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A Kaministiquia-based business has been convicted of illegally-building on Crown land.

Seargeant Picard Inc. was convicted of building on Crown land without a permit and fined $26,000.

Court heard that in 2007, Seargeant Picard Inc. was contracted to design and build a home and outbuildings on Shebandowan Lake, about 85 km west of Thunder Bay.

The outbuildings included a guest house, gazebo, garage, boathouse, and sauna.

The company’s contract with the client obliged the builder to ensure the construction complied with all applicable laws, and that all necessary permits and approvals were secured.

In April, 2010, a Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer issued a stop-work order for a sauna being built on Crown land between the client’s property and Lower Shebandowan Lake.

The estimated cost of the sauna was more than $80,000.

Because of its size, the sauna could not be moved from the shore land onto the client’s property.

Justice of the Peace Bernard Caron heard the case Aug. 3 in Thunder Bay.

A work permit issued under the Public Lands Act sets conditions for work being done on shore lands that will reduce or eliminate damage to the environment.

Shore lands are lands covered or seasonally inundated by the water of a lake, river, stream, or pond, and may include either private or public lands.

If in doubt about whether a work permit is required or not, applicants are encouraged to contact their local MNR office or visit ontario.ca/shorelineworkpermit

To report a natural resources violation, call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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