Soil dump breaches bylaws, judge rules

“what I’m reading in this ruling is that the companies involved have to stop the importation of contaminated soil at that site immediately."

  • Mar. 23, 2016 2:00 p.m.

ROBERT BARRON CITIZEN

The importation of contaminated soil to a site next to Shawnigan Lake must stop immediately after a ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court that was released Monday, says Jon Lefebure.

Lefebure, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, was responding to a ruling by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brian MacKenzie that local CVRD bylaws prohibits the establishment of a contaminated landfill on Stebbings Road.

“I’m not a lawyer, but what I’m reading in this ruling is that the companies involved have to stop the importation of contaminated soil at that site immediately,” Lefebure said.

“The court has ruled that bringing this soil into the site is not allowed under our bylaws and I hope the ruling, which is clear and logical, will be observed. But, of course, there’s the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, and I expect the companies involved may decide to go there and appeal this decision.”

The ruling, which was made after an 11-day hearing in Victoria before Christmas, confirmed the district’s long-standing contention that local bylaws prohibit a contaminated soil landfill facility on property adjacent to Shawnigan Lake where Cobble Hills Holdings Ltd. and South Islands Aggregates Ltd. has established their controversial soil-dumping site.

Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, said the ruling vindicates the concerns raised by the district and other concerned parties.

“I look forward to reviewing this ruling and working with local politicians and residents to ensure that we continue to move this issue forward in a way that protects the rights of the Shawnigan Lake community,” he said.

Aurora Faulkner-Killam, a lawyer from the Victoria-based law firm Cox Taylor, which represents Cobble Hill Holdings, confirmed that the company is likely to appeal the decision.

She said the judge has not ordered the cessation of all activities at the site, but just some aspects related to land filling.

“The next step is likely an appeal of the decision, but no decisions have been made by the company as to how to respond at this time.”

A judicial review of the project that was instigated by the Shawnigan Residents Association has recently concluded in the B.C. Supreme Court, but it’s not known when a verdict will be reached in that case.

In the meantime, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Sewell has made a commitment to the SRA to make a decision “as soon as possible” on the association’s application to have work on the site stopped until the court makes a final decision on the judicial review and the future of the project.

 

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

Just Posted

Some parents are concerned with the plans of the Cowichan Valley school district to drop one of its distance-learning options. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley parents upset with loss of remote learning program

School district says program being redesigned

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Volunteer Suzanne Anderson rings her bell at the Christmas kettle at Thrifty Foods on Nov. 20. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Volunteers needed for annual Christmas Kettle Campaign in Cowichan

Money used for Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper Program

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read