British Columbia manufacturer of plant-based foods fined for Fisheries Act violation

Richmond, British Columbia – February 20, 2018 – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Canadians value a safe and clean environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers work hard every day to make sure individuals and companies are respecting Canadian environmental laws.

On February 19, 2018, Garden Protein International Inc. (Gardein) pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of British Columbia to one count of depositing a deleterious substance in an area where it may enter fish-bearing water in violation of the Fisheries Act. The company was ordered to pay a penalty of $285,000, which will be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund.  Additionally, the company was ordered to install further infrastructure at its Richmond-based plant to prevent future spills. 

On February 5, 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers launched an investigation after receiving a report that vegetable oil had been released into a ditch on the defendant’s property, which leads into the Fraser River. The inspection revealed a release of oil: Samples were taken, and analyses confirmed a violation of the Fisheries Act.

As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

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Quick Facts

  • The Fraser River is identified by the Government of British Columbia as part of a classified water system: the water system is classified as having a high fisheries value, and it requires special fishing licenses.
  • 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.
  • Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund follows the polluter pays principle and ensures court-awarded penalties are used for projects with positive environmental impacts.
  • The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.

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