The fact that no one has yet been charged for poisoning 28 large trees on waterfront land in Mill Bay almost two years ago has Jim Cuthbert fuming.
Cuthbert, whose family owns the large private seaside property on Mill Bay Road where the dead trees were taken down last week, said he feels justice has not been done and the criminal is still loose in the community.
“It was a heinous act that we believe was done because the trees blocked the view of one of the neighbours of the property,” he said.
“These were mostly old-growth trees, including Douglas fir, western red cedars and broad-leaf maples, and now there’s just a wall of dead trees that need to be taken down for safety reasons. It’s a sad situation and it impacts everyone in the community.”
Cuthbert said he’s frustrated with the pace of the police investigation and the fact that the RCMP still haven’t arrested and charged anyone almost two years after the poisoning, despite what he believes are just a few possible suspects.
“We’re still waiting for justice to be served,” he said.
When the poisoning was discovered in March, 2019, each of the trees had numerous holes drilled in them, and an herbicide or poison was put into the holes which caused the deaths of the trees within five to seven weeks.
Cuthbert said the RCMP were given samples of the material put in the trees, but isn’t aware if any analysis was done to identify it.
The Shawnigan Lake RCMP detachment, which is in charge of the investigation, sent out a press release in September, 2019, asking for help in the investigation.
“The loss of these trees has negatively impacted the owner of the property,” said the police at the time.
“The property owner now faces a significant cost to have the trees removed before they fall over and damage neighbouring properties. There is also the added environmental impact due to the loss of the tall mature trees.”
The RCMP provided no fresh information for the case at this time.