Nanaimo, Duncan and District Labour Council, Village of Lake Cowichan et al v. Environmental Appeal Board and Canadian Pacific Ltd

File Number:
BCJ 729  

Decision Date: April 8, 1983

Court: S.C.B.C., Locke, J.

Cite: Nanaimo Registry No. SC4717

The petitioners applied for judicial review of a Board decision with respect to the issuing of a pesticide use permit to Canadian Pacific Ltd. under the Pesticide Control Act. During the appeal before the Board, it was discovered that the permit notice had failed to show that it was the intention of Canadian Pacific Ltd. to apply the pesticide during periods other than those indicated in the permit notice. Upon learning of this omission, the petitioners asked the Board for a time extension to allow them to prepare additional evidence to address the differences between a fall application and a spring application of the pesticide. The Board granted the petitioners a time extension for this purpose. However, the petitioners maintained that the time extension was not adequate and applied to the Board for an adjournment which was refused. The petitioners sought judicial review on the ground that they were denied procedural fairness in not being granted an adjournment required to allow them to fully present their case.

The Court held that the petitioners were not given sufficient time to accord them a full and fair hearing. The Court further held that Board’s denying the petitioners¬í adjournment request was not a judicial exercise of discretion. The Court found that natural justice required that the petitioners be given an opportunity to state their case, and that because of the narrow form of the notice they did not have a fair chance to know with reasonable precision the case they had to meet. Accordingly, the Court held that the petitioners were entitled to an adjournment under the circumstances. Therefore, the Court remitted the permit to the Board for further consideration, namely, to hear any additional evidence that the petitioners wished to present concerning the application of the pesticide, and to only then make an appropriate order. The Court also suspended the operation of the permit until this had taken place. The application was allowed.