A fuel company will have to stand trial in a 2013 Slocan Valley fuel spill after a BC Supreme Court judge overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed the case.

Executive Flight Centre of Calgary faces eight charges under the Environmental Management Act and Fisheries Act, despite a provincial court ruling that found it took too long for the matter to come to trial.

Judge Lisa Mrozinksi originally ruled the company’s constitutional rights were breached based on the Supreme Court of Canada’s Jordan decision, which said an accused’s rights are violated if cases do not come to trial within 18 months of charges being laid.

The Jordan ruling was released two weeks before the federal Crown laid charges in the case, having earlier stayed a private prosecution started by resident Marilyn Burgoon.

Mrozinski ruled the clock was ticking in the time after the original charges were stayed but before the new ones were laid. But the Crown appealed the decision, and in a ruling issued Friday, Justice Sheri Donegan wrote: “I would allow the appeal, set aside the stay of proceedings and order a new trial.”

The full judgement can be found here: ttps://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/22/2018BCSC2212.htmh

The provincial government and driver Danny La Sante were also charged in the case and did stand trial. The province was acquitted while La Sante was convicted, but his sentencing has been delayed several times. He is now scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 19.

La Sante took a wrong turn onto a forest service road and his rig tipped over, spilling 33,000 litres of jet fuel into Lemon Creek, which flows into the Slocan River. Fish were killed and residents evacuated.

The matter is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit.