Ten charges have been laid against DP World, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and its contractors, Fraser River Pile and Dredge Inc., BelPacific Excavating and Shoring Limited Partnership and Bel Contracting for fisheries violations.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wrapped up its investigation looking into allegations that fish were seriously harmed during the Fairview expansion project between Nov. 30 2014 and Nov. 1 2015.
The charges, laid on Nov. 2 at the Prince Rupert courthouse, state the accused carried out work that resulted in “serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery, or to the fish that support such a fishery.”
During the expansion, DFO alleges that work was done that failed to comply with prescribed conditions set by the ministry to avoid the release of sediment in the construction area. The accused have been charged with failure to conduct “fish salvage operations” prior to in-water work within the containment area.
The accused were also charged with failing to notify or report to DFO that attempts to avoid serious harm to fish were not successful, and failure to cease construction work that was causing the harm.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is aware of the charges filed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada relating to the construction activity during the Fairview Terminal expansion. Throughout the investigation PRPA has been fully cooperative with all relevant agencies. As this matter is before the courts we cannot provide any further comment at this time,” stated the Prince Rupert Port Authority in an email.
Fraser River Pile and Dredge Inc. and DP World also responded and said they are in the process of reviewing the charges.
If found guilty, the accused could face a fine up to $200,000 or imprisonment up to six months for each charge.
The next day in court is set for Dec. 19 at 9 a.m.