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More Commercial Drive businesses likely to join FortisBC lawsuit

Newfoundland utility company Fortis Inc. to buy U.S. electric transmission company ITC for US$11.3 billion. The deal involves a combination of cash and shares in Fortis, which is based in St. John's, N.L. The corporate logo for Fortis Inc. is shown. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More businesses in the Commercial Drive area of Vancouver could end up coming forward after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of several against FortisBC.

Wes Mussio, a lawyer representing the businesses, said¬†Fortis didn’t follow through to the extent it promised on efforts to mitigate damage caused by shutting down a stretch of 1st Avenue for gas line upgrades last summer.

“There’s no question that this project was highly disruptive for businesses on Commercial Drive and along 1st Avenue and shouldn’t have been that disruptive if it was done right in my respectful submission,” Mussio said.

RELATED: Commercial Drive business owners suing FortisBC

He anticipated that more businesses will join the lawsuit as they begin to understand what their rights are.

“I would anticipate that once people realize that there is some way of getting some compensation for the extra expenses and loss they suffered, that others will come forward,” he said.

“It’s quite unfair for them to be straddled with the cost of this project when FortisBC thinks it’s okay for them to simply lose money and incur tremendous expenses and get no compensation whatsoever for their losses,” Mussio added.

FortisBC said it can’t speak to particulars, its general approach is to proactively support businesses along a project’s route through signage, community events, and social media promotion. They added they have to balance community impact with responsibilities to customers and regulators.