Ascendion Law wins in B.C.’s first mine spill prosecution since Mt. Polley


On July 13th, 2018, Ascendion Law stood by Banks Island Gold, and Benjamin Mossman (CEO) and Dirk Meckert as the Provincial Court of British Columbia vindicated these two individuals connected with the Banks Island Gold Mine spill in July 2015.

Both originally charged with 35 counts under various statutes, including the Fisheries Act, the Environmental Management Act, and the Water Act, Mr. Meckert was acquitted of all charges. Mr. Mossman was cleared of all pollution charges. What began as the potential for significant jail sentences for both individuals now results in what are expected to be minor fines for Mr. Mossman on two administrative charges and no criminal record. This case lasted a little over two years and was a major litigation and defence undertaking by the Ascendion Law team. 

The result speaks for itself after Ascendion Law secured victories in excluding evidence illegally obtained contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and applications to dismiss summarily numerous charges. The result will be a major precedent in a number of different criminal law and regulatory areas, and particularly important to monitor given the new mining enforcement framework in British Columbia after the Mt Polley spill. This case represented the first prosecution of criminal charges following the Mt Polley spill in BC. Ascendion Law maintains its deep expertise in mining enforcement and criminal prosecutions, and the results of this case speak to their success in that field.

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