Nowegijick v. Minister of National Revenue et al., (1983) 46 N.R. 41 (SCC)

JudgeRitchie, Dickson, Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard and Lamer, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 25, 1983
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1983), 46 N.R. 41 (SCC);[1983] SCJ No 5 (QL);46 NR 41;18 ACWS (2d) 2;[1983] 1 SCR 29;1983 CanLII 18 (SCC);144 DLR (3d) 193;[1983] 1 SCR 12;83 DTC 5041;1983 CanLII 135 (SCC);[1983] CTC 20;[1983] CarswellNat 123;[1983] 2 CNLR 89

Nowegijick v. MNR (1983), 46 N.R. 41 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Nowegijick v. Minister of National Revenue and The Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec et al., Chief Henry Mianscum et al. and Grand Chief Billy Diamond et al. and The National Indian Brotherhood (intervenors)

Indexed As: Nowegijick v. Minister of National Revenue et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

Ritchie, Dickson, Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard and Lamer, JJ.

January 25, 1983.

Summary:

Nowegijick, a registered Indian living on the Gull Bay Reserve, worked for a company, which had its head office on the reserve and all of the directors, members and employees of which lived on the reserve and were Indians. Nowegijick worked on a logging operation off the reserve. The Minister of National Revenue assessed income tax on his income from the job, which he claimed was not taxable under s. 87 of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. I-6. The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, held that the income was not taxable. The Crown appealed. The Federal Court of Appeal in a judgment unreported in this series of reports allowed the appeal and restored the assessment. Nowegijick appealed. The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and held that the income constituted personal property on a reserve within the meaning of s. 87 and was not taxable.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 4410

Treaties and proclamations - Interpretation - The Supreme Court of Canada held that treaties and statutes relating to Indians should be liberally construed and doubtful expressions resolved in favour of the Indian - See paragraph 21.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6510

Taxation - Exemptions - Personal property on a reserve - On a reserve - Meaning of - An Indian, who lived on a reserve, worked for a company, which was also resident on the reserve and which was owned and operated by Indians - He worked for the company on logging operations off the reserve - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the Indian's income from his employment for the company constituted personal property on the reserve and was not taxable under s. 87 of the Indian Act.

Indians, Inuit and Métis - Topic 6510

Taxation - Exemptions - Personal property on a reserve - Personal property - What constitutes - An Indian who lived on a reserve, worked for a company, which was also resident on the reserve and which was owned and operated by Indians - He worked for the company on logging operations off the reserve - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the Indian's income from his employment for the company constituted personal property on the reserve and was not taxable under s. 87 of the Indian Act.

Statutes - Topic 1608

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - Administrative policy and interpretation - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that administrative policy and interpretation are not determinative of the meaning of a statute, but are entitled to weight and can be an important factor in case of doubt about the meaning of the legislation - See paragraph 24.

Words and Phrases

In respect of - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the words "in respect of" in the clause "no Indian or band is subject to taxation in respect of the ownership, occupation, possession or use of any property" in s. 87 of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. I-6 - See paragraphs 25 to 26.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. National Indian Brotherhood, [1979] 1 F.C. 103; 78 D.T.C. 6488, consd. [paras. 15, 22].

Jones v. Meehan, 175 U.S. 1, appld. [para. 21].

Greyeyes v. R. (1978), 78 D.T.C. 6043, consd. [para. 23].

Harel v. The Deputy Minister of Revenue of the Province of Quebec, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 851; 18 N.R. 91, appld. [para. 24].

Bachrach v. Nelson (1932), 182 N.E. 909, appld. [para. 25].

Iroquois of Caughnawaga v. M.N.R., [1977] 2 F.C. 269; 15 N.R. 377, disappvd. [para. 27].

McLeod v. Minister of Customs and Exercise, [1926] S.C.R. 457, dist. [para. 28].

Kerr v. Superintendent of Income Tax and Attorney General of Alberta, [1942] S.C.R. 435, dist. [para. 28].

Sura v. Minister of National Revenue, [1962] S.C.R. 65, dist. [para. 28].

Alworth v. Minister of Finance (1977), 76 D.L.R.(3d) 99; 15 N.R. 405, dist. [para. 28].

Ellett's Estate v. A.G.B.C., [1980] 2 S.C.R. 466; 32 N.R. 326, dist. [para. 28].

Statutes Noticed:

Income Tax Act, S.C. 1970-71-72, c. 63, sect. 5(1), sect. 153(1) [para. 17].

Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. I-6, sect. 87 [para. 9].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Cheshire, Private International Law (10th Ed.), pp. 536 et seq. [para. 15].

Counsel:

Micha J. Menczer, for the appellant;

Wilfred Lefebvre and Fred Caron, for the respondent;

James O'Reilly and William T. Badcock, for the intervenants.

This case was heard on June 10, 1982, at Ottawa, Ontario, before RITCHIE, DICKSON, BEETZ, ESTEY, McINTYRE, CHOUINARD and LAMER, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On January 25, 1983, DICKSON, J., delivered the following judgment for the Supreme Court of Canada:

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