Vancouver oil spill trial should proceed without alleged boat operator: Crown

VANCOUVER — The prosecution of a Greek shipping firm accused of operating a vessel that leaked thousands of litres of bunker fuel into Vancouver’s English Bay should be allowed to take place whether or not the company participates, the Crown said Wednesday.

Crown attorney Jessica Lawn dismissed an argument by Alassia NewShips Management Inc. that it had not been properly served a summons in the case.

“It’s very clear that notice of the proceedings has been brought to Alassia,” she told a provincial court judge.

The Crown has argued that Alassia operated the MV Marathassa when the vessel leaked 2,700 litres of fuel into English Bay in April 2015.

Alassia and the Marathassa have each been charged with 10 pollution related offences following a Transport Canada investigation. Alassia has denied it owned the Marathassa.

The Crown notified Alassia of the proceedings three different ways, including serving a summons to the captain of another vessel allegedly operated by the shipping management company while it was docked in a port on Vancouver Island, Lawn said. A peace officer from Environment Canada boarded the MV Afroessa off Nanaimo last March and served notice to Antonios Valakitsis, the ship’s master and captain.

Alassia has argued in the B.C. Supreme Court that Valakitsis worked on contract and was not able to accept a summons on behalf of the organization.

Evidence was presented in court showing both the Marathassa and the Afroessa as vessels listed in the “Our Fleet” section of Alassia’s website.

The company has explained its reasons for not appearing in provincial court in a separate decision from the B.C. Supreme Court, saying to do so would indicate it recognizes the court’s authority to hear the case.

That ruling was released in November and dismissed the company’s application to quash a decision by a justice of the peace to certify that the summons had been served. Alassia has filed an appeal, arguing the certification was beyond the justice of the peace’s jurisdiction.

Lawn said outside court a successful appeal would likely only delay proceedings against Alassia because charges have already been laid.

The provincial court trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 26.

In an attempt to serve the summons to Alassia, it was originally served also to lawyer Peter Swanson, who represents the Marathassa and Alassia, as well as Charles Taylor Adjusting Services, an insurance agency specializing in major incidents and claims. The B.C. Supreme Court decision says the Crown conceded that neither of those attempts to serve Alassia were effective.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month