A Kamloops businessman has lost a bid to have the public excluded from attending court in his pending criminal suit against City employees.
Dan Ambrosi, who operates Owl Road landfill in Valleyview, alleges government officials won’t hand over documents to which he is legally entitled. He is appealing a provincial court decision last August, when a judge threw out the allegations.
Ambrosi contends City and provincial government officials have tried to shut down his controversial landfill operation through what he feels is an unfair application of regulations.
In relation to his latest appeal — the one relating to action against City employees — Ambrosi filed a preliminary application in B.C. Supreme Court to have the public excluded from the hearing or publicly reporting on a pre-hearing.
He asserted that people who wish to bring private prosecutions might be deterred by the prospect of unfavourable reporting or publicity should the charges not proceed.
Justice Robert Powers noted in his decision on the application that the landfill has been the subject of public debate. In a separate case in March, a judged dismissed Ambrosi’s appeal of environmental convictions stemming from a 2007 dump fire.
Powers concluded that the application did not meet the Dagenais/Mentuck test, case law used to establish whether a publication ban or in-camera proceedings should be ordered. The test states that such a ban should only be imposed if necessary to prevent a serious risk to the administration of justice.
The judge also dismissed a related application by Kamloops Daily News to be granted standing on Ambrosi’s application to have the matter heard in camera.