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

Local golfer enjoys the new development program at Bear Mountain

Golf Canada’s centralized development program a success so far

No charges for three West Shore RCMP officers after woman’s jaw broken while in custody

After IIO investigation, B.C. Prosecution Service determined case did not meet its charge standard

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

All-female taxi service eyed for the West Shore

The goal is to help women feel comfortable

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Saanich invites input on garden suites

Early returns suggest support for the legalization of garden suites, but the… Continue reading

MLA Report: Lowering the voting age to 16 in BC

By Andrew Weaver On March 13, I introduced for a third time… Continue reading

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Comox Valley hospital operating above patient capacity

The new healthcare facility averaged a 110 per cent patient volume between October and February

Most Read