The Gleaner

Haut-Saint-Laurent residents fined by the Ministry of Environment

The Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) has released the results of a lengthy investigation into a poaching network that involved nearly 75 individuals, including 14 residents of the Haut-Saint-Laurent region.

Operation 57 took place on November 27, 2019, following a lengthy investigation that included several reports and information received from citizens. The operation targeted various offenses, mainly under the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife and the Fisheries Act, including the sale, purchase, illegal possession of fish, wild garlic, and game, the illegal catching of fish including yellow perch, walleye, sturgeon, and striped bass, and the use of live fish bait, which is prohibited in Quebec.

More than 100 wildlife protection officers participated in the operation to dismantle the poaching network in the Montérégie and Lanaudière regions. On November 20, the Ministry of Environment released a list containing the names of the individuals involved, who will have to pay fines totaling $314,430. The list includes the names of 14 residents of the Haut-Saint-Laurent, who will pay a combined total of nearly $108,000 in fines, as well as the names of at least 55 Beauharnois-Salaberry residents.

The list includes Marcel Champagne of Sainte-Barbe, who was fined $54,350 for the illegal purchase and sale of fish, illegal purchase of large game, and for the purchase and sale of wild garlic, which is an endangered species in Quebec. Along with the fine, Champagne’s hunting licence has been revoked and he is banned from applying for another licence for 24 months.

Also on the list is Paul-Émile Richer of Godmanchester, who was fined $20,975 for the illegal purchase and sale of fish, as well as the purchase and sale of wild garlic. Richard Clément of Sainte-Barbe will pay $6,650 for the purchase and sale of fish as well as the illegal purchase of large game. Denis Poirier of Sainte-Barbe was fined $3,000 for purchasing wild garlic, while Godmanchester’s Christiane Allen will pay $2,325 for the illegal sale of fish and wild garlic. Mario Legault, also of Godmanchester, was fined $2,000 for the sale of wild garlic.

André Besner, Nicole Lacombe Laflamme and André Laflamme of Sainte-Barbe, as well as Alain Durocher, François Durocher, and Jimmy Winter of Saint-Anicet, were all fined $1,825 for the illegal purchase of fish or large game. The list also includes Nicolas Guérin of Ormstown, who was fined $1,000 for the purchase of wild garlic, as well as Richard Lalumière of Saint-Anicet who will pay $500 for the same offense.

According to the Ministry of Environment, most of the cases have been settled by guilty pleas to the prosecutor assigned to the operation. (SR)

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