Castonguay Blasting Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Ontario as represented by the Minister of the Environment (May 17, 2013)
Case # 34816
The appellant was working as a subcontractor for a construction project commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. The construction project was for the widening of a provincial highway. One of its blasting operations went awry and rock fragments known as “fly rock” were released into the air by an explosion. The fly rock landed on and damaged a vehicle and a house on nearby private property, but no one was injured. The incident was reported to the Ministry of Labour and to the Ministry of Transportation, but not to the Ministry of the Environment. The Ministry of the Environment only learned of the incident several months later. The appellant was thus charged with failing to report the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment. Failing to report the incident went contrary to section 15(1) of the Environmental Protection Act. The Ontario Court of Justice acquitted the appellant, but that decision was reversed by the Superior Court.