings.

[SF05822, 14:09-15:58]

[530]On January 18, 2012, Mr. MacInnis again emailed Mr. Smith requesting early access for clearing, providing a Memorandum of Agreement. In that email, he said access would not affect negotiations, but he acknowledged, on cross-examination, that he was being told not to start negotiations. He said Mr. Smith did not respond to the request.

[531]By February 2, 2012, Mr. MacInnis advised other Department officials that no permission for early access had been given, and that s. 71 of the Expropriation Act

would need to be employed. A letter was sent to Central by Roger Garby, dated February 27, 2012, giving notice that the Department would be entering on the land on March 1, 2012, for site clearing, pursuant to s. 71. Mr. MacInnis admitted, on cross- examination, he had only ever seen a demand for possession on such short notice once before. He had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the Order for Immediate Possession sent by Department Counsel on June 18, 2012. He testified he was not aware of any other property that he was involved with on this project which was the subject of a similar Order.

[532]On February 28, 2012, Mr. MacInnis emailed Mr. Smith suggesting a meeting. He continued:

MR. RIEKSTS: …What were you trying to set up there? What was the reason for this email?

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 190 -

MR. MACINNIS: Well, they were just trying to - - I had instructions from my manager usually to try to control costs, somewhat, and if there’s areas of common ground for

compensation, they’d like the appraisers and the counsel to get together to say if we can agree to do this, at least they wouldn’t be duplicating efforts.

[SF05821, 22:37-22:55]

[533]Arrangements for a meeting proceeded very slowly, according to Mr. MacInnis. It did not happen until much later. In the interim, the expropriation documents were filed at the beginning of May. Mr. MacInnis confirmed to counsel for Central that the Department was willing to extend the standard period for provision of an offer. During this period, Mr. MacInnis was attempting to co-ordinate a meeting

between the respective appraisers. He described his role at this stage as a “go between” for setting up appointments. The meeting was eventually set for November 30, 2012. He agreed that both appraisers were supposed to get together, and was not aware that Mr. Ingram left before getting together with Mr. Doucet.

[534]It was Mr. MacInnis who engaged Mr. Ingram. He said that, typically, once an appraisal report is completed, it is delivered to him; however, in this instance, because it was an expropriation, the appraisal report went directly to Mr. MacKenzie. On cross-examination, Mr. MacInnis acknowledged that he had never heard of a delay where an appraisal did not take place for more than a year from the time of expropriation.

[535]Further, on cross-examination, Mr. MacInnis acknowledged that he was aware that Mr. Smith was experiencing serious health issues which prevented him from

dealing with this matter during the period when he was trying to arrange the appraisers’ meeting. He also acknowledged that there was “no real harm” to the Department during the period as it had access to the land.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 191 -

[536]Mr. MacIntosh questioned Mr. MacInnis about the request made for pre- authorization of fencing along the back of the property for security purposes. He acknowledged that it was a reasonable request, and did not recall that the Department said it would have to be addressed by Mr. Ingram.

[537]Mr. MacIntosh also explored the lack of access to the southern remnant lands with Mr. MacInnis:

Can you tell me, as Acquisition Officer, Mr. MacInnis, do you know of another single property taken along the corridor where the remnant back lands was left with the property owner landlocked and unable to be accessed? Do you know of another single property?

MR. MACINNIS: In this corridor?


MR. MACINNIS: You must remember, now, I wasn’t - - I started long after they started purchasing properties here. I can’t think of any that I was involved in that left large remnants that were landlocked, no.

MR. MACINTOSH: Can you think of another situation on any project that you’ve been involved in, since the date of your hire, where the department comes along and takes someone’s property and will not pay them for the back landlocked portion which the property owner can’t access anymore? Have you ever heard of that happening?

MR. MACINNIS: We’ve had - - I’ve had acquisitions where the landowner has retained landlocked properties, but they were paid injurious affection for the impact on that property.

MR. MACINTOSH: Of course, and the landowners may want it. Or you grant a right -of- way or get a route, correct?

MR. MACINNIS: Or they may get an access route later, themselves, yes.

MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah, that’s when the landowner wants it. But have you ever heard of a situation like Central, where a property owner is not compensated for that rear remnant land and not given any means of access?

MR. MACINNIS: I would expect that injurious affection would be payable.

MR. MACINTOSH: Are you aware that the properties on both sides of Central, their full remnant backlands were acquired by the Province?


MR. MACINTOSH: Has anyone ever given you an explanation as to why the Province also didn’t offer to do the same for Central?

MR. MACINNIS: I’m not sure why, no.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 192 -

[SF05822, 54:45-56:40]

[538]Mr. MacInnis did not have anything to do with the Department’s acquisition

of the adjacent mobile home property. He was not aware of how that property was valued and was not aware of how the Central property was valued. He stated that different portions of a parcel could have different values.

[539]Mr. MacInnis testified that he had no involvement with the environmental assessment process and was not aware of any provisions regarding mitigation of effects on property owners or conditions attached to the approval. He also confirmed he was not aware of the CLC or the dispute resolution policy for dealing with the acquisitions.

Graydon Bushell

[540]Mr. Bushell retired from the Department in March 2005, as Manager of Acquisitions and Disposals, Real Property Services. Prior to that, he was an Acquisitions and Disposals Officer in the Central District. His role with the Highway 104 alignment was to administer the acquisition process of the approved alignment. His first public involvement was the May 1998 Open House, when his role was to answer questions from property owners whose lands would be required. Before that, he worked with the internal planning section of the Department to identify what the estimated costs would be, knowing the number of properties affected.

[541]Mr. Bushell had no recollection of any discussion with Mr. Smith at the May 1998 meeting, which was held before any approved right-of-way plans were prepared. He did not recall any discussion about the impact of the alignment on

Central’s property. While he did not recall giving Mr. Smith a map, he agreed, however, there was no reason to disbelieve Mr. Smith’s statement that he had given him the plan.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 193 -

In response to a question from the Board, he said he had no recollection of telling Mr. Smith that he could not do anything with his land. He did recall speaking with Mr. Smith at a May 2001 meeting. They met in a parking lot and looked at a plan, but Mr. Bushell did not recall the plan. While he could not recall the entirety of their discussion, he said it centered on concerns about access points and whether any had been eliminated. He did not recall discussing the absence of an exit ramp.

[542]In April 2001, a meeting was held about the intersection of the highway and Highway 316. Mr. Bushell attended this meeting, but did not recall if Mr. Smith had been invited or attended.

[543]Mr. Bushell said he could not recall if he was asked, in preparing for his testimony, about a disagreement with Mr. Smith at the May 2001 meeting. He was not asked about the map showing the exit ramp that Mr. Smith had testified about, nor was he asked about any records or files he had. He said he was uncertain whether he had any such files. He did not keep notes of discussions with property owners, or a diary.

There was a Central file in the Department’s head office, as well as for other owners.

[544]Mr. Bushell said he had not asked anyone at the public meetings to provide him with plans. He was not made aware of the July 2, 1998 letter which Kevin White of Central sent to Mr. Croft referring to Central’s plans, but agreed it should have

been passed on to him, or he should have been informed about it as he was “the man in charge” for acquisitions and disposals at the time. He was uncertain when any negotiations with Central would have begun, and said that if there had been an approved right-of-way plan, Department representatives would have visited owners. He did not visit Central.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 194 -

[545]Mr. MacIntosh pursued the question of Mr. Smith’s evidence of the

conversation where he said Mr. Bushell had told him about his business plans:

Let’s go back to the May 30, 1998 - - that first public meeting. Steve Smith has testified that he talked to you and he told you about his business expansion plans. You have no recollection of that whatsoever, Mr. Bushell? Why would you give him a map like that?

MR. BUSHELL: That was from the 1998 public meeting and you just mentioned the 2001

- -

MR. MACINTOSH: No, sorry, I’m back to the May 98 meeting. Steve Smith has testified that he told you, when he first saw that, he was upset and he said this is going to interfere with my business. And out of that meeting, you gave him that map so he could take back to his business.


MR. MACINTOSH: Yeah, so you do recall that?

MR. BUSHELL: Well, I’m just saying no, I don’t recall physically doing that. I don’t recall any conversation with Mr. Smith at that meeting. As I would’ve said, we would’ve - - Mr. Smith was an individual property owner who would have more clarity of an interaction with staff member, than a staff member who would have been dealing with hundreds of people at one open house meeting.

[SF05848, 1:01:15-1:02:41]

[546]Mr. Bushell testified that the policy of the Province on how properties were acquired was to evaluate the property and anticipate the value of the land and the impact of partial taking; to establish a value; to meet with the owner to identify any concerns; to make an offer of compensation based on fair market value; to enter into negotiations; and, to make sure all of the owner’s interests were considered.

[547]Mr. Rieksts drew Mr. Bushell’s attention to a memorandum from Mr.

Bushell to Don Carter dated April 28, 1998, which refers to 165 landowners whose lands are affected by the three proposed alignments, and indicated:

For the purposes of negotiations Real Property will require a land use plan to identify access points to severed lands either by parallel access roads or multiplates if required and right of way plans to identify partial takings that may result in total buyouts…[Emphasis in original]

[Exhibit S-42, Tab 123]

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 195 -

[548]Mr. Bushell said such a plan would have been prepared to identify where lands would be severed and, if there could be an access road to assist property owners to get to their remainder lands, and decide whether all of the lands would be acquired.

John Bain

[549]Mr. Bain is the Director of the Eastern District Planning Commission

(“EDPC”). He provided a Memorandum to Mr. Rieksts, dated February 11, 2016, which was entered in evidence by agreement of the parties without the necessity of Mr. Bain testifying at the hearing. The Memorandum addressed the planning milieu in which the Central property at Lower South River operated and the possibility of re-zoning.

[550]Up until April 1, 2005, the County Council was responsible for planning matters. Thereafter, the EDPC took over responsibility for “…the administration of land use planning, development …” for the County. Mr. Bain stated that the front of the

Central property was zoned Commercial under the “old plan”. This was changed in 2006 to a Highway Commercial (HC-1) Zone. The rear of the property was zoned Rural Development (RD-1). He went on to state:

…The old Municipal Planning Strategy did however have a policy which allowed for the rezoning of properties to a zone permitted in an abutting designation…

. . .

Also the old Municipal Planning Strategy allowed for the rezoning of properties in the Residential Designation subject to three criteria in addition to the general implementation criteria…However, there was no similar criterion for properties located adjacent to the Commercial Designation and located within the Rural Development Designation. Therefore a rezoning of the properties in question would only be subject to the general implementation Policy 31(a).

. . .

Given the above an application for rezoning of properties from the Rural Development (RD-1) Zone to the Highway Commercial (HC-1) Zone would have required a minimal application and circulation such that a staff report could be written addressing only the criteria in Policy 31(a). A typical timeline for a rezoning is from four to six months from

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 196 -

application to completion assuming no appeals are received by the Utility and Review Board.

[Exhibit S-90, pp. 1-2]

[551]Mr. Bain went on to state that, under the “new plan”, the front of Central’s

property was zoned General Commercial (C-2) and the rear was in the Rural General (RG-1) Zone. Similar to the “old plan”, he said there is a policy for rezoning abutting lands, although the new plan has certain specifications when a rezoning is sought to C - 2, and a more detailed implementation policy.

[552]Mr. Bain concluded:

…Given the above an application for rezoning of properties from the Rural General (RG-

1)Zone to the General Commercial (C-2) Zone under the new documents would require a more detailed application then in the old documents but still it would be a relatively minimal application and circulation such that a staff report could be written addressing the criteria in both Policy L-3.6 and the general implementation Policy I-1.10. A typical timeline for a rezoning is still from four to six months from application to completion assuming no appeals are received by the Utility and Review Board.

The exception to the above is if the developers were considering a “Large Scale Commercial” development which is defined in the Land Use By -law as “…a commercial development having a total gross leasable area of 50,000 square feet or more, located in one or more buildings designed, developed, operated or controlled by a single owner with on-site park ing to jointly serve all buildings.” In this case the developer would be looking at a more comprehensive review process as the development would be considered through the development agreement provisions of the Municipal Planning Strategy. Such a process could take closer to a year from application through negotiation of the agreement to public hearings and finally signing of the agreement. [Emphasis in original]

[Exhibit S-90, p. 4]


[553]As arranged with the parties, the Board undertook a visit on May 6, 2016,

a day when Central’s Lower South River site was in operation. Sarah MacIntosh attended, as did Catherine Lunn, a colleague of Mr. Rieksts, who was unable to attend. Jim Murray of Central acted as a guide. The Board toured the offices, warehouses, trucking bays, laydown yard, and truss mill buildings. Mr. Murray then drove the Board and counsel to view the Sears property, which was comparable sale #7 for Mr. Ingram

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 197 -

and sale #1 for Mr. Doucet, and then drove onto the highway corridor by means of a service road off the Beech Hill Road, adjacent to what it understood was the comparable sale/listing #6 used by Mr. Ingram and sale B by Mr. Doucet. The Board was driven along the highway corridor to the rear of the Central northern remnant and in front of the southern remnant.

[554]Subsequently, Mr. Murray drove the Board and counsel to the former Riversbend site in Pomquet, which has been purchased by Central where the existing building and grounds were viewed.

[555]Later, as the Board advised counsel, the Board attended alone at

Central’s Market Street location near the Town of Antigonish and observed the surrounding commercial premises. Additionally, the Board viewed the drive-through area, storage/lay-down area, small garden centre and the interior of the Market Street store.

[556]The Board was also able to take a cursory view of Central’s Stellarton

location from the highway while driving to Lower South River.

[557]There was nothing in what the Board viewed that was not generally consistent with the evidence before it.


[558]The relevant sections of the Expropriation Act are:

2 (1) It is the intent and purpose of this Act that every person whose land is expropriated shall be compensated for such expropriation.

. . .

3 (1) In this Act,

. . .

(h) “injurious affection” means

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 198 -

(i)where a statutory authority acquires part of the land of an owner,

(A)the reduction in market value thereby caused to the remaining land of the owner by the acquisition or by the construction of the works thereon or by the use of the works thereon or any combination of them, and

(B)such personal and business damages, resulting from the construction or use, or both, of the works as the statutory authority would be liable for if the construction or use were not under the authority of a statute,

(ii)where the statutory authority does not acquire part of the land of an owner,

(A)such reduction in the market value of the land of the owner, and

(B)such personal and business damages, resulting from the construction and not the use of the works by the statutory authority, as the statutory authority would be liable for if the construction were not under the authority of a statute,

and for the purposes of subclause (i), part of the land of an owner shall be deemed to have been acquired where the owner from whom land is acquired retains land contiguous to that acquired or retains land of which the use is enhanced by unified ownership with that acquired;

. . .

13 (1) In this Section, "registered owner" means a known registered owner.

(2)Where no agreement as to compensation has been made with the owner, the expropriating authority shall, within ninety days after the deposit of the expropriation document under Section 11 and before taking possession of the land, serve upon the registered owner

(a)a true copy of the expropriation documents;

(b)an offer of an amount in full compensation for his interest ; and

(c)where the registered owner is not a tenant, a statement of the total compensation being offered for all interests in the land,

excepting compensation for business loss for which the determination is postponed under subsection (1) of Section 29.

(3)The expropriating authority shall base its offer of compensation made under subsection (2) upon a report appraising the market value of the lands being taken and damages for injurious affection, and shall serve a copy of the appraisal report upon the owner at the time the offer is made.

(4)The expropriating authority may, within the period mentioned in subsection (2) and before taking possession of the land, upon giving at least two days notice to the registered owner, apply to a judge for an order extending any time referred to in subsection (2), and a judge may in his order authorize the statutory authority to take possession of the land before the expiration of the extended time for serving the offer or statement under clause (a) of subsection (2) upon such conditions as may be specified in the order.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 199 -

(5)If any registered owner is not served with the offer required to be served on him under subsection (2) within the time limited by subsection (2) or by an order of a judge under subsection (4) or by agreement, the failure does not invalidate the expropriation but interest upon the unpaid portion of any compensation payable to such registered owner shall be calculated from the date of the deposit in the registry of deeds of the expropriation document.

. . .

16 (1) Where an offer of full compensation has been made to a person under this Act and that person accepts the offer, the full amount thereof shall forthwith upon acceptance of the offer be paid to that person.

(2)If the registered owner under Section 13 or the owner under Section 15 does not accept the offer of the amount of full compensation made, then the statutory authority shall immediately pay to him seventy-five per cent thereof without prejudice to the right of that person to claim additional compensation in respect of the expropriation.

(3)If the amount paid pursuant to subsection (2) exceeds the amount of compensation as determined by the Board, the Board shall order the registered owner to pay the excess to the expropriating authority and, upon such order being made, the registered owner shall pay the excess to the expropriating authority.

. . .

24 Where land is expropriated, the statutory authority shall pay the owner compensation as is determined in accordance with this Act.

25 (1) The rules set forth in this Part shall be applied in determining the value of land expropriated.

(2)The value of land expropriated shall be the value of that land at the time the expropriation documents are deposited at the office of the registrar of deeds.

26 The due compensation payable to the owner for lands expropriated shall be the aggregate of

(a)the market value of the land or a family home for a family home determined as hereinafter set forth;

(b) the reasonable costs, expenses and losses arising out of or incidental to the owner's disturbance determined as hereinafter set forth;

(c)damages for injurious affection as hereinafter set forth; and

(d)the value to the owner of any special economic advantage to him arising out of or incidental to his actual occupation of the land, to the extent that no other provision is made therefor in due compensation.

. . .

27 (2) Subject to this Section, the value of land expropriated is the market value thereof, that is to say, the amount that would have been paid for the land if, at the time of its taking, it had been sold in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 200 -

(3)Where the owner of land expropriated was in occupation of the land at the time the expropriation document was deposited in the registry of deeds and, as a result of the expropriation, it has been necessary for him to give up occupation of the land, the value of the land expropriated is the greater of

(a)the market value thereof determined as set forth in subsection (2); and

(b)the aggregate of

(i)the market value thereof determined on the basis that the use to which the land expropriated was being put at the time of its taking was its highest and best use, and

(ii)the costs, expenses and losses arising out of or incidental to the owner's disturbance including moving to other premises but if such cannot practically be estimated or determined, there may be allowed in lieu thereof a percentage, not exceeding fifteen, of the market value determined as set forth in subclause (i),

plus the value to the owner of any element of special economic advantage to him arising out of or incidental to his occupation of the land, to the extent that no other provision is made by this clause for the inclusion thereof in determining the value of the land expropriated.

. . .

(5)Where only part of the land of an owner is taken and such part is of a size, shape or nature for which there is no general demand or market, the market value and the injurious affection caused by the taking may be determined by determining the market value of the whole of the owner's land and deducting therefrom the market value of the owner's land after the taking.

. . .

(8)For the purposes of subclause (ii) of clause (b) of subsection (3) consideration shall be given to the time and circumstances in which an owner was allowed to continue in occupation of the land after the expropriating authority became entitled to take physical possession or make use thereof, and to any assistance given by the expropriating authority to enable such owner to seek and obtain alternative premises.

. . .

29 (1) Where a business is located on the land expropriated, the statutory authority shall pay compensation for business loss resulting from the relocation of the business made necessary by the expropriation and, unless the owner and the statutory authority otherwise agree, the business losses shall not be determined until the business has moved and been in operation for twelve months or until a three-year period has elapsed from the date of the expropriation, whichever occurs first.

(2)Where it is not feasible for the owner of a business to relocate, there shall be included in the compensation payable an amount for the loss of the business where the compensation for the land taken is based on the existing value of the land.

. . .

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 201 -

30 (1) A statutory authority shall compensate the owner of land for loss or damage caused by injurious affection.

(2)No compensation is payable for the loss of access to land or egress from land, or both, where the loss is the result of a designation pursuant to the Public Highways Act of a highway or land as a controlled access highway, if other access to the land or egress from the land, as the case may be, is available as a result of a service or land access road being provided.

31 (1) Subject to subsection (2), a claim for compensation for injurious affection shall be made by the person suffering the damage or loss in writing with particulars of the claim within one year after the damage was sustained or after it became known to him, and, if not so made, the right to compensation is forever barred.

. . .

36 (1) Where the statutory authority and the owner have not agreed upon the compensation payable under this Act and, in the case of injurious affection, Section 31 has been complied with or, in the case of expropriation, Section 13 has been complied with, or the time for complying therewith has expired,

(a)the statutory authority or the owner may serve notice of negotiation upon the other of them stating that it or he, as the case may be, requires the compensation to be negotiated; or

(b)where the statutory authority and the owner have agreed to dispense with negotiation proceedings or are unable to agree to a negotiator within thirty days of service of the notice referred to in clause (a), the statutory authority or the owner may serve notice upon the other of them or upon the Board, to have the compensation determined by the Board.

(2)In any case in which a notice of negotiation is served, the negotiator shall, upon reasonable notice to the statutory authority and the owner, meet with them and, without prejudice to any subsequent proceedings, proceed in a summary and informal manner to negotiate a settlement of the compensation.

(3)Before or during the negotiation proceedings, the negotiator shall inspect the land that has been expropriated or injuriously affected.

(4)If the negotiation proceedings do not result in a settlement of the compens ation, the statutory authority or the owner may serve notice upon the other of them and upon the Board stating that it or he, as the case may be, requires the compensation to be

determined by the Board as though the negotiation proceedings had not taken place.

. . .

47 (1) The Board shall determine any compensation where the parties have not agreed on the amount of compensation, and in the absence of agreement, determine any other matter required by this or any other Act to be determined by the Board.

. . .

53 (1) Subject to Sections 13 and 15, the owner of lands expropriated is entitled to be paid interest on the portion of the market value of his interest in the land and on the portion of any allowance for injurious affection to which he is entitled, outst anding from

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 202 -

time to time, at the rate of six per cent a year calculated from the date the owner ceases to reside on or make productive use of the lands.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), where the Board is of the opinion that any delay in determining the compensation is attributable in whole or in part to the owner, it may refuse to allow him interest for the whole or any part of the time for which he might otherwise be entitled to interest, or may allow interest at such rate less than six per cent a year as appears reasonable.

(3)The interest to which an owner is entitled under subsection (1) shall not be reduced for the reason only that the owner did not accept the offer made by the expropriating authority, notwithstanding that the compensation as finally determined is less than the offer.

(4)Where the Board is of the opinion that any delay in determining compensation is attributable in whole or in part to the expropriating authority , the Board may order the expropriating authority to pay to the owner interest under subsection (1) at a rate exceeding six per cent a year but not exceeding twelve per cent a year. [Emphasis added]


[559]The burden of proof is on the Claimant to establish the amount of compensation to be ordered for the expropriation of its lands at Lower South River. The standard of proof is on the balance of probabilities.

[560]Regarding mitigation, the burden shifts to the Respondent to satisfy the Board, on the same standard of proof, that the Claimant has failed to reasonably mitigate its losses.

[561]As directed by the Board at the close of the evidence, April 11, 2016, was set as the date for oral closing submissions. At that time, Counsel for the Claimant made lengthy oral submissions; however, Counsel for the Respondent advised that he had originally anticipated written submissions, and due to some technical difficulties, was unable to make oral submissions on that date. It was agreed that written submissions could be made by the Respondent, with the Claimant then having the opportunity to file written rebuttal submissions thereafter.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 203 -

[562]The Respondent filed a 70-page written submission with a four-page appendix on April 26, 2016, which was followed on May 25, 2016, by the Claimant’s 54- page rebuttal together with a 138-page annotated response to the Respondent’s


[563]Given the lengthy submissions from both parties, the Board has determined that, for the purposes of this Decision, it should set out a summary of the submissions on those issues it considers relevant to the issues the Board must decide. The parties should be aware that, while it will discuss some of the various arguments made by both Counsel, it will not refer to every one of them. To the extent that the

Board’s decision is inconsistent with any such argument, it may be taken that the Board,

having evaluated the argument, chose to reject it.

[564]The Board has identified the issues which it considers require review as


What is the market value of the land taken?

Should any compensation be due for the value of any special economic advantage per s. 26(d) of the Expropriation Act?

What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the south remnant of Central’s property?

What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the north remnant of Central’s property?

Can there be compensation due for business losses?

Did the Claimant have expansion plans for the property?

What is the appropriate loss period and when did it begin?

Did the Claimant take reasonable steps to mitigate its loss?

What amount of compensation is due for business losses?

Are there other losses which should be compensated?

Should interest be allowed at greater than 6%?

How should any tax consequences be treated?

How should costs be treated?

[565]Many of these issues involve a consideration of subsidiary issues, which the Board will address as it outlines the submissions on each issue below.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 204 -

[566]Overall, the parties expressed some consistent themes in their respective submissions. The Claimant stressed the need for an owner whose land has been expropriated to be treated fairly in line with the principles set out in the Supreme Court

of Canada’s decision in Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority v. Dell Holdings Ltd., [1997] 1 S.C.R. 32 (“Dell”). Indeed, both Counsel referred to the need for the Board to interpret the Act using a “broad and purposive approach.” Both agreed that the principles in Director of Buildings and Lands v. Shun Fung Ironworks Ltd., [1995] A.C. 111 (“Shun Fung”) must be satisfied, i.e., the loss must be causally related to the expropriation; the loss must not be too remote; and the loss must not be one that a reasonable person in a claimant’s position would have avoided. Both agreed that there should be full compensation to the owner. However, the Respondent cautioned the Board against overcompensation and/or awarding amounts which would mean double recovery. The Respondent also reminded the Board that any compensation must come within the statutory heads of damage as set out in the Act.

[567]The Board now turns to an examination of the submissions on the identified relevant issues.

What is the market value of the land taken?

[568]Central submitted that the value of the land taken is $630,000, based on

the Altus appraisal. This contrasts with the Province’s value of $200,000, which was Mr. Ingram’s opinion.

[569]Mr. MacIntosh stated that the evidence showed that Mr. Ingram’s initial

valuation of $470,000 (which included injurious affection) in February, 2014, was reduced because Steven MacKenzie brought to Mr. Ingram’s attention an additional

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 205 -

comparable sale. That sale was a private sale of the “Christmas tree property” immediately to the east of Central’s land. This was Mr. Ingram’s comparable #5. Mr. MacIntosh submitted that this same property was subsequently transferred to the Province for nearly double the sale price.

[570]Mr. MacIntosh submitted that this property was not comparable to

Central’s property because it is unserviced, has limited accessibility on road frontage, has significant wetland, has been cut over, and has “inferior zoning”. He said that Mr. Ingram had allowed himself to be influenced by Mr. MacKenzie.

[571]Mr. Ingram had also testified that his comparable #7 is superior to Central’s lands. Mr. MacIntosh said that it was oddly shaped, and only less than half of

it, close to the highway, was of use to the purchaser. Further, an expensive looped driveway had to be built to access the lot.

[572]Mr. MacIntosh also took issue with Mr. Ingram’s comparable #4 which, he said, was on a cul-de-sac, and undeveloped and unserviced.

[573]The Respondent submitted that the comparables used by Mr. Ingram were

better than those used by Mr. Doucet. Mr. Doucet’s differed in size and proximity to town which, Mr. Rieksts submitted, made them superior rather than inferior. Comparable I, which was the same as Mr. Ingram’s #7, should have been considered superior rather than similar. Mr. Ingram’s comparables #5 and #6 were similar in location and topography, although smaller. Because they lacked access to municipal services, he considered them inferior to the subject, and assigned a higher value per acre to it.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 206 -

[574]Zoning was addressed by both parties. The Claimant’s view, supported

by Mr. Doucet, was that the RD-1 zoning for the rear of the property could easily have been changed, thus there was potential for development. Mr. Rieksts submitted that any change in zoning would take time and have associated costs. Mr. MacIntosh, in rebuttal, submitted that Mr. Bain’s agreed evidence indicated this would be easily achieved. Further, he said, Mr. Ingram had not made any inquiries about the probability of rezoning, and conceded that, upon reviewing correspondence between the Province and the County, the probability was sufficiently high to have accounted for it in his valuation.

[575]Mr. Rieksts stated that Mr. Doucet had used the “4-3-2-1 rule” in determining a value for lands beyond the developed area of Central’s property. He

submitted that this was arbitrary and speculative as it was not based on any market analysis. While Mr. Doucet had described this as a “rule of thumb”, Mr. Rieksts said its use was unjustified. Further, he submitted it did not account for differences in topography and zoning.

[576]Mr. MacIntosh submitted that the use of the 4-3-2-1 rule was entirely appropriate. He said that, according to Mr. Doucet, there was no market data for lots of similar depth, and that he had merely used this rule as a check on his values which he had calculated independent of the rule. Mr. Doucet had testified that even if he had not

used the rule in this way, his values would not have changed. In Mr. MacIntosh’s submission, what Mr. Doucet had done was better than Mr. Ingram’s discounting without explanation.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 207 -

[577]Both Counsel addressed the issue of wetlands, and their impact on valuation. This issue relates not only to the land taken, but to the lands to the south of the taking. The impact on the lands to the south of the taking is discussed more fully below. Mr. MacIntosh submitted that Mr. Ingram had acknowledged that the Province had not had a problem in filling in the part of the taking which was described as

wetlands. Thus, it is useable. Consequently, the value of wetlands should not be significantly discounted.

[578]Mr. Rieksts, however, submitted that Mr. Ingram had valued the 1.85 acres of the taking identified as wetland based on his experience. The value was discounted to 25% of the non-wetland area.

[579]Ultimately, each Counsel asked the Board to adopt its expert’s valuation

and give no weight whatsoever to the opposing party’s expert report.


[580]The land taken comprised 11.34 acres, and the taking divided Central’s

property into two parcels. Each party provided the Board with expert evidence of the market value of the land taken.

[581]The Board prefers the evidence of Mr. Doucet over that of Mr. Ingram for a number of reasons. First, the Board finds that Mr. Ingram did not give sufficient consideration or weight to the likelihood that the property could have been re-zoned to allow development as contemplated by Central. The Board accepts the evidence of Mr. Bain on the re-zoning process. Further, Mr. Ingram agreed on cross-examination that he should have accounted for this.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 208 -

[582]Secondly, the Board finds that the comparables used by Mr. Ingram

resulted in an undervaluing of Central’s property. The two properties which he said were the best comparables were his numbers 3 and 4. He gave them the greatest weight. Number 3 was less than an acre in size and he described it as “suitable only for single family or small local commercial uses”; yet the time-adjusted value was less than $4,000 per acre lower than the value he ascribed to the “non-wetland portion” of the land taken. Number 4 was described as a “relatively small parcel…located in the industrial park…accessed via a private lane”; this was given a time-adjusted value of less than $3,000 per acre lower than the Central non-wetland lands.

[583]However, Mr. Ingram considered his comparable sale number 7, which had a time-adjusted value of more than $58,000 per acre, to be superior to the Central property. The Board considers this to be inconsistent since Mr. Ingram notes that the

property had no highway access available, but “the exposure to Highway 104 is very good.” The Board considers the same could be said of Central’s property, which Mr. Doucet valued at less than $3,000 per acre lower than the time-adjusted value of sale number 7.

[584]The Board also notes that Mr. Ingram ascribed a reduced value to wetland areas on the taking, relying on the Strum report. Mr. MacIntosh had submitted the

Board should “…strike this report, ignore it and remove it…”, not least because it was done in 2013, after the area taken had been cut and cleared, but also because it merely described a “potential” for wetland.

[585]Mr. Doucet had not differentiated between non-wetland and wetland areas on the land taken. When he prepared his report, he said:


2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 209 -

The subject property has a gently sloping topography from Highway # 104 down towards the rear of the property. It is noted that “cut and fill” would be required in the area of the expropriated lands for the new highway as there is a hill at an elevation of 40 metres, whereas much of the land is at the 35 metre elevation. The lands have been infilled and levelled to the north boundary of the new Trans-Canada Highway corridor.

There is reportedly an area of 1.85 acres at the east end of the taking that is wetland. This area will be identified as wetland “A” for the purpose of this report. The aerial photographs do not depict this as wetland but rather as wooded land. As of the dat e of writing this report we have not been provided with a wetland delineation plan from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to confirm if this is in fact wetland. Our investigation led us to contact Mr. A.G. MacDonald, the owner of a local construction company named Alva Construction. His company did the excavation and road preparation work for the new highway as it passed through Central’s property. Mr. MacDonald indicated that the land (so-called wetland) would have been fine for a material lay down area, which Central Supplies would use it for. He stated that a 2 or 3 foot layer of clay fill put over that land and some gravel on top would suffice. He said that “sub­excavation”, which would be undertaken to remove any unstable soil would not be required if the land was to be used as a laydown area. As of the date of writing this report we have not been provided with a wetland delineation plan to confirm if this is in fact unusable wetland. Consequently, this 1.85 acres is valued the same as other expropriated lands. [Emphasis added]

[Exhibit S-1b, p. 16]

[586]Mr. Smith’s evidence was that any wetland area on the land taken was

insignificant and would not impair its use. He had told Mr. MacInnis the same thing.

[587]On cross-examination, Mr. Ingram agreed that any wetland in the area had not posed a problem for the Department.

[588]The Board finds that the entire area of the taking should be valued at the same rate, i.e., without any reduction in value for the wetland. However, the Board accepts that, as Mr. Doucet acknowledged, the total value should be reduced by the amount of the Alva Construction estimate.

[589]The Board further observes that the August 2013, report filed by Mr. Ingram was not his first attempt at valuing the taking. His initial report or draft was completed in February 2013, and showed a higher value for the land, and a significantly higher amount for injurious affection. Mr. Ingram had submitted this version to Stephen MacKenzie of the Department. He revised his report some six months later, as a result

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 210 -

of having been provided with the Strum report as well as information regarding the sale of the adjacent Gaklis (Christmas tree) property by Mr. MacKenzie.

[590]The value assigned to the Gaklis property, per acre, was the lowest per acre of all the comparables used by Mr. Ingram.

[591]The use of the Gaklis sale resulted in Mr. Ingram decreasing his opinion of the market value of the land by $30,000 due to a reduced value assigned to wetland, and decreasing his calculation of injurious affection by 75% from his draft report.

[592]The Board is concerned by this apparent interference with the

independence of the Respondent’s own expert, although Mr. Ingram maintained it had not been compromised. Further, Mr. Ingram offered no explanation for the delay in producing his final report, a time gap which he said was usually no more than two to three months.

[593]After considering these matters, the Board accepts Mr. Doucet’s opinion of

the market value of the taking at $630,000, less $14,625 as estimated by Alva Construction (Exhibit S-17), for a total compensation for market value of the land taken of $615,375.

Should any compensation be due for the value of any special economic advantage per s. 26(d) of the Expropriation Act?

[594]In its original claim, Central claimed compensation for special economic advantage. In his report, Mr. Doucet had said that any compensation for special economic advantage would be addressed in the PwC report.

[595]Subsequently, in closing submissions, Mr. MacIntosh said that while Mr. Doucet, when testifying, might have suggested there was “…an element of special economic advantage in his obsolescence calculation…”, both he and Mr. Doucet had

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 211 -

“retrenched” their positions on that point. Mr. MacIntosh stated, in his annotations to the Respondent’s closing submissions, that Central was no longer seeking any compensation for special economic advantage. In his submissions on April 11, 2016, Mr. MacIntosh said the issue was more properly a component of injurious affection. In his rebuttal, he said “…any possible classification of special economic advantage is equally subsumed by a claim of disturbance.”

[596]The Province submitted that the Board should not, in any event, allow any amount for special economic advantage because the concept requires actual occupation of the lands in a business enterprise, and that Central had not occupied the land in question.


[597]Given the Claimant’s withdrawal of any claim for special economic

advantage pursuant to s. 26(d) of the Act, it is not necessary for the Board to make any finding on this issue.

What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the south remnant of Central’s property?

[598]Central initially claimed compensation of $711,200 for injurious affection to the south remnant of its property, i.e., the portion of lands on the undeveloped side of the taking, which were severed completely. In his rebuttal submissions, Mr. MacIntosh

increased this amount to $788,841 due to an increase in the “before” valuation of the area identified as Wetland B. This resulted from Mr. Doucet having originally adopted the Strum report conclusions about the extent of the wetland area, which Mr. MacIntosh submitted were demonstrated by the evidence to be unreliable.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 212 -

[599]The Province relied on Mr. Ingram’s report in which he calculated compensation for injurious affection to the south remnant at $60,000. Mr. MacIntosh noted that Mr. Ingram had adopted the Strum report.

[600]Mr. Doucet used an area of 2.45 acres for Wetland B on the south remnant, and Mr. Ingram used 4.4 acres of wetland.

[601]The unreliability of the Strum report, according to Mr. MacIntosh, stems

from the following: for the south remnant, only a “desktop” review or evaluation was undertaken using aerial photographs, various databases, and topographical mapping, rather than a field inspection; the areas were described as “high potential wetland locations”, rather than actual wetlands; the report contained references to the clear- cutting of trees in a swamp, which Mr. MacIntosh suggested was not logical; and, there was no evidence that the persons preparing the report were properly qualified.

[602]Mr. MacIntosh pointed to the evidence of Mr. Smith who was familiar with the land and who had seen no significant issues with his ability to use the land as he intended.

[603]Mr. MacIntosh also said that Mr. Ingram had confirmed he was not aware of any other property he had appraised for the Respondent which had wetland areas where a wetland evaluation had been undertaken to assist in valuation.

[604]Further, Mr. MacIntosh submitted that the Gaklis and mobile home park properties adjacent to Central had greater areas of wetland, yet their value was higher

than Central’s rear lands.

[605]Aside from the wetland issue, Mr. MacIntosh addressed the lack of access to the south remnant. While Mr. Ingram had discounted the value of the non-wetland

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 213 -

area by 50%, acknowledging the loss of direct access, he had agreed that perhaps a slightly lower value would be better. Mr. MacIntosh said that it was not reasonable to suggest that access could be granted by an adjacent landowner. He also noted that Mr. Ingram acknowledged that development time for the south remnant was “not in [his] lifetime”.

[606]Mr. MacIntosh submitted that Mr. Ingram was not aware of the correspondence between Wendy Tse of the Municipality and Mr. Croft; nor was he

informed about Kevin White’s letter to Mr. Croft. However, he said that Mr. Ingram admitted it would have been helpful to have those exchanges about Central’s expansion plans.

[607]Mr. MacIntosh also reaffirmed his submissions on the issue of rezoning the rear lands which Mr. Ingram had not considered, which resulted in an undervaluing of the south remnant.

[608]Mr. MacIntosh described the south remnant as landlocked and suggested it would only have a nominal value. Further, he said that, on cross-examination, Mr. Ingram agreed that he was not aware of any other property where the Province did not take the remnant or provide access to it.


[609]The Act defines “injurious affection” in s. 3(1)(h)(i) as:

(h)“injurious affection” means

(i)where a statutory authority acquires part of the land of an owner,

(A)the reduction in market value thereby caused to the remaining land of the owner by the acquisition or by the construction of the works thereon or by the use of the works thereon or any combination of them, and

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 214 -

(B)such personal and business damages, resulting from the construction or use, or both, of the works as the statutory authority would be liable for if the construction or use were not under the authority of a statute,

(ii)where the statutory authority does not acquire part of the land of an owner,

(A)such reduction in the market value of the land of the owner, and

(B)such personal and business damages, resulting from the construction and not the use of the works by the statutory authority, as the statutory authority would be liable for if the construction were not under the authority of a statute,

and for the purposes of subclause (i), part of the land of an owner shall be deemed to have been acquired where the owner from whom land is acquired retains land contiguous to that acquired or retains land of which the use is enhanced by unified ownership with that acquired; [Emphasis added]

[610]Mr. Doucet had assigned a lower value to the southern remnant lands when calculating the value of the entire Central property with his use of the “4-3-2-1

Rule.” While the Province submitted this is an inappropriate method, the Board sees merit in the conclusion that the value of the rear lands is not as great as lands closer to the highway.

[611]But for the expropriation, Central had a large parcel on which it could continue to expand, if it chose to do so; however, the Board considers it would not be reasonable to conclude that expansion would occur to the full depth of its lands.

[612]The Board discusses expansion of Central’s operations later in this

Decision. For the purposes of considering injurious affection to the south remnant, the Board is persuaded that, practically, the value of the most southerly portion of the land is less. However, but for the expropriation, the Board considers that Central would have used certain areas of what is now the southern remnant.

[613]The Board agrees with the Claimant that the southern remnant, which is severed from the rest of the Central property, and without a means of access from the

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 215 -

highway corridor, is almost worthless. Even Mr. Ingram agreed it would not likely be developed in his lifetime and that the value should be considerably discounted.

[614]Although Mr. MacIntosh suggested the Board should perhaps assign a value as low as $100 per acre to the land, the Board observes that Mr. Doucet supported the value of woodland or resource property at $1,000 per acre, which he ascribed as the value after the taking.

[615]The Board agrees with the Claimant about the unreliability of the Strum report for the reasons noted by Mr. MacIntosh.

[616]The Board also finds that officials of the Department accepted that the southern remnant would not be usable; otherwise, it made no sense for them to have investigated the possibility of a tunnel under the highway to connect the northern portion

of Central’s property with the southern remnant.

[617]The Board notes the evidence of Mr. Ingram and Mr. MacInnis who each testified that they were unaware of other parcels where the Province had not provided access to a landlocked severed parcel or acquired the entire parcel.

[618]Consequently, the Board finds there is injurious affection to the southern remnant because of a reduction in its market value, pursuant to s. 3(1)(h)(i)(A) of the

Act. The Board adopts the calculation made by the Claimant of the difference in market value, and as regarding the wetlands, and finds that amount of compensation to be $788,841.

What amount, if any, should be attributed to injurious affection to the northern remnant of Central’s property?

[619]Central claimed that the taking of the highway corridor resulted in injurious affection to the northern remnant of its property, i.e., the area on which its buildings are

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 216 -

located and operations carried out. It claimed compensation in the amount of $557,500 for this portion of the claim, and an additional amount of $54,000 for accelerated depreciation.

[620]Central relied on Mr. Doucet’s report in support of this aspect of the claim. Notwithstanding his “retrenchment” on the issue of special economic advantage, Mr.

MacIntosh submitted that Central’s property was special. Central had room to expand its operations when it owned all the land. The expropriation of a parcel, which severed its lands in two, left Central with limited ability to grow on the north remnant.

[621]Mr. Doucet considered this to have an impact on the market value of that land. However, Mr. MacIntosh said that Mr. Ingram denied any impact while, at the same time, acknowledging his discussions with Mr. Smith about the limitations on his use of the property.

[622]Further, Mr. MacIntosh said that Mr. Ingram had failed to account for the

infrastructure, such as paving on the front or northern part of Central’s property. He also noted Mr. Ingram had understated the description of various buildings, citing the “brand new truss mill” which Mr. Ingram had said was “in good condition”.

[623]Additionally, Mr. Doucet had opined that any potential purchaser of the

north part of Central’s property would seek a discounted price which would take the form of economic or functional obsolescence, and would be a part of injurious affection. Further, he opined that the economic life of the buildings on the north remnant would experience, if purchased, accelerated depreciation which could also be categorized as injurious affection.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 217 -

[624]Mr. Rieksts submitted, however, that Mr. Doucet’s opinion on this point

was based on his conclusion that a purchaser would contemplate a dual site distribution centre, and would not upgrade the existing buildings, thus shortening their economic life. Mr. Rieksts said that Mr. Doucet was looking at an “unwilling buyer”. Further, he said Mr. Doucet had been influenced by the plans which Central said it had for the property.

[625]In rebuttal submissions, Mr. MacIntosh said that Mr. Doucet had not valued the developed part of the property as suggested, but had considered the availability of land for expansion. He said a willing buyer would not do anything more than determine the highest and best use of the property and offer a price which was appropriate.

[626]Mr. Rieksts also submitted that there is no recognized category of

“economic obsolescence”, and that Mr. Doucet had, on cross-examination, confirmed he meant “external obsolescence”. Mr. Rieksts said that there was no market analysis performed by Mr. Doucet to support his opinion on this point.

[627]Mr. MacIntosh, in rebuttal, said that Mr. Doucet had arrived at his opinion based on his professional experience, exercising his professional judgment. There was no market data available, and he submitted it was proper for Mr. Doucet to exercise his judgment and to consult with colleagues, as he said he had done.

[628]Mr. Rieksts submitted that allowing compensation for injurious affection to the north remnant would amount to double recovery when there is compensation for the value of the taking already. This, he said, is because the potential development of the lands is already accounted for in considering its highest and best use. In response, Mr.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 218 -

MacIntosh said this was illogical, since this aspect of the claim for injurious affection is the result of constraints on the use of the land from the expropriation. The land cannot, he said, be put to its highest and best use “…in a cost-effective manner.”

[629]Mr. MacIntosh also said that Mr. Rieksts, in his submission that the distribution centre site is not changed due to the expropriation, did not consider the space on the north remnant required for a laydown yard, outside storage, traffic and other uses, which prevent construction of any expansion for the distribution centre.

[630]In contrast to Mr. Doucet’s report, the Province took the position, as per Mr. Ingram’s report, that there is no injurious affection to the northern lands. He opined there was no change in the value of these lands before and after the taking. He saw no change in the highest and best use of the land.


[631]The Board observes there are two elements of injurious affection under s. 3(1)(h)(i) of the Act: the reduction in market value; and personal and business damages, resulting from the construction and/or use of the works.

[632]In its rebuttal at paragraph 110, the Claimant said:

110. It is agreed that there is no compensation pursuant to the business damages aspec t of injurious affection under Section 3(h)(B) [sic] of the Act, since the losses sustained by Central were related to the acquisition to the lands taken, not their construction or use.

[Claimant’s Rebuttal Submissions, May 24, 2016]

[633]The northern remnant of Central’s lands is the portion which has been

developed over the years with approximately eight buildings and other infrastructure. Whether this land suffered injurious affection is a significant difference in the expert reports of Mr. Doucet and Mr. Ingram.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 219 -

[634]For the purposes of expropriation, the market value of land is the amount which would have been paid if it had been sold in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer (see s. 27(2) of the Act).

[635]Section 27(5) of the Act provides:

(5)Where only part of the land of an owner is taken and such part is of a size, shape or nature for which there is no general demand or market, the market value and the injurious affection caused by the taking may be determined by determining the market value of the whole of the owner's land and deducting therefrom the market value of the owner's land after the taking.

[636]In the case of Central, because the property was severed completely, the Board concludes that each remnant could suffer reduction in market value. The Board has determined earlier in this Decision that the market value of the southern remnant or rear lands is, and was, not the same as the northern remnant. The northern remnant lands had a higher value per acre.

[637]Each of the appraisers considered the highest and best use of the entire property, both before and after the taking.

[638]Mr. Doucet opined that before the taking “…the highest and best use…would have been the continuation of the current use as a distribution centre and

truss plant with +/- 28.83 acres of available land suitable for continued expansion of the business.” After the taking he said:

The Highest and Best use of the remaining lands is considered to be the continuation of the current use as a distribution centre and truss plant, with any future expansion limited to an alternate site nearby…the lack of expansion capability has a negative impact on the remnant lands to the north of the new highway.

[Exhibit S-1(b), p. 39]

[639]Mr. Ingram described the highest and best use, both as vacant and improved, before and after the taking. He said:

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 220 -

…the highest and best use of the improved property is considered to be the existing building supply use for the GC-1 zoned land with a holding use in anticipation of future development consistent [with] the RD-1 zone for the balance of the property.

[Exhibit S-4, p. 21]

He concluded the highest and best use of the northern remnant was “unchanged as a result of the taking”, and found no injurious affection.

[640]Mr. Doucet’s conclusion led him to opine:

An informed and knowledgeable purchaser of this DC facility “without expansion lands” versus another DC facility “with potential expansion lands” will select the latter. In order to attract such a potential purchaser to the subject DC facility “without expansion lands”, it is our opinion that a price discount would be required. In our opinion this discount represents a form of “economic obsolescence” and in the case of expropriation is a measure of injurious affection caused by the expropriation. This injurious affection is applicable to the market value of the north remnant including all land, buildings and site infrastructure.

[Exhibit S-1(b), p. 39]

[641]Mr. Doucet went on to describe the issue:

Prior to the expropriation, the land was accessible for future development and after it is not. This represents a near complete loss of utility.

The more challenging question relating to injurious affection is how the remaining developed portion of the DC is affected by the loss of future development land. Central advises that it must now acquire additional land and develop a dual site DC, particulars of which will be described by PWC.

[Exhibit S-1(b), p. 67]

[642]The Province submitted that Mr. Doucet had valued the northern remnant as part of a dual site operation to which the Claimant strenuously objected in rebuttal submissions.

[643]The Board is mindful that it must avoid double recovery to the Claimant; (see Harrison Blueberry Enterprises Ltd. v. Nova Scotia, 2004 NSUARB 121, affirmed on appeal at 2006 NSCA 26); however, the Board does not consider that an award for injurious affection to the northern remnant, if granted, would amount to double recovery.

[644]The Board accepts that Mr. Doucet has endeavored, based on his years of experience and professional judgement, to value what a willing buyer would pay to a

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 221 -

willing seller of this land. The Board is, however, concerned with his premise that there would be, or would need to be, a second DC site. The Board sees a willing purchaser as one who looks at the northern remnant “as is.”

[645]Mr. Doucet looked at this same purchaser and concluded that buyer will consider there is a limited economic life for the buildings. While the Board does not

accept the Province’s submissions that Mr. Doucet was influenced by Central’s expansion plans, the Board finds that the economic life of the structures was not changed or shortened as a result of the expropriation. Therefore, it declines to accept the claim of accelerated depreciation or “economic obsolescence.”

[646]The Board considers that a smaller piece of land is, in certain circumstances, likely to attract a lower price per acre. While, perhaps, implicit in this thought is the notion that whether there is room to expand could be a factor in determining what a buyer would be willing to pay, the Board concludes there is insufficient evidence before it to make a finding of a reduction in market value of the northern remnant.

[647]Therefore, the Board denies that portion of the claim for injurious affection to the northern remnant, which had been valued at $611,500, including the additional amount from Mr. Doucet’s addendum.

Can there be compensation due for business losses?

[648]Central submitted that its business losses, as calculated by PwC, should be compensated under the heading of disturbance, pursuant to s. 26(b) and s. 27(3)(b)(ii) of the Act. In rebuttal submissions, Central claims compensation for business losses, as an alternative, under s. 29(1) of the Act.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 222 -

[649]The Province took the position that for there to be a compensable claim for disturbance, the landowner must be “in occupation of the land” at the date of

expropriation and must be required to give up that occupation. The owner may have to relocate. Mr. Rieksts referred to the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re Johnson, 2005 NSCA 99, which discussed disturbance damages in the context of these sections of the Act.

[650]Mr. Rieksts first submitted, relying on Johnson, that all, not just a part, of

Central’s lands would have to have been expropriated for a claim for disturbance damages to succeed.

[651]In response, Mr. MacIntosh submitted that the Court’s comments in

Johnson are obiter. Further, he stated such an interpretation would allow an expropriating authority to defeat any claim for business loss by leaving a very small portion of land unexpropriated. It would also be contrary to a liberal and purposive approach to expropriation legislation that seeks to compensate a property owner fully.

[652]As noted in Harrison Blueberry, both Counsel agree that “disturbance” and “disturbance damages” are not defined in the Act. Both appear to agree that occupation

is required. However, in dispute is what “occupation” means in this context.

[653]The Respondent also submitted that a claim for disturbance damages requires the expropriated land to be occupied. It said the lands taken were not occupied by Central’s business. It described them as vacant lands, and said, therefore, Central was not required to give up occupation of them. The Respondent cited the

Board’s decision in Harrison Blueberry as support for its position.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 223 -

[654]While submitting that s. 27(3) of the Act does not specify where occupation must occur, the Claimant urged the Board to take a broad view of the what occupation means. Mr. MacIntosh referred to several cases dealing with real property principles to support his submission that what constitutes occupation depends on the nature of the land. He described how Central had, over the years, expanded its operation and cleared portions of the land. A greenhouse had been on a corner of the

taking. He also referred to Mr. Smith’s evidence that he had walked over the lands on many occasions and had taken steps to limit unauthorized third party access.

[655]Mr. MacIntosh, in reply submissions, reviewed, at Paragraphs 52 to 64, in great detail, a significant number of photographs, including aerial photographs which support the Claimant’s contention that the entire area of the taking was thus occupied. He submitted that the entire 49 acres was occupied.

[656]Additionally, with reference to relocation of the business, the Claimant submitted that this is not a prerequisite to an award of disturbance damages under s. 27(3). As well, relocation is not restricted to a full relocation, but could be partial.

[657]With respect to a claim under s. 29(1) of the Act, the Claimant again says there is no requirement for full relocation.

[658]The Province submitted that s. 26(b) of the Act restricts an owner to

disturbance damages which fall under s. 27(3), based on the inclusion of the words “as hereinafter set forth.”

[659]In response, the Claimant submitted these words are ambiguous. It described this concept as the “umbrella theory”, which it said has come to be disregarded since the decision in Dell.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 224 -

[660]To be consistent with the broad and purposive approach articulated in

Dell, Mr. MacIntosh argued that accepting the Province’s argument regarding s. 26(b) would mean that there could be no disturbance damage where there is a partial taking. He did not accept this was the intent of the legislation. Rather, he relied on the Supreme Court of Canada’s rejection of the submissions in Dell that such damages are limited to the expropriated land and not to remaining land.


[661]As noted above, the Act does not contain any definition of disturbance or disturbance damages. The concept is referred to in two relevant sections:

26The due compensation payable to the owner for lands expropriated shall be the aggregate of

(a)the market value of the land or a family home for a family home determined as hereinafter set forth;

(b)the reasonable costs, expenses and losses arising out of or incidental t o the owner's disturbance determined as hereinafter set forth;

(c)damages for injurious affection as hereinafter set forth; and

(d)the value to the owner of any special economic advantage to him arising out of or incidental to his actual occupation of the land, to the extent that no other provision is made therefor in due compensation.

27 (3) Where the owner of land expropriated was in occupation of the land at the time the expropriation document was deposited in the registry of deeds and, as a result of the expropriation, it has been necessary for him to give up occupation of the land, the value of the land expropriated is the greater of

(a)the market value thereof determined as set forth in subsection (2); and

(b)the aggregate of

(i)the market value thereof determined on the basis that the use to which the land expropriated was being put at the time of its taking was its highest and best use, and

(ii)the costs, expenses and losses arising out of or incidental to the owner's disturbance including moving to other premises but if such cannot practically be estimated or determined, there may be allowed in lieu thereof a percentage, not exceeding fifteen, of the market value determined as set forth in subclause (i),

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 225 -

plus the value to the owner of any element of special economic advantage to him arising out of or incidental to his occupation of the land, to the extent that no other provision is made by this clause for the inclusion thereof in determining the value of the land expropriated. [Emphasis added]

[662]The Board notes that s. 26(b) contains the words “determined as hereinafter set forth.The Board understands these words to direct it to look to the statutory provisions which follow s. 26 in Part III of the Act to determine what compensation is payable under this heading. This is consistent with the Court of Appeal in Johnson.

[663]It is trite law to state that in order to be compensable, any entitlement to compensation must be found in the provisions of the Act.

[664]With respect to disturbance, the Board considers the relevant provision is

s. 27(3)(b)(ii).

[665]The Board understands that the parties agree that “occupation” is required

under s. 27(3) of the Act. The Board notes that s. 27(3) differs from s. 26 in that the heading of disturbance in s. 26(b) does not refer to occupation, although s. 26(d) in referring to special economic advantage refers to “actual occupation”, a term not used in s. 27(3). Nowhere in the Act is either term defined.

[666]The Board is aware that this anomaly was discussed in its Harrison Blueberry decision.

[667]In the absence of any statutory definition, the Board sees merit in the submissions of the Claimant on this point. While the cases cited by Mr. MacIntosh (Morrison v. Muise, 2010 NSSC 163, and Re Price, 2010 NBQB 428) deal with adverse possession, the Board considers that what constitutes occupation depends on the nature of the land.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 226 -
[668] Further, the Board agrees with Mr. MacIntosh that it is the owner, and not the business, which must be in occupation.
[669] Additionally, the photographic evidence referred to by Mr. MacIntosh and the evidence of Mr. Smith persuade the Board that areas of the taking were occupied by the owner, Central, and that it constructively occupied and controlled the other areas, including the southern remnant.
[670] This matter is distinguishable from Harrison Blueberry where the Board found there was no evidence of occupation.
[671] The Province relied on the decision of the Court of Appeal in Johnson for its contention that there can be no damages for disturbance where there is only a partial taking. There, Oland, J.A., was considering the claim for the owner’s time, and said:
[202] In my view, the case law does not clearly establish that a claim for owner’s time is compensable as injurious affection or as disturbance damages in the sense maintained by the Johnsons. Even if I had accepted disturbance damages under s. 26(b) as urged by the Johnsons, which I have not, such damages are only applicable where an entire parcel of land has been taken. That is not the case here where the Province acquired only portions of each of the four parcels taken from the Johnsons. [Emphasis added]
[672] The Claimant argues this was obiter dictum. The Board agrees that, as Oland, J.A., had already denied a claim for disturbance damages “as urged by the Johnsons”, this is obiter. However, in light of the Respondent’s submission, the Board considers it necessary to observe that there is nothing in the wording of s. 27(3) which leads it to conclude that there can be no disturbance damage in the case of a partial taking. Had the Legislature intended that to be so, as suggested in Dell, it would have said so.
[673] The Board notes that Cory, J., said in Dell, at paragraph 29:
The Authority contended that disturbances damages are only available if they ari se in relation to the expropriated land itself and not to any adjoining land which the owner retained after the expropriation. I cannot accept that position. There is nothing in the
Document: 257289

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

- 227 -

words of the section to indicate that there should be such a restriction imposed on those disturbance damages which can accurately be described as the natural and reasonable consequences of an expropriation. If it is a reasonable and natural consequence of the expropriation that the owner experiences losses with regard to the remaining land then this, just as much as losses relating solely to the expropriated land, must come within the definition of disturbance damages. If it had wished to do so, the legislature could have limited disturbance damages to the expropriated land. However it chose to enact an open-ended and flexible definition. This was appropriate in legislation whose aim was to provide reasonable compensation for the losses flowing from the act of expropriation. It is both unnecessary and unfair to read the limitation suggested by the Authority into the provisions of the Act. [Emphasis added]

[674]While the Board is aware the statutory provisions in the Ontario Expropriation Act are not the same as in Nova Scotia, the Board acknowledges that Dell

describes the expropriation legislation as remedial.

[675]The Interpretation Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 235 provides:

9 (5) Every enactment shall be deemed remedial and interpreted to insure the attainment of its objects by considering among other matters

(a)the occasion and necessity for the enactment;

(b)the circumstances existing at the time it was passed;

(c)the mischief to be remedied;

(d)the object to be attained;

(e)the former law, including other enactments upon the same or similar subjects;

(f)the consequences of a particular interpretation; and

(g)the history of legislation on the subject. [Emphasis added]

[676]The Board considers that the “object to be attained” in the Act is the full

compensation of a land owner whose property has been taken. That is confirmed in Dell and recognized by the Board in previous decisions. The Board also considers that it should interpret the Act to consider the “mischief to be remedied.” Thus, it should not interpret the provision of the Act and, in particular, s. 27(3) so as to interfere with or prevent compensation by a narrow interpretation of occupation.

2017 NSUARB 124 (*)

Document: 257289

- 228 -

[677]The Board further notes that in Johnson, at paragraph 193, the Court said:

“The case law wherein s. 27(3) has been considered has usually involved the relocation of a business.” [Emphasis added]. As Mr. MacIntosh points out, the provisions of s. 27(3)(b)(ii) state: “the costs, expenses and losses arising out of or incidental to the owner’s disturbance including moving to other premises…”. The use of the word “including” is similar to that in the Ontario Legislation in Dell, where the Court said at paragraph 27, citing an earlier Supreme Court decision:

The words of the section should be given their natural and ordinary meaning in the context of the clear purpose of the legislation to provide fair indemnity to the expropriated owner for losses suffered as a result of the expropriation. In Laidlaw, supra, Spence J., on behalf of the Court, attached particular importance to three factors; first, the legislative intent to provide indemnity for losses suffered; second, that the right to disturbance damages is conferred in broad, inclusive language and, third, that the legislature chose to illustrate, but not to define the term “disturbance”. At pages 744-45 he further observed:

... I turn to s. 1