• W. Greg Filion v. Assistant Regional Water Manager

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    Decision Date: September 24, 2002

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords: Water Act – s.1 definition of “mine,” “owner,” “power purpose,” ss. 7, 13(c)(ii); appurtenancy; issuance of water licence; placer mine

    The Appellant appealed a decision of the Regional Manager denying his application for a water licence to divert and use creek water to generate power for his placer mine operation. The Regional Manager denied the licence on the grounds that the Appellant did not qualify for a water licence under the Water Act.

    The Board found that the Regional Manager erred in his interpretation of the Act. Section 7 of the Act allows water licences to be issued to owners of mines, and placer operations are included in the definition of “mine.” The Board found that the Appellant was an “owner” of his placer operation. The Board also found that the purpose of generating power for a placer operation is a legislated purpose for which water licences can be granted. Further, the Board found that licences can be appurtenant to a mine and not just to land. Consequently, the Board referred the Appellant’s water licence application back to the Regional Manager with directions to issue a licence to the Appellant.

    The appeal was allowed.