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

Kettle River Museum shoots for concert sell-out

Kelowna country music star Ben Klick will play at the Midway museum on Aug. 31

Cannabis company files court petition against City of Grand Forks

The petition argues that the City’s decision to not grant a variance was ‘unreasonable’ and ‘invalid’

PLACE NAMES: Greenwood neighbourhoods

At least eight early townsite additions expanded the city’s footprint

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Motorcycle rider airlifted to Kelowna after Grand Forks crash

The rider’s family confirmed that he is recovering from broken wrists and a concussion

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read