Norwegian ship lands in Victoria court for illicit offshore dumping

A Norwegian tanker ship is feeling the long, albeit slow arm of Canadian law for alleged illegal dumping in the Pacific Ocean two years ago.

A Norwegian tanker ship has been snared in the long, albeit slow arm of Canadian law for alleged illegal dumping in the Pacific Ocean more than two years ago.

The M/T Champion, a ship belonging to Champion Tankers A/S out of Bergen, Norway, and an individual named Robert Ruzic, didn’t appear in Victoria provincial court yesterday, despite being scheduled for a first appearance on four charges related to illegal dumping at sea.

Ruzic, the ship, Champion Tankers and its parent company, Champion Shipping A/S, face two charges of improper disposal of a substance at sea, and two charges of improper deposit of substances harmful to migratory birds.

The ship allegedly dumped fish oil and an unidentified “oily substance” about 135 miles west of Vancouver Island, in waters frequented by migratory birds, and within the exclusive economic zone of Canada, according to court documents.

The charge document doesn’t indicate how much liquid the ship is accused of dumping. All charges are dated July 29, 2010, and were sworn by federal Crown in July this year.

Agent for the federal Crown Rick Fowler told the court the case was “unusual” and that the ship probably never landed in Canada. He noted it wasn’t surprising that representation for the accused didn’t appear in court and said “discussions are ongoing” between the federal Crown and counsel for Champion Tankers.

The Canadian Coast Guard, which would have likely recorded the alleged offenses, and Environment Canada, the agency that investigated the case and forwarded its evidence to the Crown, haven’t responded to requests for more information.

Champion Tankers website said the company has 11 tanker vessels and transports vegetable oils, palm oils, molasses and clean petroleum products.

The case is due back in Victoria provincial court on Oct. 11 for a plea hearing.


Just Posted

Growing protests over U.S. school shootings felt in Victoria

Greater Victoria School District officials confident about student safety in local schools

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Reconciliation and Mozart features four arias and narration

Net proceeds of the March 24 performance go to Reconciliation Canada

Brentwood Bay hosts 24-hour cancer fundraiser

Monster and Sea 24-hour Paddle is grassroots fundraiser

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Victoria airport terminal expansion under way

Videos posted showing work in progress over the next 27 months

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Most Read