114957 Canada ltée (Spraytech, Société d'arrosage) et al. v. Hudson (Town), (2001) 271 N.R. 201 (SCC)

JudgeL'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJune 28, 2001
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2001), 271 N.R. 201 (SCC);2001 SCC 40;19 MPLR (3d) 1;[2001] ACS no 42;200 DLR (4th) 419;[2001] 2 SCR 241;171 NR 201;EYB 2001-24833;[2001] SCJ No 42 (QL);JE 2001-1306;106 ACWS (3d) 270;40 CELR (2d) 1;AZ-50098270

114957 Can. ltée v. Hudson (2001), 271 N.R. 201 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

....................

Temp. Cite: [2001] N.R. TBEd. JN.042

114957 Canada Ltée (Spraytech, Société d'arrosage) and Services des espaces verts Ltée/Chemlawn (appellants) v. Town of Hudson (respondent) and Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Nature-Action Québec Inc. and World Wildlife Fund Canada, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Sierra Club of Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Parents' Environmental Network, Healthy Lawns - Healthy People, Pesticide Action Group Kitchener, Working Group on the Health Dangers of the Urban Use of Pesticides, Environmental Action Barrie, Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, Vaughan Environmental Action Committee and Dr. Merryl Hammond, and la Fédération interdisciplinaire de l'horticulture ornementale du Québec (interveners)

(26937; 2001 SCC 40)

Indexed As: 114957 Canada ltée (Spraytech, Société d'arrosage) et al. v. Hudson (Town)

Supreme Court of Canada

L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.

June 28, 2001.

Summary:

A municipality adopted a bylaw that pro­hibited the purely aesthetic use of pesticides while allowing other uses, mainly for busi­ness or agricultural purposes. Some land­scaping and lawn care companies brought a motion for a declaratory judgment to declare the bylaw inoperative and ultra vires the municipality's authority.

The Quebec Superior Court denied the motion. The moving parties appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a decision reported [1998] Q.J. No. 2546; J.E. 98-1855, dismissed the appeal. The moving parties appealed again.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Municipal Law - Topic 1402

Powers of municipalities - General prin­ciples - Source of powers - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the "general welfare" powers conferred by statute to municipalities - See paragraphs 18 to 20.

Municipal Law - Topic 1430

Powers of municipalities - Respecting land - Land use - Section 410(1) of the Cities and Towns Act (Que.) gave municipal councils power to make bylaws to "secure peace, order and good government, health and general welfare in the territory of the municipality" - A municipality adopted a bylaw that prohibited the purely aesthetic use of pesticides while allowing other uses, mainly for business or agricultural pur­poses - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the municipality had the statutory authority to enact the bylaw - LeBel, J. (Iacobucci and Major, JJ., concurring), stated that the subject matter of the bylaw lied within the ambit of normal local gov­ernment activities - It concerned the use and protection of the local environment within the community - The regulation targeted problems of use of land and prop­erty, and addressed neighbourhood con­cerns that have always been within the realm of local government activity - See paragraphs 47 to 54.

Municipal Law - Topic 1481

Powers of municipalities - Particular powers - Health - Section 410(1) of the Cities and Towns Act (Que.) gave munici­pal councils power to make bylaws to "secure peace, order and good government, health and general welfare in the territory of the municipality" - A municipality adopted a bylaw that prohibited the purely aesthetic use of pesticides while allowing other uses, mainly for business or agricul­tural purposes - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the municipality had the statutory authority to enact the bylaw - The bylaw responded to citizens' concerns about alleged health risks caused by non-essential uses of pesticides - Based on the distinction between essential and non-essential uses of pesticides, it was reason­able to conclude that the bylaw's purpose was to minimize the use of allegedly harmful pesticides in order to promote the health of inhabitants - This purpose fell squarely within the "health" component of s. 410(1) - See paragraphs 18 to 32.

Municipal Law - Topic 1583

Powers of municipalities - Exercise of powers - Conflict with provincial or fed­eral legislation - Section 410(1) of the Cities and Towns Act (Que.) gave munici­pal councils power to make bylaws to "secure peace, order and good government, health and general welfare in the territory of the municipality" - The Pest Control Products Act and Regulations (Can.) auth­orized and regulated the importation, man­ufacturing, sale and distribution of pest control products in Canada - The Pesti­cides Act (Que.) provided that it prevailed over any inconsistent provision of any bylaw passed by a municipality - A muni­cipality adopted a bylaw that prohibited the purely aesthetic use of pesticides while allowing other uses, mainly for business or agricultural purposes - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the municipality had the statutory authority to enact the bylaw and that the bylaw did not conflict with the federal and provincial legislation - See paragraphs 33 to 42, 46.

Municipal Law - Topic 3731

Bylaws - Construction or interpretation - Purpose - [See Municipal Law - Topic 1481 ].

Municipal Law - Topic 3846

Bylaws - Quashing bylaws - Grounds for judicial interference - Discrimination - A municipality adopted a bylaw that pro­hibited the purely aesthetic use of pesti­cides while allowing other uses, mainly for business or agricultural purposes - Some landscaping and lawn care companies moved to have the bylaw declared inoper­ative and ultra vires the municipality's authority - They argued that the bylaw was discriminatory because of impermis­sible distinctions that affected their com­mercial activities - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the municipality had the statutory authority to enact the bylaw - The court stated that the bylaw did not appear as a purely prohibitory legal instru­ment and that this kind of regulation implied a necessary component of dis­crimination - See para­graphs 28, 29, 54 and 55.

Cases Noticed:

Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243, refd to. [para. 1].

Friends of the Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Transport and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 3; 132 N.R. 321; [1992] 2 W.W.R. 193; 88 D.L.R.(4th) 1, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Hydro-Quebec, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 213; 217 N.R. 241, consd. [para. 3].

R. v. Sharma (D.), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 650; 149 N.R. 161; 61 O.A.C. 161, consd. [paras. 18, 49].

R. v. Weir (1979), 26 O.R.(2d) 326 (Div. Ct.), consd. [para. 20].

Kuchma v. Tache (Rural Municipality), [1945] S.C.R. 234, refd to. [para. 21].

Arcade Amusements Inc. v. Montreal, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 368; 58 N.R. 339; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 161; 29 M.P.L.R. 220, refd to. [paras. 21, 49].

R. v. Greenbaum (M.), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 674; 149 N.R. 114; 61 O.A.C. 241, dist. [para. 22].

Nanaimo (City) v. Rascal Trucking Ltd. et al., [2000] 1 S.C.R. 342; 251 N.R. 42; 132 B.C.A.C. 298; 215 W.A.C. 298, consd. [paras. 23, 49].

Shell Canada Products Ltd. v. Vancouver (City), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 231; 163 N.R. 81; 41 B.C.A.C. 81; 66 W.A.C. 81, consd. [paras. 23, 53].

Scarborough v. R.E.F. Homes Ltd. (1979), 9 M.P.L.R. 255 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 27].

Allard Contractors Ltd. et al. v. Coquitlam (District) et al., [1993] 4 S.C.R. 371; 160 N.R. 249; 35 B.C.A.C. 241; 57 W.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 28].

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817; 243 N.R. 22, refd to. [para. 30].

A.P. Pollution Control Board v. Nayudu, 1999 S.O.L. Case No. 53, refd to. [para. 32].

Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, [1996] Supp. 5 S.C.R. 241, refd to. [para. 32].

Multiple Access Ltd. v. McCutcheon et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 161; 44 N.R. 181, consd. [para. 34].

M & D Farm Ltd. et al. v. Manitoba Agricultural Credit Corp., [1999] 2 S.C.R. 961; 245 N.R. 165; 138 Man.R.(2d) 161; 202 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [paras. 34, 46].

Bank of Montreal v. Hall, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 121; 104 N.R. 110; 82 Sask.R. 120; [1990] 2 W.W.R. 193; 65 D.L.R.(4th) 361; 9 P.P.S.A.C. 177, refd to. [para. 34].

Ontario (Attorney General) v. Mississauga (City) (1981), 15 M.P.L.R. 212 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 37].

Uxbridge (Township) v. Timber Brothers Sand and Gravel Ltd. (1975), 7 O.R.(2d) 484 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 37].

British Columbia Lottery Corp. v. Vancouver (City) (1999), 118 B.C.A.C. 129; 192 W.A.C. 129; 169 D.L.R.(4th) 141 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 38].

Law Society of Upper Canada v. Barrie (City), [2000] O.T.C. 697; 46 O.R.(3d) 620 (Sup. Ct.), consd. [para. 38].

Huot v. Ville de Saint-Jérome, J.E. 93-1052 (Que. Sup. Ct.), consd. [para. 38].

2419-6388 Québec Inc. c. Saint-Michel Archange (Municipalité) et autres, [1992] R.J.Q. 875; 45 Q.A.C. 161 (C.A.), consd. [para. 39].

Public School Boards Association (Alta.) v. Alberta (Attorney General) et al., [2000] 2 S.C.R. 409; 260 N.R. 127; 266 A.R. 201; 228 W.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 49].

Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General) et al., [2001] 1 S.C.R. 470; 267 N.R. 10; 144 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 49].

Statutes Noticed:

Cities and Towns Act, R.S.Q. 1977, c. C-19, sect. 410(1), sect. 412(32), sect. 463.1 [para. 9].

Hudson (Town), Bylaws, Bylaw 270, sect. 1, sect. 2, sect. 3, sect. 4, sect. 5, sect. 6, sect. 10 [para. 9].

Pest Control Products Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-9, sect. 4(1), sect. 4(3), sect. 6(1) [para. 9].

Pest Control Products Act Regulations (Can.), Pest Control Regulations, C.R.C. 1978, c. 1253, sect. 45(1), sect. 45(2), sect. 45(3) [para. 9].

Pesticides Act, R.S.Q. 1977, c. P-9.3, sect. 102, sect. 105, sect. 105.1, sect. 106, sect. 107 [para. 9].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Bergen Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Development (1990), para. 7 [para. 31].

Cameron, James, and Abouchar, Juli, The Status of the Precautionary Principle in International Law, in The Precautionary Principle and International Law (1996), p. 52 [para. 32].

Canada, CEPA Issue Elaboration Paper No. 18 - CEPA and the Precautionary Principle/Approach (1995), p. 8 [para. 31].

Côté, Pierre-André, The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada (3rd Ed. 2000), pp. 446 to 447 [para. 37, English version].

Côté, Pierre-André, Interprétation des lois, 3e éd., 1999, pp. 446 to 447 [para. 37, French version].

Driedger, Elmer A., The Construction of Statutes (3rd. Ed. 1994, by Ruth Sullivan), pp. 53 [para. 27]; 330 [para. 30].

Duplessis, Yvon and Hétu, Jean, Les pou­voirs des municipalités en matière de protection de l'environnement, 2e éd., 1994, pp. 109 [para. 40]; 110 [para. 21]; 111 [para. 42].

Dussault, René and Borgeat, Louis, Ad­ministrative Law: A Treatise, vol. 1, (2nd Ed. 1985), pp. 435 et seq. [para. 55, English version].

Dussault, René et Borgeat, Louis, Traité de droit administratif, 2e éd., 1985, t. 1, pp. 557 et s. [para. 55, French version].

Freestone, David and Hey, Ellen, Origins and Development of the Precautionary Principle, in The Precautionary Principle and International Law (1996), p. 41 [para. 32].

Garant, Patrice, Droit administratif, 4e éd., 1996, vol. 1, pp. 407 et seq. [para. 55].

Hétu, Jean, Duplessis, Yvon et Pakenham, Dennis, Droit municipal: Principes géné­raux et contentieux, 1998, pp. 651 [para. 49]; 677 to 682 and 691 to 696 [para. 55].

Hoehn, Felix, Municipalities and Canadian Law: Defining the Authority of Local Governments (1996), pp. 17-23 [para. 53].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada, vol. 1 (1997, updated 2000, release 1), p. 16-13 [para. 36].

Makuch, Stanley M., Canadian Municipal and Planning Law (1983), p. 115 [para. 18].

McIntyre, Owen and Mosedale, Thomas, The Precautionary Principle as a Norm of Customary International Law (1997), 9 J. Env. L. 221, p. 241 [para. 32].

Rogers, Ian McFee, The Law of Canadian Municipal Corporations, Cum. Supp. to vol. 1 (2nd Ed. 1971, updated 2001, release 1), pp. 358, 364 [para. 49]; 367 [para. 18]; 387 [para. 26]; no. 63.16 [para. 36].

Swaigen, John, The Hudson Case: Munici­pal Power to Regulate Pesticides Con­firmed by Quebec Courts (2000), 34 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 162, pp. 174 [para. 4]; 178 [para. 24].

World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (1987), pp. 220 [para. 3].

Counsel:

Gérard Dugré and Denis Manzo, for the appellants;

Stéphane Brière and Pierre Lepage, for the respondent;

Stewart A. G. Elgie and Jerry V. De­Marco, for the interveners Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Nature-Action Québec Inc. and World Wildlife Fund Canada;

Theresa A. McClenaghan and Paul Mul­doon, for the interveners Toronto Envi­ronmental Alliance, Sierra Club of Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Parents' Environmental Network, Healthy Lawns -- Healthy People, Pesticide Action Group Kitche­ner, Working Group on the Health Dan­gers of the Urban Use of Pesticides, Environmental Action Barrie, Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, Vaughan Environmental Action Committee and Dr. Merryl Hammond;

Jean Piette, for the intervener Fédération interdisciplinaire de l'horticulture orne­mentale du Québec.

Solicitors of Record:

Fraser Milner Casgrain, Montréal, Que­bec, for the appellants;

Bélanger Sauvé, Montréal, Quebec, for the respondent;

Sierra Legal Defence Fund, Toronto, Ontario, for the interveners Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Nature-Action Québec Inc. and World Wildlife Fund Canada;

Canadian Environmental Law Association, Toronto, Ontario, for the interveners Toronto Environmental Alliance, Sierra Club of Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Parents' Environmental Network, Healthy Lawns -- Healthy People, Pesticide Action Group Kitche­ner, Working Group on the Health Dan­gers of the Urban Use of Pesticides, Environmental Action Barrie, Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, Vaughan Environmental Action Committee and Dr. Merryl Hammond;

Ogilvy Renault, Québec, Quebec, for the intervener Fédération interdisciplinaire de l'horticulture ornementale du Québec ("FIHOQ").

This appeal was heard on December 7, 2000, by L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iaco­bucci, Major, Bastarache, Arbour and LeBel, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official lan­guages on June 28, 2001, and the following reasons were filed:

L'Heureux-Dubé, J. (Gonthier, Bastara­che and Arbour, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 43;

LeBel, J. (Iacobucci and Major, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 44 to 56.

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