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Prosecutor challenges credibility of NHL team owner

Tom Gaglardi, his father Bob and their company face charges for altering fish habitat at Kamloops Lake.
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April 15, 2014 - 1:43 PM

KAMLOOPS – An NHL team owner was questioned on his business practices and his concern for the environment this morning in court.

Tom Gaglardi, a part owner of the NHL's Dallas Stars and Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, resumed his testimony this morning to discuss his delay on attaining a building permit for the Gaglardi family property on Kamloops Lake Drive.

Tom, his father Bob Gaglardi, and their company Northland Properties Corporation are each charged with altering fish habitat. 

Crown prosecutor Digby Kier explored Gaglardi’s past history of obtaining permits, questioned his consideration for the environment and the credibility of his testimony when it came to cooperation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Kier asked Tom why he didn’t seek a building permit for renovations to the house and lakeside property in Savona which included removing vegetation – specifically a large portion of an orchard.

“We didn’t consider that there would be any environmental issues,” Gaglardi said.

“It’s a bit of a stretch of the imagination to call it a renovation,” Kier said.

Gaglardi became defensive on the stand, saying his family has lived in British Columbia for over a century. He says the family attitude is to be responsible and to always “make right” in times of wrong-doing. Kier suggested someone acting responsible would get the permit before work was done.

“Your attitude is highly inconsistent with not getting a permit,” Kier said. “Certainly not what a proper citizen would do.”

Gaglardi said he didn’t know what Kier meant by a 'proper citizen.' “I don’t even know how to answer that,” he said.

Gaglardi said it was easier to get one after the building’s construction.

Kier then asked if his plan was to “go ahead and ask for forgiveness later” and asked “is that how you normally do business?”

Gaglardi replied no.

Rob Bruneau, defense counsel for Tom and Bob Gaglardi, objected to Kier’s line of questioning. He said Tom clarified his level of cooperation with fisheries in previous testimony.

Kamloops Provincial Court Judge Stephen Harrison somewhat agreed, telling Kier he needed support for his questions about past cases.

“I’ll tell you now that you’ll have to convince me,” Harrison said.

Kier was granted time to consider his answer to Harrison's request.

Bob Gaglardi, Tom’s father, was not present in court and Bruneau represented him. 

The trial is set to continue this week. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.


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