Category Archives: News

Can KW businesses get compensation for losses from LRT construction?

A spokesperson from Nelson Watson LLP spoke to CTV Kitchener and Abigail Bimman for their 3-part series, “Up to Speed“.  She explained that when a municipality or other level of government undertakes a public works project that causes business losses, businesses can seek compensation for Injurious Affection.  The remedy arises under Ontario’s Expropriations Act  (even when no land was expropriated).

Claims can be brought by commercial landlords or business owners and must be started within 12 months after they become aware of actual losses. It is not permitted to sue in Court. A claim is commenced by serving notice on the Municipality and filing it with the Ontario Municipal Board.   The business claiming compensation has to prove:

  •  the loss resulted from an act of an entity exercising statutory authority (i.e. a provincial government or municipality);
  • the loss resulted from a substantial interference with the business’ operations and the interference was unreasonable (i.e. the interference has to be substantial, not minimal); and
  • the loss resulted from the construction of the public work, not its use or operation (i.e. the fact of the construction of an LRT line, airport, highway, as opposed to the later use or operation of that public work).

Businesses should maintain financial records including records of when and how the  losses were incurred, records of communications from the municipality, photos, notes and video recordings with time and date stamps of actual construction interference.  They may also likely need to obtain expert reports from accountants and engineers to give opinions on the losses and the unreasonableness of the interference.

The upshot is that we all benefit as a society from improvements to public works and infrastructure. The law of injurious affection, as laid out in the Expropriations Act, requires that governments such as municipalities or the Province compensate business owners for the business losses caused by those projects.

Click here to see the 3 part Series.  Part 3: “Can You Sue for LRT Construction”

For more information, contact Wolfe, Smith & Forster LLP in association with Nelson, Watson LLP and ask to meet with our litigation team about a potential injurious affection claim.

Wishing Deryk Smith a Happy Retirement

All of us at Wolfe, Smith & Forster LLP and Nelson, Watson LLP wish Deryk Smith a happy and well-earned retirement.  A heartfelt thank you, Deryk, for your many years of service to your clients and for your leadership in the firm and in the community.   We hope that you and Shirley will have many years to enjoy time together and to be with your children and grandchildren.  We miss you already. Deryk’s clients will be well cared for by Lee Villar, Tory Laing and Alayna Longstaffe, and of course Joanne!

Nelson, Watson LLP and Wolfe, Smith & Forster LLP officially associate

Nelson, Watson LLP and Wolfe, Smith & Forster LLP are officially associated as of January 1, 2015. Both firms will continue to operate under their original names at their downtown locations in Guelph and Fergus.  Combined, the two firms offer a broad range of legal services with 10 lawyers and teams of experienced legal support staff.  Both offices look forward to continuing to care for clients in Guelph and Wellington County.