Cottagers frequently want to “clean up” their shoreline, but this is usually illegal without a permit.
A father and son were each charged with altering their shoreline and removing vegetation without a permit, contrary to the Saskatchewan Environment Management and Protection Act, 2002. Young Mr. Kozub owned land on Round Lake, in the Qu’Appelle Valley. One winter, his father decided to “clean up” the shoreline; he hauled several truckloads of concrete and metal from the lake, along with vegetation. He removed silt from the lake bottom and deposited it above the waterline. In the spring, Mr. Kozub Junior, re-contoured the beach to make it look more “natural”. Neither one had permits, though both knew that permits were required.
Following a complaint, the MOE issued a stop order, preventing further work from being done. The MOE also issued a remedial order, and the defendants spent significant time and money to restore the beach.
Then they were prosecuted. The defendants argued that the lake’s water level fluctuates, and the land where the alterations occurred was “flood plain”, not “lake” or “marsh”, so exempt from requiring a permit. The judge had no difficulty convicting them. The land was clearly marsh or shoreline; Round Lake is a “lake” despite fluctuating water levels. Both defendants knowingly altered the shoreline. Mr. Kozub Senior was also found guilty of removing vegetation.
The Court found this a “massive case of shoreline destruction”. Fines: Mr. Kozub Senior: $30,000; Mr. Kozub Junior: $10,000. The conviction against Mr. Kozub Senior for removing vegetation was stayed. Similar or greater fines are possible in Ontario.
R. v. Kuzub (Kozub) 2010 SKPC 78 (June 14, 2010)