This case was heard in the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench (Trial Division).
Mr. Beznec owned property next to a mining site that had been leased and operated by Apocan Inc. ("Apocan"). After discovering that his water was contaminated, Mr. Beznec initiated a series of legal proceedings against Apocan.
An initial hearing by the Mining Commission resulted in the Commissioner’s decision being quashed by the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench. In a second hearing, Mr. Beznec brought claims against both Apocan and the Province of New Brunswick. The Mining Commissioner struck the claim against the Province, stating that he had no jurisdiction to hear it, and after evaluating the evidence he dismissed Mr. Beznec’s claim against Apocan. On the evidence, Mr. Beznec could not prove that Apocan was responsible for the contamination on his property, as the contaminants on the property seemed to be naturally-occurring.
When Mr. Beznec appealed the second decision in the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court held that the Mining Commissioner had not erred in striking Mr. Beznec’s claim against the Province. The Court also upheld the Commissioner’s finding that Apocan was not responsible for the contamination on Mr. Beznec’s property, and Mr. Beznec’s claim was therefore dismissed.
To read a related decision, go to Beznec v. Apocan Inc., 1996 CanLII 4715 (NB QB).