Vancouver Sun

Crown urges large fi ne against NHL owner

Fish habitat damaged, no building permits obtained for renovation of Kamloops Lake home

- TIM PETRUK KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK

Damage to a fish habitat should cost the millionair­e owner of two hockey teams and his company $ 300,000, a Crown lawyer has told a sentencing hearing.

Digby Kier said Tom Gaglardi had no regard for a fish habitat when he renovated his vacation home on Kamloops Lake in 2010.

Gaglardi, who owns the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, and Northland Properties were each convicted in August of two counts of harmful alteration of a fish habitat — 2,400 square metres of shoreline area.

The work involved a five- bedroom, two- bathroom addition to an existing house known as Tom’s Shack and included extensive landscapin­g work, a 50- vehicle parking lot and the constructi­on of a boat launch.

“Both defendants were well aware they were trying to keep a low profile and, if they got caught, they were going to seek forgivenes­s,” Kier said Friday.

Kier said Kamloops Lake is a significan­t stop for juvenile salmon on their way from the Interior to the Pacific Ocean. Kier said neither Gaglardi nor Northland obtained a building permit for any of the renovation work, adding it will take 40 to 50 years for the fish habitat to return to its healthy state.

Defence lawyer Rob Bruneau said a $ 300,000 fine is excessive given previous sentences for similar offences and asked for a fine of $ 50,000 to $ 75,000.

“Mr. Gaglardi should not be penalized for his financial set in life,” Bruneau said. “Just because we’re dealing with an extremely wealthy family doesn’t mean we should raise the fine.”

A $ 300,000 fine was the maximum allowed under the Federal Fisheries Act when the offences took place. It is now $ 1 million.

The judge reserved his decision, and lawyers will be back in court on Oct. 23 to set a date for sentencing.

 ?? BRUCE BENNETT/ GETTY IMAGES FILES ?? Tom Gaglardi and his company could face a $ 300,000 fi ne.
BRUCE BENNETT/ GETTY IMAGES FILES Tom Gaglardi and his company could face a $ 300,000 fi ne.

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