Company a no-show in B.C. provincial court on English Bay fuel spill charges

Company a no-show on English Bay spill charges

VANCOUVER — A company accused of operating a ship that leaked bunker fuel in Vancouver’s English Bay in April 2015 failed to appear in British Columbia Provincial Court to face charges linked to the spill.

The MV Marathassa and Alassia NewShips Management Inc., a firm based in Greece, were due in court Wednesday on 10 charges, including discharge of a pollutant, but only a lawyer for the ship appeared.

The spill of at least 2,700 litres of bunker fuel in English Bay and the ensuing miscommunications among Canadian authorities and delays in cleanup raised questions about Canada’s preparedness for oil spills.

A lawyer for Alassia previously filed an application for judicial review in Federal Court, alleging Canadian authorities failed to properly serve it with summonses, but its case hit a bump on Tuesday when a judge said the company should instead seek relief in B.C. Supreme Court.

The company has said one summons was delivered to a captain who has no fixed employment with Alassia and who is currently the master of a vessel owned by a different company. However, Crown counsel Jessica Lawn said Wednesday the vessel is operated by Alassia.

Peter Swanson, a lawyer for Alassia, has said the company also does not own the MV Marathassa, but Lawn said outside the courtroom that ownership of the vessel may be determined by the court.

Swanson said in an email he was not in a position to comment on why Alassia did not appear.

The next court date in the case is scheduled for June 1.

In all, six charges have been laid under Canadian shipping legislation, two relate to alleged Fisheries Act violations and single charges are linked to alleged violations of federal environmental laws and the Migratory Bird Act.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Barb Desjardins clinches another win, will serve fourth term as Esquimalt mayor

Three new councillors will join three veterans at Esquimalt Township council

EDITORIAL: Voters across Greater Victoria embrace progressive ideas, new course in regional governance

Election results also reveal regional fissure between core and outer communities

B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

Labrador retrievers need to learn obedience and socialization before heading to work

Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

Group will continue to keep pressure on Victoria and Saanich councils after amalgamation referendum

Victoria and Saanich voters elect to move ahead with amalgamation talks

Victoria and Saanich voters have chosen to move ahead with exploring amalgamation… Continue reading

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Most Read