Panel: Katherine L. Hough, William MacFarlane, Elinor Turrill
Keywords: Water Act – s. 23 (3), (4), (6); notice; Willis v. Minister of Employment and Immigration; Canada (Attorney General) v. Bowen; natural justice; purpose of Water Act; clean hands
Mr. Saatchi, owner of a dairy farm near Salmon Arm, appealed the May 23, 1996 cancellation of two final water licences by the Comptroller of Water Rights. Cancellation was for failure to pay the annual rental due for three years. Mr. Saatchi argued that no notice was sent to him about the pending cancellation or, alternatively, that the notice given was defective and insufficient. He also argued that the rules of natural justice obliged the Board to reinstate his licences in their entirety, with the same priority that he enjoyed before.
The Board found that the Ministry complied with the notice requirements of the Water Act when it sent a Notice of Proposed Cancellation to Mr. Saatchi by registered mail, and that the notice was sufficient. The Board further found that the 60 day objection period was not suspended because the mail was left unclaimed and that the extra steps taken to advise Mr. Saatchi of the pending cancellation did not bind the actions of the Comptroller or start a new appeal period. At the suggestion of the Respondent, the Board ordered Mr. Saatchi to pay all arrears within 30 days and ordered the Comptroller, upon receipt of these monies, to reinstate the licences with an amended priority date later than all other licences on the creek. Appeal dismissed.