Competitor’s actions puzzle Comox Valley company

Ambassador Shuttle Service will celebrate its sixth anniversary next week amid some confusion and uncertainty.

Kevin East (right) poses with two of Ambassador Shuttle's vans.

Kevin East (right) poses with two of Ambassador Shuttle's vans.

Ambassador Shuttle Service will celebrate its sixth anniversary next week, but amid the celebration, there is some confusion and uncertainty.

The company’s name was recently incorporated by another local business owner.

Dave Smith, who owns Comox Taxi, incorporated the name Ambassador Shuttle Service in early October.

The late Ray Crossley started Ambassador Shuttle Service in 2005, and Kevin East bought the company about a year ago.

When he bought Ambassador, East registered the company as sole proprietor.

“Our plan was to incorporate it after a year after we established ourselves,” said East, explaining it is costly to incorporate a company.

When you register as a business under sole proprietor, it doesn’t protect the business name, explained East, noting that when someone incorporates, they register the name legally.

East found out that Smith had incorporated Ambassador when Smith announced he was running for a seat on Courtenay council, and he listed Ambassador Shuttle Service as one of his assets in his nomination papers.

“I don’t know where I’ll go from here,” said East. “Rebrand or try to get the name back, that will be up to the legal people to decide.”

East believes his two choices are to get the name reversed or rebrand, but whatever happens, he plans to do it in a positive way.

East says he’s often asked why he didn’t incorporate earlier, and it’s because they decided to wait until they were most established because it’s a costly process.

“A lot of people don’t, and you don’t think of someone doing that in a small town,” he said. “We fully respect our competition … I still refer to Comox Taxi. I respect the company. We partner with Sky High Shuttle, IslandLinkBus … It’s a team effort, and there’s room for everybody here. We should work together, not against each other.”

Smith incorporated Ambassador Shuttle Service Oct. 6 and says he did it to make a point that anybody with business experience incorporates their business.

Smith says Comox Taxi used to work closely with Crossley.

“We answered his phone,” he said. “One transportation business answered one business’s phone because we worked so well together.”

Smith says he does his business and does it the best he can with his 50 employees’ best interests at heart.

Comox Taxi works with other transportation companies and has contracts with BC Transit and has worked with Destiny River Adventures during MusicFest.

“The transportation industry is very territorial in nature, and anybody who works in the same territory works together,” said Smith.

Ambassador Shuttle Service and Comox Taxi came up against each other in September when Ambassador was applying to expand its service.

Ambassador offers two service packages — a charter service that originates in the Comox Valley and can take people to Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Campbell River, as well as a service that takes people to and from the Comox Valley Airport.

East asked for an extension for the airport service and, in late September, his company was approved to take clients from the airport to Nanaimo, Tofino and Campbell River.

“That’s what a lot of people were asking for,” he said.

East has return trip authority, which means Ambassador can take someone from the Comox Valley Airport to their destination and bring that same person back.

During the application process, people could make submissions to the Provincial Transportation Board about why the expansion should or shouldn’t be granted, and East says Comox Taxi had two submissions against the expansion, and the BC Taxi Association submitted one.

After 15 days, East had to respond to the submissions.

“I proved the public need, and they approved us,” he said.

Comox Taxi is now appealing the decision.

“I’d just like to get the name back,” said East.

East worked with Crossley in the days before he died in October 2010, and when he bought the company, his family spoke to Crossley’s family and emphasized they wanted to carry on the Ambassador name.

“We told them how we loved the business and loved what Ray did in the community,” he said. “They asked if we were going to change the name, and we said we wanted to keep it. We wanted to carry on the legacy of Ray’s business. That’s the big thing; we wanted to carry the legacy on. We wanted to incorporate in January when we had enough money saved up.”

Ambassador Shuttle Service will celebrate its sixth anniversary Nov. 30 with cake at the Comox Valley Airport from 9 to 11 a.m. and will be at Retroactive Clothing from 2 to 6 p.m. to jointly celebrate its anniversary and the store’s new ownership.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

The colourful Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly has been reintroduced on Hornby Island, BC. Photo courtesy the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project.
Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project releases more caterpillars on Hornby Island

Chris Junck Special to Black Press The number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies… Continue reading

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read