Yukon reality TV star convicted of violating water act in “Gold Rush” scene

By on May 18, 2017

WHITEHORSE – A reality TV star in Yukon has been convicted of violating the territory’s Waters Act while filming a show about gold mining.

Tony Beets has been found guilty of improperly disposing waste and not reporting it, while mining company Tamarack Inc., where he is a director, was convicted of the same charges plus two charges of failing to comply with a water licence.

Charges stemmed from filming on October 2014 when a sub-contractor dumped gasoline on a dredge pond and set it on fire after Beets said he didn’t care.

The incident came to light on the Discovery Channel TV show “Gold Rush,” in an episode originally aired in February 2015.

Territorial Court of Yukon Judge Peter Chisholm ruled there was “no question” Beets allowed the activity to take place, adding he didn’t agree with a defence argument that gasoline wasn’t a waste as defined under the act.

Sentencing has been reserved until May 26, when Beets and his company could face fines of up to $100,000, one year in jail, or both.