Director & Mining Company Featured on TV Convicted of Depositing Waste

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A placer mining company participates in a TV program named “Gold Rush.” After the airing of an episode of the show, the office of the Chief Mining inspector got a complaint that, in the episode, a contract welder poured gasoline into a dredge pond and lit it on fire. The welder had asked a company director if he could do so and the director said that he didn’t care. As a result, the company and the director were charged with permitting the deposit of waste into water in a water management area and failing to report said deposit. The court convicted them. There was no evidence that they used reasonable care to avoid an incident of this nature. In fact, the defendants hadn’t established a training program for employees or contractors as to the handling of waste on site or the proper response to a waste spill. In addition, the director’s acceptance of the welder’s actions with the gasoline demonstrate that dumping waste into the water was in this situation, at least, not a priority for him or the company [R. v. Beets, [2017] YKTC 17 (CanLII), May 17, 2017].