10/10/2014 05:58 EDT | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST

Owner of two hockey teams should be fined $300,000 for breaking laws:B.C. lawyer

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Damage to a fish habitat should cost the millionaire owner of two hockey teams and his company $300,000, a Crown lawyer has told a sentencing hearing.

Digby Kier said Tom Gaglardi had no regard for a fish habitat when he renovated his vacation home on Kamloops Lake in 2010.

Gaglardi, who owns the NHL's Dallas Stars and the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, and Northland Properties were each convicted in August of two counts of harmful alteration of a fish habitat — 2,400 square metres of shoreline area.

The work involved a five-bedroom, two-bathroom addition to an existing bungalow known as Tom's Shack and included extensive landscaping work, a 50-vehicle parking lot and the construction of a boat launch.

"Both defendants were well aware they were trying to keep a low profile and, if they got caught, they were going to seek forgiveness," Kier said Friday.

"That's what you have today — them seeking forgiveness," he told provincial court Judge Stephen Harrison.

"Show this corporation and Tom Gaglardi that they cannot ride roughshod over the laws of Canada and escape without anything being done to them."

Kier said Kamloops Lake is a significant stop for juvenile salmon on their way from the Interior to the Pacific Ocean. It's the last lake on the Thompson River system before flowing into the fast-moving Fraser River, he noted, and is an important feeding stop for young salmon.

Kier said neither Gaglardi nor Northland obtained a building permit for any of the renovation work, adding it will take 40 to 50 years for the fish habitat to return to its healthy state.

Defence lawyer Rob Bruneau said a $300,000 fine is excessive given previous sentences for similar offences and asked for a fine of $50,000 to $75,000.

"Mr. Gaglardi should not be penalized for his financial set in life," Bruneau said.

"Just because we're dealing with an extremely wealthy family doesn't mean we should raise the fine."

Bruneau said Gaglardi's embarrassment by the trial should be a factor in sentencing.

"Certainly, in the court of public opinion, he will continue to suffer because of these circumstances."

A $300,000 fine was the maximum allowed under the Federal Fisheries Act when the offences took place. It is now $1 million.

During his trial, Gaglardi attempted to pin the blame for the work on ex-Northland employee Jim Parks.

However, Parks testified he was just following orders, which ultimately came from Gaglardi.

Parks said he was ordered to throw his computer hard drive in the lake once federal authorities began investigating the renovation work.

He testified he was also asked to remove Northland's logo from the site blueprint.

Kier described the work, and the attempted coverup, as the "blatant, blatant, blatant" actions of a "privileged family."

"Really, it strikes to the very heart of what society expects of corporate citizens and private citizens who have done so well. This was a very massive, massive endeavour by the corporation and Tom Gaglardi to make this thing a showpiece on the lake," Kier said.

"They're going to have 50 parking spots and sweeping views of the area — and nothing for the fish. The fish were compromised and they still are."

During the trial, Gaglardi often appeared unfazed by the proceedings and was seen jotting down Dallas Stars line combinations in a notebook and attempting to hide the use of his iPhone from court sheriffs.

The Crown also asked for an order that would have the fine go toward protecting salmon in the Interior.

Court heard Gaglardi has spent $80,000 on remediation since 2010.

The judge reserved his decision, and lawyers will be back in court on Oct. 23 to set a date for sentencing. (Kamloops This Week)