POLITICS

B.C. court overturns $1.75 million in damages awarded after logging blockade

02/26/2015 07:13 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - British Columbia's top court says the province isn't liable for nearly $2 million in damages suffered by a logging company as a result of a First Nations' blockade.

The case in the B.C. Court of Appeal pitted the provincial government, Moulton Contracting Ltd., and several members of the Fort Nelson First Nation against each other.

It followed a lower-court ruling in December 2013, ordering the province to pay the company $1.75 million for failing to issue a warning about an imminent blockade to timber-harvest areas in B.C.'s northeast in 2006.

The government appealed, and Justice Risa Levine says the main issue focused on the timber licence and who is liable for third-party interference.

Levine says the lower-court judge erred in his ruling, noting a clause in the timber licence means the province can't be held liable for the company's losses because of the actions of a third party.

She set aside the order requiring the province to pay the $1.75 million in damages and told the company to pick up various court costs incurred by the province and the First Nation.