Company and Director fined $17,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations
Convicted - RSKL Ltd. and Pritam Singh Arshi
Court Location - Blenheim
Description of Offence - The convictions relate to providing false or misleading information to the ministry and failing to comply with a director's order.
Date of Offence - During the period on or about May 4, 2015 and ending on or about November 30, 2016 for both charges against RSKL Ltd. relating to its failure to comply with a Director's Order. February 11, 2016 relating to Mr. Arshi's having provided false or misleading information.
Date of Conviction - September 6, 2018
Penalty Imposed - RSKL Ltd. was convicted of two violations under the Ontario Water Resources Act and was fined $12,000 plus $3,000 victim fine surcharge, and Pritam Singh Arshi was convicted of one violation under the Act and was fined $5,000 plus victim fine surcharge of $1,250. The defendants were given 18 months to pay.
- RSKL Ltd. is a corporation that operates a hotel in Ridgetown. Pritam Singh Arshi is a director of RSKL.
- The hotel has a sewage system that is regulated under the Ontario Water Resources Act and requires a ministry approval. The company has never held an approval for the sewage system.
- On March 19, 2015 ministry staff received a complaint about the site's sewage system and attended the site to conduct an inspection. On site, ministry staff observed a septic pit equipped with a pump and hose extending into a ditch that discharged into a watercourse. A sample taken from the pit contained bacteria.
- Septic tanks were in the vicinity of hotel rooms and appeared to be in poor condition, which raised a concern of possible sewage exposure to the public and to the environment.
- On March 30, 2015, ministry staff issued a ministry order to address the issues identified during the inspection. The company sought a review contesting the validity of the requirements and requesting an extension to complete the work.
- On April 17, 2015, a director's order was issued, which confirmed the earlier order requirements, however, the defendants failed to fully comply with the order.
- The ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges resulting in the convictions.