This truck spilt 33,000 litres of fuel into Lemon Creek in 2013. The ensuing environmental disaster resulted in the driver’s conviction, but the company that hired him has so far avoided trial. File photo

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

A company involved in the Lemon Creek fuel spill has been granted leave to appeal charges against it.

Calgary-based Executive Flight Centre, whose driver spilled 33,000 litres of fuel into Lemon Creek and the Slocan River in 2013, was granted leave in a BC Court of Appeal decision on April 24.

It’s the latest twist in a case that has become increasingly convoluted.

Executive Flight Centre initially faced charges in 2014 under the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Management Act following the private prosecution efforts of local resident Marilyn Burgoon that were taken on by the federal government.

But three years later those charges were stayed before a trial could begin.

Judge Lisa Mrozinski ruled the Crown exceeded the maximum 18-month wait for trial after charges were laid, a precedent set in the 2016 Supreme Court of Canada case R vs. Jordan, which determined further delay denies an accused person the right to a fair trial under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The federal government appealed Mrozinski’s decision and won last December in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, setting the stage for a new trial.

That trial will once again be delayed.

In his decision last month, Justice Richard Goepel wrote Executive Flight Centre’s appeal based on the question of law related to the Jordan decision was valid.

“The questions of law have significance to the administration of justice beyond this case,” wrote Goepel.

The fuel spill has already resulted in one conviction. Danny LaSante, the driver of the truck, was found guilty in March 2018 fined $20,000 in February. The provincial government was acquitted of the same charges.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

PHOTOS: Canadian National Peony Show this weekend in Castlegar

A glimpse of what is happening at the Community Complex this weekend.

Students learn about making a difference

Girl’s leadership program bears fruit at Kinnaird Elementary

Three times the love: Identical triplets return home to Nelson

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

B.C. residents rethinking summer road trips due to gas prices

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read