The owner and operator of an asbestos removal company has
been sentenced to 45 days in jail for persistent non-compliance
with the Environmental Protection Act
("EPA").1This is the
first jail sentence for an environmental offence in Ontario since
According to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
("MOECC"), Christopher Norman Joyce owned and operated
Joyce Energy Savings Company. The company removed asbestos from
buildings and stored the bagged waste in trailers. After financial
problems, the company abandoned the trailers.
The MOECC issued an Order to Mr. Joyce in 2013 requiring him to
hire a Qualified Person to remove the asbestos waste and to dispose
of it as required by law. Mr. Joyce did not comply with the Order
and, in 2014, pled guilty to the offence under the EPA of failing
to comply with an MOECC Order.
As a part of sentencing in 2014, the Court issued an EPA section
190 Order requiring Mr. Joyce to legally dispose of the asbestos
waste within 30 days. Mr. Joyce, again, did not comply.
Mr. Joyce was subsequently charged and convicted of failing to
comply with the EPA section 190 Order. The Court adjourned
sentencing to give Mr. Joyce a final opportunity to remove the
asbestos waste. The Crown told Mr. Joyce that it would seek a
custodial sentence if the waste was not removed by the date of
sentencing. At the time of sentencing the asbestos waste still had
not been removed. Given Mr. Joyce's repeated lack of
compliance, the Court held that a custodial sentence was
appropriate. Mr. Joyce was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
While rare, jail time continues to be a sentencing option for
environmental prosecutions in Ontario. Persistent failure to comply
with MOECC and/or Court Orders will expose offenders to
1R v Joyce (2015),
2R v Green Diesel Canada, 2013
CarswellOnt 19009 (ONCJ)
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