Court bailiffs are selling off four parcels of land around Spruce Hill Spa and Resort, in an effort to pay out $173,141 in lost wages owed to seven former employees.
The separate properties, which vary in size and total about 795 acres, do not include the land where the resort sits or one other piece of property, according to court bailiff Michel Zuber. He did not disclose the sale cost of the properties, saying only that it should be “close” to what is owed on the properties.
The sale is in connection with a 2018 BC Human Rights Tribunal decision that determined Kin Wa Chan, owner of Spruce Hill Resort, would have to pay out the monies in lost wages and “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect” to seven employees.
The award stems from the employees’ allegations that they were terminated or forced to leave their jobs at Spruce Hill in August 2016 because they were not Chinese.
In the original complaint, the former employees alleged that Chan said that he preferred Chinese workers because they don’t need to be paid holiday pay or overtime.
The employees included Melonie Eva, Clare Fast, Kathy Stocks, Elisha Schaff, Manuela Boos, Norbert Boos, Jessica Allison and Elika Ward.
Chan must also pay interest of $20,296.04 on the awarded amount, according to Eva, after he lost a review of the decision last year.
Zuber said if the upcoming sale is successful, the monies would be paid out to properties and B.C. Development Bank first, with the residuals to the employees. If any money is left over, it would be reimbursed to both Spruce Hill and Chan.
“I have appraisals of all the properties,” Zuber said. “If I don’t get any reasonable offers, I would make an application to the court for direction.”
This could include listing the properties with a realtor or “sell it for the best offer received,” he said, but noted if there is no money available for the creditors from the sale they may not want him to proceed.
Zuber said he has not been able to contact Chan in regards to the impending sale and plans to visit the resort next week.
Fast said the employees are still waiting to be paid out a “substantial” amount of the award.
“There’s still monies owed on the judgment so we’re attempting to collect that through court remedies,” she said. “It’s just been really hard on all of us involved in it.”
Chan told the Free Press Tuesday that “I don’t know” about the sale, saying he needed to speak with Eva.
He then added the bank is foreclosing on his property and he was “trying to fix that.
“I am already thinking of how to do that,” he told the Free Press. “You ask too many questions.
“I need to solve this problem first. If I cannot solve the problem then we have to sell everything.”
Chan last year was also ordered by the BC Human Rights Tribunal to pay a woman $16,536 in damages on another, unrelated matter.
That case centred around a 2017 incident in which the resort refused to give a woman a massage due to her history of cancer.