Whitehorse Daily Star

Ex-star had wanted to work on site, court told

A former Yukon mining reality TV star

By Emily Blake on October 6, 2017

A former Yukon mining reality TV star has been fined more than $140,000 for failing to properly decommission his placer mining operation.

Last June, Kenneth Foy, 44, pled guilty to three charges under the Yukon’s Placer Mining Act and one charge under the Environment Act.

In a joint submission presented Thursday afternoon, Crown prosecutor Julie DesBrisay and defence lawyer Mike Reynolds agreed that a total of $145,000 in fines would be an appropriate sentence for the charges.

Judge Peter Chisholm approved the submission. He gave Foy one year to pay the amount, the maximum time permitted under the legislation.

Foy received the maximum fine, $20,000, for each of the Placer Mining Act charges.

The Environment Act charge, for which he was fined the remaining $85,000, carries a maximum fine of $300,000, six months in jail or both.

DesBrisay said fines should not be a licence fee for committing an offence, but show that it won’t be tolerated, and reflect community disapproval.

She noted it could cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars for cleanup of the site, which may include testing and separating and disposal of hazardous materials,

Foy is a lifelong miner from Port Moody, B.C. who starred on the Canadian reality series Yukon Gold.

At sentencing, he gave an emotional statement to the court expressing his remorse and regret for the infractions.

Foy said he takes full responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family, miners and the Dawson community.

He said he was embarrassed by the “black eye” to the Yukon mining community that he has been part of for 26 years.

“I will demand more of myself if I decide to work in the industry again.”

While Foy had pled guilty early on and an agreed statement of facts was submitted on June 6, DesBrisay said there was a delay in sentencing due to “months of discussion and negotiation.”

Reynolds noted it was a “very collaborative and open and comfortable process” that his client was actively involved in.

Foy was originally facing six charges for contravening his Class 4 placer mining licence, along with the Environment Act charge and two charges under the Water Act. The additional charges were stayed by the Crown.

From the spring of 2012 to June 2014, Foy ran a mining operation on Moose Creek, approximately 125 km from Dawson along the Top of the World Highway.

It spanned 26 placer claims across an area 610 metres wide by four kilometres long.

Reynolds told the court that troubles began in 2013, when Foy took on an investor, but that mining season didn’t go well.

As a consequence, the investor seized equipment and told Foy there could be legal consequences if he returned to the mining site in 2014.

Foy complied, as he wasn’t sure of his legal rights at the time, but said he regrets not seeking legal counsel.

That fall, he discussed a reclamation plan with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources with intentions of starting cleanup in 2015.

And he attempted some remediation at the general worksite, spending $30,000. But Foy was unaware that he needed a permit to do so, which led to infractions.

In July 2015, while Foy said he had completed the cleanup, a natural resource officer discovered that it was not in compliance with the established plan.

Piles of tailings had been left behind and disturbed areas were not left in a state conducive to re-vegetation.

DesBrisay noted that this could cause long-term soil erosion and sedimentation of the creek.

Two unusable vehicles and several structures were also abandoned at the site.

And a “bone yard” or waste disposal site was littered with discarded and partially-buried materials. including tires, pallets, scrap metal, 45-gallon drums, and scrap wood.

Foy was charged for the offences in 2016.

He had planned to return to the site this past summer to complete some remediation work, which would have been a mitigating factor in sentencing. But that didn’t happen.

Foy said after it become publicly known that he was facing charges, he had difficulty finding work, which made the reclamation work financially impossible.

“Mr. Foy really did want to return to the worksite this summer and do some reclamation work,” Reynolds told the court. “He’s extremely regretful that was just not in the cards.”

Comments (6)

Up 0 Down 0

George on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm

I wonder why I see abandoned buildings, old dredges and old equipment littering the YUKON landscape, but ONLY KEN FOY was charged with breaking environmental laws. Where was these gestapo troopers during the past 40 yrs??

Up 13 Down 5

ralpH on Oct 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

@ProScience Greenie You are absolutely right. They run around like They are celebrities, but in reality, people want to meet them, to see what would make someone make a fool of themselves in front of millions. And on top of that embarrass ALL Yukoners. Could it be money?? Got to say though a couple of miners on the one show do make it realistic and use their own equipment to mine.

Up 24 Down 2

Miles Ocean on Oct 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Why not put a lean on his assets and until he cleans up the site himself.

Would be a much better message than the inevitable, I do not have the money, delay, delay, delay and the fury of the court will get lost in a few years.

Up 6 Down 12

beven on Oct 8, 2017 at 6:14 am

Poor ken. I feel for you. Keep you're chin up bro

Up 47 Down 13

ProScience Greenie on Oct 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm

More crappy fallout from the stupid gold mining reality TV shows and their bottom of the barrel crews of miners. None of them should ever mine again and there should be a ban on these embarrassing and unrealistic reality TV shows in our Yukon.

Up 30 Down 4

Yukoner on Oct 6, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Foy said “I will demand more of myself if I decide to work in the industry again.”
I sure hope he is banned for life to get a license in Yukon again.

And “Mr. Foy really did want to return to the worksite this summer and do some reclamation work,” Reynolds told the court.
Not regretful enough to really go and clean up I guess.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.