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Farris LLP: Vancouver's Law Firm

Utilities Law

Farris has an extensive and long standing Utilities practice.

We handle a substantial portion of the solicitors’ and litigation work for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), Greater Vancouver Water District, Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, Greater Vancouver Hospital District, and Greater Vancouver Housing Corporation.

We have been involved extensively in local government, environmental, regulatory, and other issues, advising on the development of air quality, liquid and solid waste plans, watershed management and the new water quality options and enhancement program. We have also represented the GVRD in connection with the development and construction of several regional waste facilities, including the Cache Creek and Coquitlam landfills, the Burnaby incinerator, and the Lulu Island and Annacis Island secondary treatment plants.

We also acted for British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) in connection with its assumption of the operation and management of the electricity transmission system from BC Hydro.

Additionally, we have considerable expertise in the area of expropriation law. We act primarily on behalf of expropriating authorities, advising generally with respect to issues concerning the nature and scope of statutory powers of expropriation, requirements for lawful expropriation and compensation. We have conducted numerous expropriations, from initial acquisition procedures through to the final determination of compensation at hearings. We have also represented numerous landowners whose interests have been expropriated. In that capacity we have appeared in the British Columbia Supreme Court and before the Expropriation Compensation Board.

Representative work:

  • Acted as counsel for Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc. in connection with its initial offering of $250 million of unsecured debentures.
  • Acted for British Columbia Transmission Corporation in the separation of the electricity transmission business from BC Hydro and its ongoing commercial arrangements with BC Hydro.
  • Acted in issuance of $210 million bond issue in the domestic bond market for Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia.
  • Acted in issuance of $100 million bond issue in the domestic bond market for City of Vancouver.
  • Acted in Pacific Coast Energy Corporation’s Vancouver Island Pipeline Project.
  • Acted in BC Hydro’s Fraser Valley System Reinforcement Project and Edmonds Head Office Complex.
  • Acted in the $212 million acquisition of AirSource Power Fund by Algonquin Power Income Fund.
  • Acted as counsel for Fortis Inc. on corporate, competition, and regulatory issues in connection with its purchase of the Terasen group of companies.
  • Acted as counsel for BC Hydro on certain land acquisition issues relating to the Vancouver Island Transmission Reinforcement Project.
  • Acted in expropriations conducted by various authorities, including Centra Gas British Columbia Inc., Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority, BC Gas Utility Ltd., and FortisBC Inc.
  • Acted in the negotiation and preparation of tripartite agreement between Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District, City of Vancouver, and Corporation of Delta for the transfer of Burns Bog park lands.
  • Advised Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District on the long term tenure requirements for the Lions Gate Waste Water Treatment Plant and negotiating with Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada, and Squamish Indian Band;
  • Acted in the preparation of consulting agreement between Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia and First Nations Finance Authority.
  • Acted as counsel to BC TELECOM Inc. in its $10 billion pooling of interest merger with TELUS Corporation.
  • Acted as counsel for Inland Natural Gas in its acquisition of the Mainland Gas Division of BC Hydro, one of the largest privatization transactions in Canada.

Our Lawyers

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Elizabeth J. Harrison, Q.C. Partner eharrison@farris.com 604 661 9367
Robert J. McDonell Partner rmcdonell@farris.com 604 661 9371
Dean A. O’Leary Partner doleary@farris.com 604 661 9316