R. v. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., (2010) 317 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 309 (NLPC)

JudgeGorman, P.C.J.
CourtNewfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court (Canada)
Case DateJune 11, 2010
JurisdictionNewfoundland and Labrador
Citations(2010), 317 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 309 (NLPC)

R. v. Corner Brook Pulp (2010), 317 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 309 (NLPC);

    986 A.P.R. 309

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2012] Nfld. & P.E.I.R. TBEd. JA.027

Her Majesty the Queen v. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited

(No. 1309A00748)

Indexed As: R. v. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court

Gorman, P.C.J.

June 18, 2010.

Summary:

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. (the company) pleaded guilty to having deposited a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, contrary to s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act (Can.).

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court ordered the company to pay a fine of $5,000 and to make a contribution of $45,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund pursuant to s. 79.2.

Pollution Control - Topic 9183

Offences - Sentencing - Considerations - The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court discussed the "special approach" to sentencing for "environmental offences" - The court indicated that as fines were the primary form of sentencing, the court had to be careful to ensure that any fine imposed to an offending corporation acted as a deterrent to it and other corporations - It was important that any fine imposed not be so low as to cause it to become a cost of doing business rather than a deterrent - The court then listed the following principles to be considered: (1) the nature of the harm inflicted; (2) the size of the offending corporation; (3) the corporation's degree of culpability; (4) attempts to alleviate harm; (5) whether a safety plan was in place; (6) any previous convictions; and (7) the plea - See paragraphs 15 to 20.

Pollution Control - Topic 9276

Offences - Sentences - Fines and penalties - Discharge of pollutant or harmful substance - Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) was corrosive to aluminium - An accidental spill of a solution of 50% sodium hydroxide occurred on the property of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. (the company) when an aluminium, rather than stainless steel, hose coupling failed, resulting in the hose disconnecting and the solution leaking out - The solution made its way through storm sewers into the Humber Arm - The company reacted swiftly to clean up the site and contacted Environment Canada - The company's maintenance employees had not been trained about the reactivity of caustic soda with metals - Nor were they trained about the importance of using the correct coupling device - Stainless steel couplings were available but they were stored along with the aluminium couplings and were not marked so as to enable the staff to distinguish them - There was no evidence of harm to the wildlife - The company pleaded guilty to having deposited a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, contrary to s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act (Can.) - The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court ordered the company to pay a fine of $5,000 and to make a contribution of $45,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund pursuant to s. 79.2 - The company had one previous conviction for a s. 36(3) offence in 1996 - See paragraphs 1 to 31.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Oates (B.) (2004), 233 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 138; 693 A.P.R. 138 (N.L.C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Terroco Industries Ltd. (2005), 367 A.R. 1; 346 W.A.C. 1; 196 C.C.C.(3d) 293; 2005 ABCA 141, consd. [para. 15].

R. v. Shamrock Chemicals Ltd., [1989] O.J. No. 1479 (Prov. Ct.), consd. [para. 15].

R. v. Cotton Felts Ltd. (1982), 2 C.C.C.(3d) 287 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 16].

R. v. Caseley (George M.) & Sons Inc. (2004), 241 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 194; 716 A.P.R. 194 (P.E.I. Prov. Ct.), consd. [para. 16].

R. v. Keepness (D.L.) (2010), 359 Sask.R. 34; 494 W.A.C. 34 (C.A.), consd. [para. 17].

R. v. Weldwood Canada Ltd., [1999] B.C.J. No. 2242 (Prov. Ct.), consd. [para. 18].

R. v. United Keno Mines Ltd. (1980), 1 Y.R. 299 (Terr. Ct.), consd. [para. 19].

R. v. Domtar, [1998] O.J. No. 6408 (C.J.), consd. [para. 19].

R. v. First Pro Shopping Centres Inc., [2006] B.C.J. No. 1235 (Prov. Ct.), consd. [para. 21].

R. v. Canadian Pacific Railway Co., [2008] B.C.T.C. Uned. F24 (S.C.), consd. [para. 21].

R. v. Gemtec Ltd. (2007), 321 N.B.R.(2d) 200; 827 A.P.R. 200; 2007 NBQB 199, consd. [para. 21].

R. v. Ship Tahkuna (2002), 210 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 68; 630 A.P.R. 68 (N.L.T.D.), consd. [para. 22].

R. v. Newfoundland Recycling Ltd. (2009), 284 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 153; 875 A.P.R. 153; 2008 NLTD 38, consd. [para. 22].

Counsel:

M. Stares, for Her Majesty the Queen;

D. Eaton, Q.C., for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd.

Gorman, P.C.J., of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court heard this matter on June 11, 2010, and delivered the following decision on June 18, 2010.

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