British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority v. Environmental Appeal Board (B.C.), 329 NR 6

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 20, 2005
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations329 NR 6;247 DLR (4th) 404;2005 SCC 1;36 BCLR (4th) 233;208 BCAC 4;(2005), 329 N.R. 6 (SCC);[2005] 1 SCR 3;[2005] 3 WWR 589

B.C. Hydro v. Env. Appeal Bd. (2005), 329 N.R. 6 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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Temp. Cite: [2005] N.R. TBEd. JA.015

North Fraser Harbour Commission et al. (appellants) v. Environmental Appeal Board et al. (respondents)

(29971)

Indexed As: British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority v. Environmental Appeal Board (B.C.)

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.

January 20, 2005.

Summary:

The Deputy Director of Waste Manage­ment made an order under s. 27.1 of the Waste Management Act identifying each of six entities as a "responsible person" for the remediation of a contaminated site in Van­couver. Certain of the entities applied to add B.C. Hydro as a "responsible person" under the order. The Deputy Director ruled that B.C. Hydro could not be found to be a "re­sponsible person". The entities appealed. The Environ­mental Appeal Board allowed the ap­peal, finding B.C. Hydro to be a "re­spon­sible per­son". B.C. Hydro applied under the Judi­cial Review Procedure Act for certiorari to quash the Board's deci­sion.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a judgment reported at [2000] B.C.T.C. Uned. 271, dismissed the application. B.C. Hydro appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Rowles, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported at (2003), 185 B.C.A.C. 94; 303 W.A.C. 94, allowed the appeal and restored the decision of the Deputy Director. The en­tities appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal for the reasons stated by Rowles, J.A., in dissent. B.C. Hydro was capable of being a person responsible.

Company Law - Topic 7072

Fundamental changes and shareholders' rights - Amalgamation - Effect of - [See Pollution Control - Topic 8062.1 ].

Pollution Control - Topic 8062.1

Land - Waste disposal - General - Con­taminated site - Persons responsible (incl. apportionment of fault) - Part 4, Division 3, of the Waste Management Act provided for the "remediation" of a contaminated site by a "responsible person" - B.C. Elec­tric was conceded to be responsible for con­tamination of a Vancouver site between 1920-1957 - B.C. Electric amalgamated with the B.C. Hydro and Power Authority and B.C. Power Commission in 1965 to form B.C. Hydro, following which it was "declared to be dissolved" by special stat­ute - The British Columbia Court of Ap­peal, Rowles, J.A., dissenting, held that B.C. Hydro could not be named as a "re­sponsible person" under s. 26.5 of the Act by reason of the acts of B.C. Electric - The Supreme Court of Canada held that B.C. Hy­dro could be a "responsible person" for the reasons stated by Rowles, J.A., in dissent, who held that the terms of the Amalgamation Agreement made B.C. Hy­dro liable for the liabilities of its pre-amal­gamation entity (B.C. Electric) - Liability was not limited to pre-existing liabilities existing at the time of amalgama­tion.

Pollution Control - Topic 9317

Enforcement - General - Clean-up - Cost of - Liability for - [See Pollution Control - Topic 8062.1 ].

Pollution Control - Topic 9346

Enforcement - Orders - Persons responsible - [See Pollution Control - Topic 8062.1 ].

Counsel:

Michael P. Carroll, Q.C., and Monika B. Gehlen, for the appellants;

Elizabeth J. Rowbotham and Nancy E. Brown, for the respondent, Attorney Gen­eral of British Columbia;

John R. Singleton, Q.C., and David G. Perry, for the respondent, BC Hydro and Power Authority;

Margot A. Venton and Robert V. Wright, for the intervenor, Friends of the Earth et al.

Solicitors of Record:

None disclosed.

This appeal was heard on January 20, 2005, before McLachlin, C.J.C., Major, Bastarache, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On January 20, 2005, McLachlin, C.J.C., delivered the following judgment orally in both official languages for the Court.

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1 firm's commentaries
1 books & journal articles
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