VSA

Registrar's Decision

Registrar's Decision 20-03-001

HEARING FILE NUMBER: 20-03-001

IN THE MATTER OF THE MOTOR DEALER ACT, R.S.B.C. 1996 C.316 AND THE BUSINESS PRACTICES AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, S.B.C. 2004, C.2

DATE OF DECISION: May 7, 2021

COMPLAINANT: Susan Birch and Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (the “Authority”)

LICENSEE/UNLICENSED PERSON:

LGN Enterprises Inc. dba Auto Clearance Centre (Motor Dealer Licence #40660), A&A Auto Sales Ltd. dba Auto Clearance Downtown Hastings (Motor Dealer Licence #40660), Aykut (Alex) Bilgin (Salesperson Licence #201174) collectively (the “Applying Respondents”) and Mohammad (George) Lateef (Salesperson Licence #203435), and Dusean David Leblanc (Salesperson Licence #209336, lapsed)

INTRODUCTION:

The Applying Respondents applied to have this matter dismissed due to inordinate delay in prosecuting this case on the part of the Authority.

By cross-application, the Authority applied to have the Hearing Notice filed on March 9, 2020, and the Affidavit of Bill Manhas filed on September 30, 2020, amended.

The Respondents objected to the Authority’s application to amend the Hearing Notice and Affidavit of Bill Manhas. The Authority objected to the Respondent’s application to dismiss.

ISSUES:

The Applying Respondents are of the position that the delay in this case is due to the Authority taking an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to complete its investigation, investigation report and the Affidavit of Bill Manhas. As well as the time it has taken for external legal counsel to assume responsibility of the file on behalf of the Authority. The Applying Respondents’ situation is further frustrated by the Authority not providing cross-examination dates for their witness Dusean Leblanc. The continued delay continues to negatively affect them due to the restrictive sanctions that were put in placed on their business for in or around 24 months. They feel allowing the amendments will just cause further delay in the process.

The Authority disagrees that the delays have been inordinate and point out that there are many factors that have added to the delay, including delays due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Their position on the amendments is that they would not substantively add to the allegations or evidence but rather put them into proper form to ensure clarity and procedural fairness.

In the Hearing Notice Mohammad Lateef is mentioned as the General Manager of LGN Auto, who responded to the Authority in relation to the initial consumer complaint. It does not clearly state how Mohammad Lateef personally, was involved in the advertising and selling of the alleged unsafe vehicles but yet asks to suspend or cancel his salesperson licence and/or impose an administrative penalty in relation to his alleged conduct.

In the Hearing Notice and in the Investigation Report, Dusean Leblanc is not alleged to have been a part of any vehicle safety issues in any particularity, and allegations against him only involve him on the issue of the filing a false police report.

The Hearing Notice states that Aykut Bilgin is the dealer principal and owner of both the Respondents LGN and A&A and alleges that his conduct of the business of the two dealerships shows disregard for the safety of consumers in the manner in which vehicles were advertised and sold. However, the specific conduct is not clearly alleged in relation to this issue, nor that he acquiesced, condoned, or permitted the dealerships that he owns in doing so. The only clearly specified allegations against Aykut Bilgin is to the allegation of him filing a false police report.

Mohammad Lateef and Dusean Leblanc where not served with the Applying Respondent’s application to dismiss or with the Authority’s application to amend and therefore have not had the opportunity to fully participate in the hearing process to date.

OUTCOME

The Registrar

  • Dismissed the Respondent’s application to dismiss this case due to delay, applying the Blencoe criteria
  • Denied the Authority’s request to amend the Hearing Notice and Affidavit of Bill Manhas
  • Struck all allegations as against Mohammad Lateef and strike him from the Hearing Notice
  • Confinde the allegations against Dusean Leblanc to the allegation and related conduct of filing a false police report
  • Confined the allegations against Aykut Bilgin to the allegation and related conduct of filing a false police report
  • Removed the conditions placed on LGN’s registration by the Manager of Licensing on May 24, 2019
  • The Authority is to provide dates to cross-examine Dusean Leblanc. If the Authority does not provide dates within the time required, the allegation of filing a false police report will be stayed

LEGISLATION CITED

Administrative Tribunals Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 45

Motor Vehicle Act, RSBC 1996, c. 318

Motor Dealer Act Regulation , B.C. Reg. 447/78

Registrar’s Rules of Practice and Procedure , September 21, 2020

CASES CITED

Best Import Auto Ltd. v Motor Dealer Council of British Columbia, 2018 BCSC 834 (BC Supreme Court)

Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission), 2000 SCC 44 (CanLII), [2000] 2 SCR 307 (Supreme Court of Canada)

Cambie Hotel (Nanaimo) Ltd. v. British Columbia (General Manager, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch), 2006 BCCA 119 (BC Court of Appeal)

Chandler v. Alberta Association of Architects, 1989 CanLII 41 (SCC), [1989] 2 SCR 848 (Supreme Court of Canada)

Crown Auto Body and Auto Sales Ltd. v. Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia, 2014 BCSC 894 (BC Supreme Court)

Dubois v. Preferred Auto Inc. et al (2020-BCRMD-005)

R v. Babos , 2014 SCC 16 (Supreme Court of Canada)

R. v. Jordan 2016 SCC 27 (Supreme Court of Canada).

Re : Plosz (2019-BCRMD-017)

Robertson v. British Columbia (Teachers Act, Commissioner) , 2014 BCCA 331