The president of Okotoks company Premium Fire Protection, has pled guilty to four counts of violating the Safety Code Act.
Premium president Kurt Bertrand pled guilty to four charges June 23 in Calgary Provincial Court. Twenty remaining charges are expected to be withdrawn when Bertrand is sentenced.
When the charges were laid in 2019, Bertrand wrote in statement that many of the charges were “demonstrably false”.
Defence lawyer, Robert Stack, represented Bertrand remotely by video in the courtroom on June 23, said his absent client was aware of the guilty pleas being entered.
“He is out of town,” Stack told the court.
The guilty pleas came the week Bertrand was to go on trial for five days and just over a week after the company was found guilty of 15 safety code violations.
The violations against the company included sending uncertified workers to check special fire suppression systems in kitchens, portable fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, at Calgary grocery stores, restaurants and car dealerships. Charges were laid in July 2019 following a months-long investigation by the City of Calgary into allegations from Premium Fire Protection employees.
The Town of Okotoks said it did not receive any complaints about Premium Fire but has warned businesses to ensure they protect themselves when working with the company.
Judge Cheryl Daniel agreed to take the guilty pleas in Bertrand’s absence, but did not hear the facts, to allow the judge seized with the case to carry out the sentencing.
Judge Allan Fradsham will hear sentencing arguments for Premium Fire Protection and Bertrand July 29 in Calgary.