Union Bay man suing BC Hydro over imposing power line and pole

A Union Bay resident fed up with a power line splitting his property is suing BC Hydro in an effort to have the pole and wire relocated.

Collin Hatton purchased his property off the Old Island Highway 11 years ago, but BC Hydro installed the power line in 1964. Back then, there may have been a verbal agreement with the former owner, which means BC Hydro has no right of way on the property, company spokesman Ted Olynyk said.

“I’ve been doing the civilized thing under the normal procedures, which is ridiculous,” Hatton said.

“They always lead you to believe that they’re moving on it.”

When he purchased the property, Hatton says BC Hydro agreed it had erred and that the lines could be moved. Back then, the company had a Courtenay office. It has since relocated to Qualicum.

Over the years, he says different people have said the lines can be moved but no action is ever taken. A planning employee said it would take about three years.

That was the last straw for Hatton, who is taking BC Hydro to court through small claims for $25,000 — the small claims limit. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 4.

“We’ve tried to work with him to see if we can get right-of-way access but he doesn’t want that, so we have to move the poles,” Olynyk said. “We are in the process of making sure we can move the poles to a proper location where it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the service to nearby residents. But we will be moving the poles.”

Olynyk has no idea how long this will take.

Hatton says Hydro is attempting to get the line onto the railway right-of-way. But if the company moves it back to the property lines, he would no longer be serviced off the line.

“They’re trying to leave the power line more or less where it is, but it’s to the detriment of my property for the benefit of Hydro and everybody else,” Hatton said. “I’m saying re-route it. You could service everybody off the highway. You don’t have to be coming through my yard.”


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