Lemon Creek entering the Slocan River from left. Photo: Lucas Jmieff

Crown wins Lemon Creek appeal against fuel company

Executive Flight Centre will have to stand trial

The federal government has won an appeal in the Lemon Creek pollution case in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

That means that Calgary company Executive Flight Centre will have to go to trial after all and defend itself against several charges under the the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Management Act.

In an October 2017 trial, provincial court Judge Lisa Mrozinski withdrew the charges against Executive Flight Centre, the owner of a vehicle that spilled 33,000 litres of fuel into Lemon Creek in 2013, triggering a local evacuation.

Mrozinski did this because it had taken the Crown prosecution too long to bring the case to court. The crown appealed the judgment.

The appeal hearing was held in Kamloops in June, and the written decision of Justice Sheri Ann Donegan was released last week.

The decision is largely concerned with the interpretation of Jordan decision, a legal rule created in 2016 to discourage delays in the court system.

The principle states that a delay of more than 18 months between a charge being laid and the beginning of a trial denies an accused person the right to a fair trial under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In the Lemon Creek case, the date that the 18 months began is in question, and was one of the main disputed issues before the judge.

The judge ordered a new trial, for which a date has not yet been set.

At the October 2017 trial – the one at which the charges against Executive Flight Centre were withdrawn – there were two other defendants: the provincial government and the fuel truck driver Danny LaSante.

Those two defendants did not try to convince the judge that there had been too much delay and so the trial went ahead. LaSante was convicted (he has not yet been sentenced) and the provincial government was aquitted. These decisions stand and are not affected by the events described above.

Also, the court processes described above are not related to a class action suit being undertaken by Robert Kirk on behalf of all the residents of the Lemon Creek area for damages incurred by the spill.

Related:

Lemon Creek spill: driver guilty, provincial government acquitted

Lemon Creek charges stayed against fuel company

Crown appeals stay of charges in Lemon Creek case

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Grade 7 Trafalgar students show off posters they put up around downtown Nelson with information about residential schools. Photo: Tyler Harper
Trafalgar class puts up residential school history posters downtown

The Grade 7 students made their own websites and QR codes

The Capitol Theatre has been transformed into a courtroom for the trial of Const. Jason Tait that started on Sept. 28 and continues. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Defence begins presenting evidence in Nelson jury trial of RCMP officer

Const. Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after a Castlegar incident in 2015

The West Kootenay Cycling Coalition says GoByBike Week was a success. Photo: Submitted
A round of applause for GoByBike Week supporters

Nearly 200 cyclists participated

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read