• Mountainside Quarries Group Inc. v. Resource Manager, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

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    Decision Date: March 2, 2022

    Panel: David Bird

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 19, 25, 34(b); Administrative Tribunals Act – s. 31(1)(a); permit; suspension; summary dismissal; jurisdiction; moot; Borowski v. Canada (Attorney General), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 342

    Mountainside Quarries Group Inc. (the “Appellant”) appealed a decision issued by a Resource Manager (the “Manager”) with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (the “Ministry”). In the decision, the Manager suspended the Appellant’s permit under the Wildlife Act. The permit authorized the Appellant to destroy a peregrine falcon nesting site at the end of the 2021 breeding season. The nesting site was located in a quarry that the Appellant operates.

    The Manager suspended the permit due to allege non-compliance with a requirement in the permit to establish a 50-metre no-disturbance buffer zone around the nest site during the falcon breeding season. The decision also set conditions that the Appellant had to meet before the permit would be reinstated. The suspension stopped the Appellant’s ability to mine material in the quarry.

    The Appellant appealed the decision and asked the Board to quash the Manager’s decision, lift the permit suspension, and order compensation for lost revenues while the permit was suspended.

    After the Appellant appealed the decision, the Manager lifted the permit suspension. The Manager then asked the Board to summarily dismiss the appeal either on the basis that the appeal was moot, or that the Board had no jurisdiction over the remedies sought in the appeal.

    The Board found that it had no authority to order compensation to the Appellant for losses associated with the suspension. The Board could have reversed the permit suspension, but the Manager had already done so. Although the Appellant continued to dispute the Manager’s reasons for the suspension even after it was lifted, the Board had no jurisdiction to make declarations about the reasonableness of the suspension decision. Given that the Board could provide none of the remedies sought by the Appellant, the Board concluded that the appeal should be dismissed under section 31(1)(a) of the Administrative Tribunals Act for lack of jurisdiction.

    In addition, the Board found that the appeal was moot. There was no longer a live controversy to be decided, and there was no compelling reason to hear the appeal.

    Accordingly, the appeal was summarily dismissed.