Keywords: Water Act – s. 7, 9, 38; Water Regulation, B.C. Reg 204/88; Environment Management Act – s. 11(10)
The Appellants appealed a decision of the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights in relation to an approval issued to Windermere Resorts Ltd. under the Water Act. A preliminary challenge was made by the Third Party as to whether the Appellants had standing under the Act to appeal the issuance of the approval.
The Board found that the Appellants did not have standing under the Water Act to appeal the issuance of the approval. The Board held that although the Act is silent with respect to who has standing to appeal an approval, this question is to be interpreted in a manner consistent with the standing requirements for appealing the issuance of a water license. The only parties who can be granted standing in this regard are a licensee, a riparian owner, or an applicant for a license. The Board did not find any evidence that the Appellants qualified as one of these classes of persons. Further, the Board held that it does not have any independent jurisdiction to grant public interest standing, but even if it did, the Appellants failed to satisfy the relevant criteria. The Board also held that its discretionary power under the Environment Management Act which provides that it may hear any person does not create a separate avenue of appeal. The appeal was dismissed.