Manitoba Man Sues Municipality for Removing Shrubs which Allegedly Resulted in Horse’s Death

Gerald Perron of Lac du Bonnet is suing the municipality, alleging that municipal employees trespassed onto his property and illegally removed several hundred metres of shrubbery, resulting in one of his horses escaping and being killed on the highway. A statement of claim filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench on July 25th details that Lac du Bonnet employees removed a line of shrubs that operated as a natural boundary keeping Perron’s two horses safely on his property. The claim states that between late August and early September 2020, municipal employees entered Perron’s property and removed all the shrubs without notifying him. The claim states that Perron did not notice the loss until a few weeks later, when a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer arrived at his property to tell him that one of his horses escaped and was struck by a vehicle on the highway. The horse, named Cocoplan, died of the injuries. The officer also gave Perron a ticket for allowing an animal to run at large on a highway, which is a violation of the Highway Traffic Act, although the claim states that the ticket was ultimately stayed by prosecutors. Perron alleges that the municipality is liable for trespassing and negligence, which are “the direct and proximate cause”’ of both the damage to his property and his horse’s untimely death. The plaintiff seeks damages for the costs associated with replacing the trees, the loss of use and enjoyment of his property, the value of the deceased horse, the mental and emotional harm following Cocoplan’s death, and any expenses related to defending the Highway Traffic Act violation. None of the allegations have been tested in court, no statement of defence has been filed, and no trial dates have been set.