VSA

Registrar's Decision

Registrar's Decision 18-06-003

HEARING FILE NUMBER: 18-06-003

HEARING DATE: July 17-19, 2019

DECISION DATE: November 5, 2020

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

COMPLAINANTS: Amy Bouchard and Ingrid Munro

LICENSEE/UNLICENSED PERSON: N.W. Auto Depot Ltd. (Dealer #10578), Westminster Motors Ltd. (Dealer #40469), Gordon Valente (Salesperson #101221), (the “Respondents”)

ISSUES:

Pursuant to the November 1, 2019 Decision of Acting Registrar of Motor Dealers, (the “Registrar”), the Registrar directed this matter be reconvened to address the appropriate penalties and sanctions flowing from the November 1, 2019 findings.

The VSA was seeking the impositions of the following sanctions:

  • A 5-year ban on the registration of N.W. Auto Depot Ltd., Westminster Motors Ltd., and Gordon Valente (either in his own name, or as an associate and/or representative of another entity) as a motor dealer.
  • A condition on Gordon Valente’s salesperson license prohibiting him from engaging in consignment sales.
  • Administrative penalties in the amount of $55,000 against Gordon Valente personally.

The VSA was also seeking compliance orders pursuant to section 155 and 157 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (“BPCPA”) and section 26.02 of the Motor Dealer Act (“MDA”) as follows:

  • That the Respondents, jointly and severally, forthwith pay to Ingrid Munro the sum of $1,100.
  • That the Respondents, jointly and severally, forthwith pay to the Registrar a sum sufficient to reimburse for 85% of their actual inspection/investigation and legal costs.
  • That the Respondents comply with the MDA, the BPCPA and the regulations made thereunder.

OUTCOME:

  • The Respondents are banned from applying for registration as a motor dealer for a period of 28 months commencing September 5, 2018 and ending January 5, 2021.
  • A condition is imposed on Gordon Valente’s salesperson license prohibiting him from engaging in consignment sales, subject to Gordon Valente’s right to apply to vary the order within 30 days of this decision.
  • Gordon Valente shall pay an administrative penalty totaling $10,000.
  • A compliance order is issued requiring the Respondents, jointly and severally, forthwith pay to Ingrid Munro the sum of $1,100.
  • The Registrar found the VSA did not provide any explanation or basis for the submission that it is appropriate in the circumstances for the Respondents to pay 85% of the investigation costs and adjourned this aspect of the VSA’s submission, leaving it open for the VSA to provide further submissions if they wished to pursue a claim for reimbursement of investigation costs.
  • The Respondents shall comply with the MDA, the BPCPA, and the regulations made thereunder.

Legislation considered/referred to:

  • Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2
  • Motor Dealer Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 316
  • Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 318

Cases cited:

  • A Vancouver Auto Ltd. and Shahram Moghaddam (April 3, 2017)
  • Best Import Auto and others (November 28, 2017)
  • Fellner v. Pinnacle Car Sales & Leasing (November 7, 2016)
  • Ironside (February 10, 2016)
  • Peter Fryer (December 13, 2013) affirmed 2015 BCSC 279
  • Pintea v. Johns, 2017 SCC 23
  • Pugliese v. British Columbia (Registrar of Mortgage Brokers, financial Services Tribunal), 2008 BCCA 130

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