Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal from Quebec crab fisher over cut cable

The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear the appeal of a Quebec crab fisherman who was hit with a bill for more than $1.2 million after he deliberately cut an underwater cable.

Real Vallee snagged his fishing gear on the cable in the waters off Baie Comeau several times before he finally hauled it up and cut it with an electric saw in June 2006.

Telus and Hydro-Quebec, the owners of the telecommunications cable, sued him for the repair bill and won in both Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Vallee was found to have acted recklessly in cutting the fibre optic line, which voided his insurance and left him personally responsible for the cost of repairs plus interest.

Lower court judges said they sympathized with his plight, but upheld the case against him.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for deciding to hear the appeal.

Organizations: Supreme Court of Canada, Telus, Hydro-Quebec Federal Court

Geographic location: Quebec, OTTAWA, Baie Comeau

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  • Duffy
    January 24, 2013 - 14:36

    I would suggest that anyone who believes that the Supreme Court does not bow to Political Pressure is living in a "dream world". Judges are just Lawyers (most often Defense Lawyers) who had political clout somewhere and got appointments and owe favors to many. The world is run by power, money, greed and political associations. Does it matter where the fisherman came from - you bet!

  • Rich
    January 24, 2013 - 14:03

    He'll do fine. He's from Quebec, not Newfoundland. then he'd be in trouble. Chances are the bill will be picked up by the federal taxpayer.

  • PBF
    January 24, 2013 - 11:56

    Anybody with any smarts at all knows why they agreed to hear the appeal of Vallee; it's because he is from Quebec. I'd bet that if it was a fisherman from almost any other province (especially Newfoundland) The Supreme Court would not nave agreed to hear the appeal but we all know they can't do anything to upset the Quebecers.

    • Get a grip
      January 24, 2013 - 14:02

      No doubt. That statement is about as stupid as the fisherman's decision to cut the cable. Let me guess PBF, you would have done the same thing...