January 2010 – Richard N. Billington, Q.C. addresses The Canadian Bar Association
The Canadian Bar Association heard a presentation by Rick Billington at the January 2010 Alberta Law Conference in Calgary. Entitled “Nothing but the Hole Truth”, Rick Billington discussed his experience in pioneering equitable remedies to augment the statutory power afforded to municipal governments. As a result of the economic downturn of 2008/2009, Alberta municipalities were faced with numerous deep excavations for high-rise buildings that had been abandoned by developers. These holes, often located in the downtown core, posed significant safety and environmental hazard.
Working in concert with internal counsel at the City of Calgary, Rick Billington developed a litigation strategy to address the hazards created by abandoned excavations, yet without requiring the municipality to bear the expense of remedying the situation. His presentation focused on the wide range of judicial remedies he has employed to cause rapid action to be taken by the property owner. These have included injunctions, appointment of receivers, contempt of court proceedings and providing a super-priority for the costs to remedy the hazards so that taxpayers are not faced with massive, unanticipated financial liability.