- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (AP) - Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi and his company should face $300,000 in fines for damaging a fish habitat, a Crown lawyer argued Friday at a sentencing hearing.

Digby Kier said Gaglardi had no regard for a fish habitat when he renovated his vacation home on Kamloops Lake in 2010. Gaglardi, also the owner of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers, and Northland Properties were convicted in August of two counts of harmful alteration of a fish habitat.

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 told provincial court Judge Stephen Harrison. “That’s what you have today - them seeking forgiveness. 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.

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

Defense lawyer Rob Bruneau said a $300,000 fine is excessive given previous sentences for similar offenses 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.”

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

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