Registrar's Decision

Registrar’s Decision 17-04-001

File Number: 17-04-001

In the matter of Motor Dealer Act R.S.B.C. 1996 C.316
and Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act S.B.C. 2004, C.2

Complainant: Vehicle Sales Authority of BC and Beverly Barclay

Licensee/Unlicensed person:
Pioneer Garage Limited dba Fraser Valley Pre-Owned (#40190), Damian Smart (#109080)


  • Pioneer (#40190) argued that the disclosure of documents to the Authority’s lawyer demonstrates a lack of appropriate controls on the handling of documents covered by the deliberative privilege.
  • Pioneer asserted that the lack of controls requires an independent review of the Registrar’s and Authority’s information infrastructure.
  • Pioneer further argued that, if inappropriate communications occurred between the Registrar and the Authority, the Registrar should dismiss Ms. Barclay’s and the Authority’s complaint against Pioneer.


  • The Registrar found that the disclosure of the documents to the Authority’s lawyer was the result of administrative error.
  • Before the Registrar’s deliberative process can be placed under independent review, proof of actual interference with the independence of the adjudicator must be shown. Speculative arguments are insufficient.
  • No evidence exists of any interference with the Registrar’s independence as adjudicator exists in this case.
  • The Registrar found that his own internal review was sufficient and that an independent review was unwarranted.
  • The Registrar found that his legislative mandate contemplated and resolved any potential issues with his sharing infrastructure with the Authority.
  • The Registrar found that an appearance of unfairness arose from the disclosure of documents to the Authority’s lawyer. That lawyer may have an unfair advantage in the case.
  • The Registrar found that a reasonable person, thinking the matter through, would accept that a new hearing before a new adjudicator would be fair.
  • The Registrar ordered a new hearing before a Deputy Registrar.

Corrigendum: The Registrar clarified the language of his decision, by noting that no order for disclosure was issued and clarifying the circumstances leading up to and surrounding that disclosure.

Click here for the full decision (PDF)