About two weeks after being found guilty of environmental offences for water diversion that caused a landslide, a Red Deer man is switching counsel before sentencing.
Harry Veenstra and his company Auto Body Services Ltd. were convicted on July 25 in Red Deer provincial court by Judge Gordon Yake on one count under the Alberta Environment Protection and Enhancement Act and three counts under the Water Act.
Sentencing was originally scheduled for Aug. 19. However, Sean Moring of Edmonton, Veenstra’s counsel throughout the July trial, asked to be removed as counsel of record for Veenstra ahead of sentencing, saying there was a risk to the client if he continued.
Veenstra is now seeking new counsel to deal with sentencing. His next scheduled court appearance is on Sept. 8 in Red Deer provincial court.
Under the Alberta Environment Protection and Enhancement Act, an individual can be fined up to $50,000 and a corporation up to $500,000 on each count. The same penalties apply to the three counts under the Water Act.