The Barclay Construction Group Inc. agreed to pay $175K to the Environmental Damages Fund as part of an alternative measures agreement related to excavation work near Lake Ontario
January 31, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario
Canadians value a safe and clean environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers strive to ensure that individuals and companies comply with Canadian environmental laws.
An alternative measures agreement has been concluded between the Government of Canada and The Barclay Construction Group Inc. As a result of the agreement, the company has agreed to pay $175,000 to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. The agreement, as recommended by the court, was entered into as an alternative to prosecution of charges that had been laid by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers under the Fisheries Act. The charges, which have since been stayed, were related to an incident where sediment-contaminated water was deposited into Lake Ontario.
In addition to the Environmental Damages Fund payment, The Barclay Construction Group Inc. agreed to promote effective implementation of environmental management systems by identifying improvements made, and lessons learned, at an open house and a construction industry conference. The company also agreed to develop and finalize a standard operating procedure on spill containment and cleanup, and train all their field employees on this procedure.
On June 21, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers were participating in a marine training exercise at Pier 12 in Hamilton Harbour, in the city of Hamilton, Ontario. During the exercise, they observed a pump that was removing water from an excavation site, depositing sediment-contaminated water into Lake Ontario. After an investigation, officers determined that The Barclay Construction Group Inc. was responsible for the ongoing work at Pier 12. Environment and Climate Change Canada laboratory results revealed that the contaminated water contained substances that are deleterious (harmful) to fish. Depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, or in any place where the substance may enter any such water, is a violation of the Fisheries Act.
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Lake Ontario is home to multiple species of salmon and trout, as well as the Walleye and the Smallmouth Bass.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.
An alternative measures agreement is an alternative to prosecution under the Criminal Code. Its purpose is promoting a sense of responsibility in the offender and an acknowledgment of the harm done.
Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund ensures that fines, monetary penalties, and voluntary payments support projects that will benefit the environment.
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