CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Brookfield Gardens will be heading back to court once again.
The large vegetable farm failed in appealing a P.E.I. Supreme Court judge’s order for a new trial for the farm that was cleared of an environmental infraction that led to a fish kill.
The P.E.I. Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that P.E.I. Supreme Court Judge Nancy Key did not make an error when she concluded that the verdict reached by the trial judge was unsupported by the evidence and was therefore unreasonable.
In a decision issued March 30, Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr ruled the trial judge couldn’t have reached the conclusion she did based on the evidence available to her.
Key disagreed with Orr’s ruling and ordered a new trial.
Brookfield Gardens appealed Key’s decision, but the P.E.I. Court of Appeal backed Key’s decision.
A date has yet to be set for Brookfield Gardens to once again face in provincial court the charge of permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish.
That charge came after a fish kill in the North River in August 2014 that saw 1,155 dead fish collected in a 3.8-kilometre section after a heavy rain.
The agreed statement of facts in Brookfield Gardens’ unsuccessful appeal of Key’s ruling, includes that fisheries officers inspected the Brookfield field and noticed two washout gullies leading from the field to the North River. They collected samples of soil, water and foliage. Analysis of these samples revealed large concentrations of pesticides.
Brookfield Gardens grows a wide variety of vegetables sold to supermarkets and wholesalers across P.E.I., Atlantic Canada, and overseas.