A Cape Dorset man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing a rival business's seacan and burning the contents.

In November 2016 a jury convicted Jamesie Alariaq of arson and theft over $5,000.

In the early morning of August 30, 2014, Alariaq used his CAT loader to steal a seacan belonging to his business competitor Polar Supplies Ltd.

With the lights of his machine off, he drove the can to a hill overlooking town, where he opened it with a grinder and set fire to the contents.

The damages amounted to $77,140 which Alariaq has agreed to pay back to the trustee of the bankrupt Polar Supplies. He has also agreed to pay the $5,280 the business paid in wages for its employees to file the insurance claim.

In his July 25 decision, Justice Todd Ducharme said Alariaq was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

"Not only is this another criminal offence, but there is an inherent danger in driving any vehicle while impaired."

Fred Schell, the former MLA and owner of Polar Supplies Ltd., "found the whole criminal process to be very stressful and he and his wife have had fears for their security with respect to Mr. Alariaq," the judgement notes. 

Planning and deliberation

The Crown had asked for two years, while the defence asked for a suspended sentence.

Ducharme said he considered Alariaq's upbringing, in which he was sexually abused, witness to domestic violence and touched by suicide. He noted Alariaq's continuing struggle with addiction. 

He also noted Alariaq's steady pattern of employment, his dedication to the community and his role as a businessman employing several local people. 

And he considered the seriousness of the offence and the evidence that Alariaq had scoped out the seacan days in advance, indicating planning and deliberation.

"I accept that he now regrets his involvement in these crimes and his remorse, while late in coming, is genuine," Ducharme said in the decision.

In addition to jail time, Alariaq will be on probation for two years, during which he will complete 100 hours of community service, attend counselling as directed by his probation officer and have no contact with the rival business's owners.