South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority formerly known as Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority dba TransLink, et al. v. BMT Fleet Technology Ltd., et al.
(B.C.) (Civil) (By Leave)
Arbitration - Commencement of proceedings - Arbitration — Commencement of arbitration proceedings — By means of notice of arbitration, TransLink purported to commence a quadripartite arbitration under Arbitration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 55, before one arbitrator, under four different contracts — Court of Appeal setting aside order finding notice effective to commence arbitration proceedings — What is source of an arbitrator’s and court’s power to correct procedural mistakes made in arbitration — What is the test to be applied when determining whether a procedural mistake can be corrected?
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By means of a notice to arbitrate, South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (“TransLink”) purported to commence a quadripartite arbitration under the Arbitration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 55, before one arbitrator, under four different contracts, absent the consent of the responding parties. TransLink filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in August 2016, naming BMT Fleet Technology Ltd. (“BMT”), International Marine Consultants Ltd. (“IMC”) and Victoria Shipyards as respondents. The petition sought both a declaration that arbitration had been commenced in April 2011 and the appointment of an arbitrator. TransLink later discontinued the proceeding against Victoria Shipyards in January 2017. Translink sought a declaration that an arbitration proceeding against each of the respondents had been effectively commenced. Mr. Justice Weatherill made the declaration and appointed a single arbitrator. On appeal, BMT and IMC contended that the judge erred in law in finding that TransLink’s notice was effective to commence arbitration. The Court of Appeal agreed. The appeal was allowed and the order of Weatherill J. was set aside and Translink’s Petition was dismissed.
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