Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia, (1997) 97 B.C.A.C. 178 (CA)

JudgeMacfarlane, Prowse and Finch, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateSeptember 26, 1997
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations(1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178 (CA)

Dorman Timber Ltd. v. B.C. (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178 (CA);

    157 W.A.C. 178

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [1997] B.C.A.C. TBEd. OC.028

Dorman Timber Ltd. (plaintiff/appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen in Right of The Province of British Columbia (defendant/respondent)

(V02670)

Indexed As: Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Macfarlane, Prowse and Finch, JJ.A.

September 26, 1997.

Summary:

The plaintiff was the holder of a suspended timber sale licence who sued the province for damages for the negligence of a district forest manager. The trial judge dismissed the action, ruling that although the manager was negligent, he was immune from liability pursuant to s. 153 of the Forest Act and s. 3(2) of the Crown Proceeding Act. Accord­ingly, the judge held that the province could not be vicariously liable by reason of s. 16 of the Crown Proceeding Act. The plaintiff appealed. The province cross-appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and awarded judgment against the province. The court referred the matter back to the trial judge for an assess­ment of damages. The court dismissed the cross-appeal.

Crown - Topic 1527

Torts by and against Crown - Liability of Crown for acts of servants - When Crown liable - Dorman's timber sale licence was suspended for failure to perform a required clean-up of the licenced area - A district forest manager permitted Dorman to resume logging on condition that it concurrently perform clean-up and other remedial work - The manager was negli­gent in failing to review his actions when questioned by a third party and to advise it of the situation, but immune under s. 153 of the Forest Act - The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that although the manager was not personally liable, the province was vicariously liable for his negligent conduct under s. 2(c) of the Crown Proceeding Act and not immune under the Forest Act, s. 153 - See para­graphs 85 to 95.

Crown - Topic 2803

Crown immunity - Immunity under provin­cial legislation - Dorman's timber sale licence was suspended for failure to per­form a required clean-up of the licenced area - A district forest man­ager permitted Dorman to resume logging on condition that it concurrently perform clean-up and other remedial work - The manager, ex­ceeding his statu­tory authority, insisted to a third party that Dorman was still sus­pended and ineligible to be awarded another licence - Dorman sued the prov­ince for the manag­er's negli­gence - The Brit­ish Col­umbia Court of Appeal held that although the manager was immune from liability under s. 153 of the Forest Act, s. 16 of the Crown Pro­ceeding Act prevented the prov­ince from taking advan­tage of that defence - The province was vicariously liable under the Crown Pro­ceeding Act, s. 2(c) - See paragraphs 85 to 95.

Crown - Topic 5141

Officials and employees - Liability of officials in tort - General - The British Columbia Court of Appeal stated that civil servants may be held liable to private parties at common law - The court stated that a public servant could be liable in negligence to a private party - See para­graphs 32 to 33.

Crown - Topic 5146

Officials and employees - Liability of officials in tort - For official acts in excess of authority - Dorman's timber sale licence was suspended for failure to per­form a required clean-up of the licenced area - A district forest manager permitted Dorman to resume logging on condition that it concurrently perform clean-up and other remedial work - The manager insisted to a third party that Dorman was still suspended and ineligible to be awarded another licence - The British Columbia Court of Appeal affirmed that the manager lacked statutory authority to impose a conditional suspension - How­ever, this excess of authority was not negligence - The manager's failure to review his actions when questioned and to advise the third party of the situation breached the duty of care owed Dorman - See paragraphs 42 to 55.

Crown - Topic 5149

Officials and employees - Liability of officials in tort - Defences - Good faith - Dorman's timber sale licence was sus­pended for failure to perform a required clean-up - A district forest manager per­mitted Dorman to resume logging on condition that it concurrently perform clean-up and other remedial work - The manager was negligent in failing to review his actions when questioned by a third party and advise it of the situation - The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the manager was exempted from liability under the Forest Act, s. 153, because he purported or claimed to act under statutory authority and acted in good faith - The manager was not immune under the Crown Proceeding Act, s. 3(2), because he acted unreasonably, having breached the duty to take reasonable care - See paragraphs 56 to 84.

Crown - Topic 5181

Officials and employees - Duties - Gen­eral - The British Columbia Court of Appeal discussed the duty of care owed by public servants - See paragraphs 34 to 41.

Torts - Topic 9165

Duty of care - Particular relationships - Claims against public officials, authorities or boards - Forest authorities - [See Crown - Topic 5146 ].

Words and Phrases

Good faith - The British Columbia Court of Appeal discussed the meaning of the words "good faith" - See paragraphs 65 to 72.

Cases Noticed:

MacAlpine v. T.H. et al., [1991] 5 W.W.R. 699; 1 B.C.A.C. 120; 1 W.A.C. 120 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 27].

Home Office v. Dorset Yacht Co., [1970] A.C. 1004 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 32].

Just v. British Columbia, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1228; [1990] 1 W.W.R. 385; 103 N.R. 1; 64 D.L.R.(4th) 689; 41 B.C.L.R.(2d) 350, refd to. [para. 33].

Kripps et al. v. Touche Ross & Co. et al. (1992), 69 B.C.L.R.(2d) 62; 15 B.C.A.C. 184; 27 W.A.C. 184 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34].

Anns v. Merton London Borough Council, [1978] A.C. 728 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 36].

Nielsen v. Kamloops (City) and Hughes, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 2; 54 N.R. 1; [1984] 5 W.W.R. 1; 10 D.L.R.(4th) 641; 29 C.C.L.T. 97; 8 C.L.R. 1; 66 B.C.L.R. 273, refd to. [para. 38].

Brown v. British Columbia (Minister of Transportation and Highways), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 420; 164 N.R. 161; 42 B.C.A.C. 1; 67 W.A.C. 1; 19 C.C.L.T.(2d) 268; 89 B.C.L.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 38].

Hercules Management Ltd. et al. v. Ernst & Young et al. (1997), 211 N.R. 352; 115 Man.R.(2d) 241; 139 W.A.C. 241; 146 D.L.R.(4th) 577, refd to. [para. 38].

Dunlop v. Woollahra Municipal Council, [1981] 1 All E.R. 1202 (P.C.), consd. [para. 50].

A.G. v. Superintendent of Family and Child Service (B.C.) (1989), 38 B.C.L.R.(2d) 215 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 60].

Simpson v. A.G., [1994] 3 N.Z.L.R. 667, refd to. [para. 63].

Mid Density Developments v. Rockdale Municipal Council (1993), 116 A.L.R. 460 (F.C.A. - Full Ct.), refd to. [para. 66].

Chaput v. Romain, [1955] S.C.R. 834; 1 D.L.R.(2d) 241, consd. [para. 67].

Kripps v. Touche Ross & Co. (1990), 48 B.C.L.R.(2d) 171 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 70].

Diversified Holdings Ltd. v. British Col­umbia (1982), 41 B.C.L.R. 29 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 86].

Hill v. British Columbia (1997), 93 B.C.A.C. 40; 151 W.A.C. 40 (C.A.), consd. [para. 88].

Statutes Noticed:

Crown Proceeding Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 86, sect. 1, sect. 2(c), sect. 3(2)(a), sect. 16 [para. 25].

Forest Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 140, sect. 59 [para. 23]; sect. 62, sect. 153(c) [para. 24].

Small Business Forest Enterprise Act Regulation (B.C.), reg. 265/88, sect. 7 [para. 11].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Oxford Dictionary [para. 63].

Counsel:

Robert G. Garrett, for the appellant;

Timothy Leadem, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard at Victoria, British Columbia, on May 23, 1997, before Macfarlane, Prowse and Finch, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

On September 26, 1997, at Vancouver, British Columbia, Finch, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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    ...Fillion v. Degen (2005), 195 Man.R.(2d) 2; 351 W.A.C. 2; 2005 MBCA 58, refd to. [para. 12]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 (C.A.), refd to. [para. Harelkin v. University of Regina, [1979] 3 W.W.R. 676; 26 N.R. 364 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 27]......
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    ... (1998), 106 B.C.A.C. 73 ; 172 W.A.C. 73 ; 48 B.C.L.R.(3d) 90 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 7]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 ; 40 B.C.L.R.(3d) 230 (C.A.), refd to. [para. Nielsen v. Kamloops (City) and Hughes, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 2 ; 54 N.R. 1......
  • Carom et al. v. Bre-X Minerals Ltd. et al., (1999) 98 O.T.C. 1 (SC)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • May 13, 1999
    ...v. Dickman et al., [1990] 1 All E.R. 568; 108 N.R. 81 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 138]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178; 152 D.L.R.(4th) 271 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 147]. Black v. Lakefield (Village) (1998), 113 O.A.C. 74; 166 D.L.R.(4th) 96 (C.A.)......
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13 cases
  • Cooper v. Registrar of Mortgage Brokers (B.C.) et al., (2001) 160 B.C.A.C. 268 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 20, 2001
    ... (1998), 106 B.C.A.C. 73 ; 172 W.A.C. 73 ; 48 B.C.L.R.(3d) 90 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 7]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 ; 40 B.C.L.R.(3d) 230 (C.A.), refd to. [para. Nielsen v. Kamloops (City) and Hughes, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 2 ; 54 N.R. 1......
  • Kreiner v. Auditor General (Man.), 2007 MBQB 61
    • Canada
    • Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba (Canada)
    • March 20, 2007
    ...Fillion v. Degen (2005), 195 Man.R.(2d) 2; 351 W.A.C. 2; 2005 MBCA 58, refd to. [para. 12]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 (C.A.), refd to. [para. Harelkin v. University of Regina, [1979] 3 W.W.R. 676; 26 N.R. 364 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 27]......
  • Cooper v. Registrar of Mortgage Brokers (B.C.) et al., (2001) 277 N.R. 113 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • June 20, 2001
    ... (1998), 106 B.C.A.C. 73 ; 172 W.A.C. 73 ; 48 B.C.L.R.(3d) 90 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 7]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 ; 40 B.C.L.R.(3d) 230 (C.A.), refd to. [para. Nielsen v. Kamloops (City) and Hughes, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 2 ; 54 N.R. 1......
  • Carom et al. v. Bre-X Minerals Ltd. et al., (1999) 98 O.T.C. 1 (SC)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • May 13, 1999
    ...v. Dickman et al., [1990] 1 All E.R. 568; 108 N.R. 81 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 138]. Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia (1997), 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178; 152 D.L.R.(4th) 271 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 147]. Black v. Lakefield (Village) (1998), 113 O.A.C. 74; 166 D.L.R.(4th) 96 (C.A.)......
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