Boyd ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing wildlife, en­vi­ron­ment acts

Re­tir­ing Kin­der­s­ley MLA charged with al­ter­ing river­bank, wildlife habi­tat

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY + REGION - D.C. FRASER dfraser@post­media.com Twit­ter.com /dcfraser

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.

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