Kenora-based contractor fined $4,500 for illegally removing soil

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crime news KENORA – A Kenora-based contractor and Lake of the Woods property owner must pay $4,500 for illegally removing soil.

Mitchell Zajac of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was fined $3,000 under the Public Lands Act for hiring a contractor to remove soil from his property on Clearwater Bay on Lake of the Woods in Kenora without a work permit.

Daniel Grosenick, owner of Solid Construction, was fined $1,500 for removing the soil. Both men pleaded guilty.

The court heard that Zajac hired Grosenick to remove soil on his property in August and September of 2011 so Zajac could build his cottage.

Zajac’s property is within the Clearwater Bay Restricted Area Order, a portion of Lake of the Woods that is protected by regulation in order to sustain its healthy lake trout population and maintain water quality.

The Public Lands Act provides for the establishment and administration of restricted areas by the Minister of Natural Resources in areas without municipal organization. Within a restricted area, permits are required for the erection of buildings or structures or the making of improvements, whether such work is on public or private lands.

The ministry may establish a restricted area order to ensure that development does not threaten significant resources such as natural heritage values, fisheries or wetlands.

Justice of the Peace Robert McNally heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Kenora, on December 4, 2012. To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).