Oh ho! Les Bjola, the Vancouver Island developer who was once Len Barrie's right-hand man, has mounted a strategic challenge to the bank that now owns Bear Mountain Resort, because it is not being fair to him!
Locals will remember how Bear Mountain wound up owing $250 million to HSBC bank, and how the bank started creditor proceedings back in March 2010. Well, Bjola himself is one of those creditors, through his company, Turner Lane. And he is so outraged over HSBC's high-and-mighty court orders that he's thrown down the gauntlet.
Bjola, it turns out, hates tyranny so much, he would turn down any chance at getting his money back rather than accept HSBC's evil Restructuring Plan. The plan is evil because it is "unfair," Bjola complains in an affidavit filed July 20, 2010 in BC Supreme Court. It is unfair because HSBC gets a larger vote than the other unsecured creditors.
[HSBC] chose this process, and it should not now be allowed to make a sham of it by structuring the Plan so that the vote on the approval of the plan is a foregone conclusion, particularly where, as here, the principal re-organization effected by the plan is the transfer of virtually all of the respondents' assets to a new entity wholly owned by HSBC.Bjola acknowledges that if Bear Mountain Resort crashes without the intervention of HSBC -- through foreclosure or bankruptcy, for example -- his company gets nothing. But, never mind that! "HSBC must not be allowed to trump a fair process."
Putting on his Vengeful Fortuneteller hat, Bjola predicts HSBC's Restructuring Plan will fail. HSBC has promised to pay off creditors like Bjola once the resort starts making money again. But our boy LB says he has the inside scoop about the resort, and apparently it will be a cold day in hell before they make a dime. So he's decided to piss in everybody's cornflakes, because that is the only intelligent thing to do.
But the high-and-mighty HSBC lawyers are having none of Bjola's piss-soaked cornflakes. They should be bending over backward for the Man Who Pimped Bear Mountain. Clearly, he belongs in a class by himself! But instead, they issue this snippy response:
Turner Lane was given notice of these CCAA proceedings and of the hearing of the Petition. It chose not to file an Appearance in these proceedings ... It is too late for Turner Lane to object to the Plan ... Had Turner Lane simply filed an Appearance, it would have had notice of that application and could have made submissions during the two days over which the motion was argued. Instead, it has chosen to lie in the weeds and raise its concerns weeks after the Procedural Order was made.Shocking! No one has ever accused Bjola of "lying in the weeds" before. "Prevaricating in a council chamber," maybe. "Misrepresenting on a berm," definitely - but that's just a multi-million dollar lawsuit and probably won't amount to anything.
Speaking of lying, Langford folks will recall that Bjola got himself put in charge of redeveloping Colwood Corners, a billion-dollar project which never got off the ground. Then part of it suddenly burned down in a mysterious fire, and certainly no one is suggesting that there's a connection to anyone's cash flow problems or organized crime issues. Ha ha, no, not at all! At any rate, Bjola has hustled off to Prince Edward Island until things cool down.
However! Bjola's Kettle Creek Station project is going great, by all reports, and none of it has burned down. You can still choose from many different styles of 400-square-foot housettes (porches and carports optional) with neighbours close enough to touch and an unobstructed view of the industrial park. They are very cheap!
Insiders laugh at Kettle Creek and call it the Langford Ghetto, which in Langford, is really saying something. But they are just jealous! Everyone knows people are desperate to live in crackerboxes.
In summary, we should note that in today's real estate market, expectations must be downsized. The experts agree it's a race to the bottom. And Les Bjola is WINNING!