1986: CEO polluter gets jail time
• In addition to the jail sentence, Justice John Montgomery fined the company $200,000 and sent a clear warning in his decision, writing "to this and other polluters: clean up or close up."
• On Jan. 20, 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned both the prison sentence and the fine. The three-judge panel held that the hearing before Justice Montgomery had been procedurally unfair. Keith Alexander's lawyer Edward Greenspan hailed the decision and said Alexander had since put in place the best equipment he could. Greenspan told the Globe and Mail that Jetco had passed no waste into the sewer system since Justice Montgomery's ruling.
• Despite the appeal, lawyers for Metro Toronto reported that the threat of jail seemed to have gotten the attention of other CEOs, with companies finally ordering pollution abatement equipment that had been promised years earlier. Metro lawyer Harry Pock summed it up neatly, saying with "a few contempt orders the majority of corporate polluters may fast become the minority."
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 22, 1986
Guest(s): Bill DeAngelis, Rob Edwards, Colin Isaacs
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Eve Savory
Last updated: November 3, 2014
Page consulted on November 3, 2014
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