No charges will be laid after Brooke-Alvinston cemetery cleared with bulldozer

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There will be no charges laid against a landowner who cleared trees from a former cemetery site in Brooke-Alvinston with a bulldozer.

In October, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs investigated after residents worried the pioneer cemetery dating back to 1892 on the edge of Brooke-Alvinston was damaged by a bulldozer removing a tree stand.

But the owner of the field says he only removed trees and the stones from the former church graveyard were taken years ago.

Stephen Puddister of the ministry says the investigation is complete and it found “that there were markers and foundations of markers in close proximity to each other. To date no remains have been located,” he wrote in an email.

“At this time there is no evidence that the disturbance of the cemetery was intention,” he added saying charges would not be laid.

Puddister says the owner of the land will now have to become the licensed operator of the cemetery when it is registered with the ministry. “Once the extent and boundaries of the cemetery have been determined, the cemetery will be surveyed and registered on title,” says Puddister.  “Typically in these cases, the landowner will be licensed as the operator of that cemetery and will be responsible to ensure the cemetery is maintained.”

He adds the landowner could ask the municipality to take over the cemetery but that would likely mean the property would have to be deeded to the township.