A stop sign is shown in a flooded intersection in Grand Forks, B.C., on May 17, 2018. A new report says provincial governments are not moving fast enough to protect homes and other buildings from the ravages of flooding. The report from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo says on average provincial governments get a grade of C for flood preparedness. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Class action lawsuit filed against Boundary forest company in connection to 2018 freshet

The plaintiffs launched a similar law suit last summer against B.C's forest ministry, top logging companies

  • May. 11, 2021 12:00 a.m.

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.

READ MORE: Grand Forks residents suing province, logging companies on behalf of 2018 flood victims

READ MORE: West Boundary Community Forest buys Wilgress land for outdoor education

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.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

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.


 

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