Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Session Title

Social and Policy Interconnections

Description

The Judiciary in British Columbia has a number of options in sentencing violators of environmental laws. In addition to fines and out of court settlements, many statutes now provide innovative opportunities for creative sentencing. One option for creative sentencing is the payment of money to a trust fund with conservation goals for certain projects or actions for the public good. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is a not-for-profit charitable foundation whose mission is to invest in projects that maintain and enhance the health and biodiversity of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and habitats. HCTF has been the beneficiary of most of these creative sentencing court awards. In 2007, an accidental breach of an oil pipeline in Burnaby released 250,000 litres of oil into the environment, including about 70,000 litres into Burrard Inlet. Following cleanup and remediation by industry, three parties to the accident were convicted and required to pay $447,000 to HCTF under creative sentencing provisions. Located adjacent to downtown Vancouver and forming its primary port area, Burrard Inlet has been severely degraded due to urbanization and industrialization. Over the past century, the estuaries on Burrard Inlet have lost 95% of their habitat values and their biodiversity. Recognizing this, HCTF used the creative sentencing payment to initiate a pilot program that would: 1) restore and enhance estuarine, intertidal and near shore riparian habitats in and around Burrard Inlet; 2) attract additional investment partners by requiring a 3:1 funding match; and 3) improve public awareness of the benefits of estuaries and creative sentencing as a tool for conservation. To date, estuary restoration and enhancement projects have been initiated and/or completed at six sites, including MacKay Creek, Seymour River and Mosquito Creek. The 3:1 leveraging ratio has been exceeded and investment partners include BCIT, the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Squamish Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, North Shore Fish & Game Club, and Living Rivers.

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Court Awards as a Catalyst for Conservation

2016SSEC

The Judiciary in British Columbia has a number of options in sentencing violators of environmental laws. In addition to fines and out of court settlements, many statutes now provide innovative opportunities for creative sentencing. One option for creative sentencing is the payment of money to a trust fund with conservation goals for certain projects or actions for the public good. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is a not-for-profit charitable foundation whose mission is to invest in projects that maintain and enhance the health and biodiversity of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and habitats. HCTF has been the beneficiary of most of these creative sentencing court awards. In 2007, an accidental breach of an oil pipeline in Burnaby released 250,000 litres of oil into the environment, including about 70,000 litres into Burrard Inlet. Following cleanup and remediation by industry, three parties to the accident were convicted and required to pay $447,000 to HCTF under creative sentencing provisions. Located adjacent to downtown Vancouver and forming its primary port area, Burrard Inlet has been severely degraded due to urbanization and industrialization. Over the past century, the estuaries on Burrard Inlet have lost 95% of their habitat values and their biodiversity. Recognizing this, HCTF used the creative sentencing payment to initiate a pilot program that would: 1) restore and enhance estuarine, intertidal and near shore riparian habitats in and around Burrard Inlet; 2) attract additional investment partners by requiring a 3:1 funding match; and 3) improve public awareness of the benefits of estuaries and creative sentencing as a tool for conservation. To date, estuary restoration and enhancement projects have been initiated and/or completed at six sites, including MacKay Creek, Seymour River and Mosquito Creek. The 3:1 leveraging ratio has been exceeded and investment partners include BCIT, the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Squamish Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, North Shore Fish & Game Club, and Living Rivers.