• Walter McKersie v. Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights

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    Decision Date: August 27, 1996

    Panel: Christie Mayall

    Keywords: Water Act – ss. 2, 7(1), 37(1)(e), 38; Environment Management Act – s. 11; Land Act; Navigable Waters Protection Act

    The Appellant constructed a channel and a boat basin in a marsh on Columbia Lake without authority contrary to the Water Act. The Regional Waste Manager ordered the Appellant to rehabilitate the changes made. The Appellant appealed the Order to the Board on the grounds that government officials had caused him to mistakenly believe that he had the necessary authority to carry out the works on Columbia Lake. He further contended that the project created no harm, but rather improved the site. The Appellant also maintained that he had been unfairly treated by government officials.

    On the evidence presented, the Board found that the Appellant was informed of the need for authorization under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Land Act and the Water Act before proceeding with construction on Columbia Lake and knowingly contravened the Land Act and the Water Act. The Board found that the construction of the channel and the boat basin adversely affected the habitat in the marsh. It also found that the immediate detrimental effect on the environment caused by rehabilitation could be minimized and that over time the marsh could be returned to its natural state. The Board upheld the Order and extended the time to complete rehabilitation. The appeal was dismissed.