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New Brunswick man pleads guilty to violating province’s clean water act

FILE - The Shepody River and its surrounding Wetlands in New Brunswick. Lee Brown/The Canadian Press Images

Don’t mess with New Brunswick’s water.

A man from Grand Falls, N.B., has pleaded guilty to performing work along the Tobique River without obtaining a permit — a violation of the province’s Clean Water Act.

Dana Marshall Gillespie, 45, plead guilty to a count of failing to obtain a watercourse alteration permit — which is required for any work undertaken within 30 metres of a watercourse or wetland — and a count of failing to comply with an order issued under the act when he appeared in Woodstock provincial court on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.

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He’ll now pay $2,500 plus a surcharge of $750, or spend 68 days in jail, for failing to obtain a watercourse alteration permit. He was also ordered to pay $5,000 plus a surcharge of $1,500, or spend 133 days in jail, for failing to comply with an order issued under the act.

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According to the New Brunswick government, a resident was canoeing along the river with his wife in July 2016 when they noticed a large portion of the bank had been excavated.

The Department of Environment and Local Government inspected the property and ordered Gillespie to cease all work until he applied for, and received, a watercourse alteration permit.

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The 45-year-old did not comply.

As a result, the Department of Justice and Public Safety investigated and laid charges.

Gillespie has been given until July 12 to pay his fines.

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