Grand Forks residents are suing a Boundary logging company in a second class action lawsuit stemming from the May 2018 freshet which devastated the city and surrounding areas.
Plaintiffs Jennifer Houghton, Jaime Massey and two executrices of a city estate filed a Supreme Court lawsuit against B.C.’s forest ministry and some of the province’s biggest logging companies last July.
The plaintiffs asked the court to recognize them as a class representing area flood victims they say are entitled to damages from defendants Interfor Corp., Weyerhaeuser Co., Ltd., and Tolko Industries. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants over-harvested Boundary and Okanagan forests, significantly contributing to cyclical “major flooding events” on the plaintiffs’ properties.
In their latest statement of claim, filed with the Supreme Court in Victoria on April 16, the plaintiffs are seeking related damages on behalf of the same class against the West Boundary Community Forest, Inc., (WBCF) which holds timber harvesting rights over roughly 18,000 hectares of area forests.
The plaintiffs are further asking the court to make a number of declarations finding fault with the WBCF, including that its alleged overharvesting resulted in the May 2018 freshet and subsequent area flooding events.
The WBCF is owned by the City of Greenwood and the Village of Midway, both of which use dividends from the West Boundary Community Forest Fund to pay for civic and village amenities.
None of the plaintiffs’ claims have been tested in court.
WBCF manager Dan Macmaster declined to comment on this story.
Lawyers for the WBCF have not filed a response to the plaintiffs’ claims as of Monday, May 10.