A Provincial Court Judge ruled today that a private prosecution against the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Province of BC can go ahead.
The judge approved charges brought forward by environmental investigator Douglas Chapman, represented by Sierra Legal. In doing so, the Judge agreed there is some evidence the GVRD and the Province are permitting the discharge of toxic sewage from Lions Gate sewage treatment plant into Burrard Inlet.
“The GVRD’s own documents show that it is routinely dumping toxic sewage into fish bearing waters. The Province has failed to make the GVRD clean up its act. Until it does, we’re left with no option but the courts,” said Lara Tessaro of Sierra Legal.
“We are pleased the courts are moving forward to deal with very real and very serious pollution charges,” said David Lane, Executive Director of the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation. “Getting action on sewage pollution is essential for the long term protection of the fish and fish habitat in Burrard Inlet and Georgia Strait.”
“This is a very positive day for the protection of fish,” said Christianne Wilhelmson of Georgia Strait Alliance. “Burrard Inlet is being polluted by the Lions Gate treatment plant. This is the first step to ensuring the solution – an upgrade to secondary treatment – is put in place.”
“It’s about time somebody enforced the Fisheries Act against the GVRD and the Province of BC. I look forward to bringing our evidence to court and to the public,” said Douglas Chapman.