Members of the Shawnigan Residents Association may get back some of the money spent fighting the now closed contaminated soil facility after a recent court reading. (File photo)

Shawnigan residents awarded some of $700K court costs in contaminated soil case

But how much and when has yet to be determined

Members of the Shawnigan Residents Association are hoping to recover some of the more than $700,000 it has spent in legal costs fighting against the now-closed contaminated soil landfill in their community after a recent court ruling.

But SRA acting president Al Brunet said it’s unknown at this time just how much the association will get back, and when, after the BC Supreme Court ruled mostly in its favour after the court’s judgment on Jan. 26.

“The judge [Justice Robert Sewell] made several rulings as part of his judgment in which we were awarded a significant portion of some costs and none for others, so we’ll have to let the lawyers hash it out,” Brunet said.

“We’re hoping to get back much of what we spent defending our community, but there’s always the possibility the company [Cobble Hill Holdings] could appeal this decision and the process could go on.”

Sewell set aside a decision by B.C.’s Environmental Appeal Board in January, 2017, and reinstated a stay of the permit that allowed the landfill near Shawnigan Lake to receive and store up to 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil a year at the site.

As part of his summation in that case, Sewell allowed the parties to make submissions for their legal costs.

The contaminated soil project, which closed permanently in February 2017, was previously given a permit by the province’s Ministry of Environment.

FOR RELATED STORY, CLICK HERE

But documents that came to light in July, 2015, revealed a complex proposed deal between the companies working to establish the soil facility, which the SRA alleges threw doubt on the information that was used by the ministry in its decision to grant a permit for the project.

Sewell said in his summation on Jan. 26 that he is satisfied that Cobble Hill Holdings failed to make prompt and proper disclosure of documents in its control that established that there was partnership-like relations with the principals of Active Earth Engineering, the environmental engineering firm that originally signed off on the project.

“I also conclude that the affidavits filed in response to the SRA’s initial document disclosure application were misleading,” Sewell said in his summation.

“In my view, this is conduct that is worthy of reproof.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

CVRD calls for continued COVID-19 vigilance, asks visitors not to come to Valley

With warmer weather, Easter holidays, district fears residents may become lax

Weather forecast for the Cowichan Valley sunny and mid-teens

Lots of sun expected over next two weeks

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

Island Health “humbled” by work of Cowichan’s Project Draw Breath

Health authority eager to explore partnerships during COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Canadians urged to include pets in their COVID-19 emergency plans

That includes plans about who will care for them if the owner is hospitalized

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read