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At the October 2017 trial – the one at which the charges against Executive Flight Centre were withdrawn – there were two other defendants: the provincial government and the fuel truck driver Danny LaSante.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

Just Posted

Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, and Richmond also have intervener status

CP Holiday Train headed to Castlegar

The festive food bank fundraiser will take place December 12.

COLUMN: Mark your calendars for library’s centennial

The Nelson Library was founded in 1920 and will celebrate on Jan. 17

Rapping mom busts rhymes for Castlegar rec centre kid’s drop-in

Funny video with important message about importance of service

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read