Boyd accused of violating wildlife, environment acts
Retiring Kindersley MLA charged with altering riverbank, wildlife habitat
Asked if he knew how he would plead to four environmental charges he is facing over alleged riverbank alteration, outgoing Kindersley MLA Bill Boyd said, “no.”
Boyd faces three charges under the Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 and another under the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act.
The longtime politician, who is retiring at the end of this week following months of controversy, was reached by Postmedia on Wednesday.
“My lawyer and I are looking at it to see what it amounts to,” he said.
The charges are related to the alteration of shoreline, wildlife habitat and ecological lands on Crown land near Eston, according to the premier’s office.
A court date has been scheduled for Oct. 10 in Kindersley.
When first reached and asked about the charges, Boyd said, “I don’t have any response to it.”
Asked when the alleged infractions took place, he said, “I don’t recall.”
Asked if he was a member of cabinet (Boyd stepped away from ministerial duties last summer) when the alleged infractions took place, he said “no.”
An official from the premier’s office said the charges are “from an incident this spring.”
The specific charges Boyd is facing are:
■ One charge of altering wildlife habitat and ecological lands;
■ One count of altering the configuration of the bed, bank or boundary of any river, stream, lake, creek, marsh or other watercourse or water body;
■ One count of removing, displacing or adding any sand, gravel or other material from, in or to the bed, bank or boundary of any river, stream, lake, creek, marsh or other watercourse or waterbody; and
■ One count of removing vegetation from the bed, bank or boundary of any river, stream, lake, creek, marsh or other watercourse or waterbody.
The province released the information in an email after being contacted by Postmedia for a response to the matter, and provincial officials now say they won’t be commenting further since the matter is before the courts.
If found guilty, Boyd could face millions of dollars in fines. Similar cases have penalties totalling in the hundreds of thousands.
Boyd, who was one of the founding Sask. Party members, was removed from the caucus earlier this week after the province’s conflict of interest commissioner found the longtime MLA had violated conflict of interest laws when he travelled to China promoting a private irrigation company.
“I’ve offered my apologies to the premier, to all MLAs, to the people of Saskatchewan, and I have resigned,” Boyd said Wednesday. “So I think that pretty much covers it.”
Darrell Crabbe, executive director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, said you “would expect a great deal more from a public figure like that” but that it was good to see the Ministry of Environment enforcing compliance.
“It shows that nobody’s above the law, and that those laws are meant to protect our wildlife resources for everybody, and from everybody. We’re very pleased to see that there are no considerations made for anybody, regardless of their lot in life.”
I’ve offered my apologies to the premier, to all MLAs, to the people of Saskatchewan, and I have resigned.