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High court to hear cable-cutting case

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear the appeal of a Quebec crab fisherman who was hit with a bill for more than $1.2 million after he deliberately cut an underwater cable.

Real Vallee snagged his fishing gear on the cable in the waters off Baie Comeau several times before he finally hauled it up and cut it with an electric saw in June 2006.

Telus and Hydro-Quebec, the owners of the telecommunications cable, sued him for the repair bill and won in both Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Vallee was found to have acted recklessly in cutting the fibre optic line, which voided his insurance and left him personally responsible for the cost of repairs plus interest.

Lower court judges said they sympathized with his plight, but upheld the case against him.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for deciding to hear the appeal.

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