Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., (1995) 183 N.R. 323 (SCC)

JudgeIacobucci and Major, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 24, 1995
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1995), 183 N.R. 323 (SCC);183 NR 323;27 WCB (2d) 485;82 OAC 241;[1995] 2 SCR 1028;41 CR (4th) 147;1995 CanLII 111 (SCC)

Ont. v. Cdn. Pacific Ltd. (1995), 183 N.R. 323 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Canadian Pacific Limited v. Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Ontario

(23721)

Indexed As: Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest,

L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka,

Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin,

Iacobucci and Major, JJ.

January 24, 1995.

Summary:

Canadian Pacific (C.P.), the operator of a transcontinental railway, was charged with two offences under the Ontario Environ­mental Protection Act 1980 (s. 13(1)(a)). C.P. was found not guilty at trial, but con­victions were entered following a Crown appeal. C.P. appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a decision reported 63 O.A.C. 222, dismissed the appeal. C.P. appealed. Three constitutional questions were posed.

1. Does s. 13(1)(a) of the Ontario Envi­ronmental Protection Act constitutionally apply to C.P. when maintaining its right­of-way?

2. Is s. 13(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act so vague as to infringe s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

3. If the answer to question 2 is yes, then is s. 13(1)(a) nevertheless justified by s. 1 of the Charter?

The Supreme Court of Canada answered the first question in the affirmative for the reasons reported below, which were delivered orally at the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal. The decision respect­ing the other two questions was reserved and is now reported as the next case in this volume.

Constitutional Law - Topic 6642

Federal jurisdiction - Interprovincial works and undertakings - Transportation - Rail­ways - Canadian Pacific (C.P.), the oper­ator of a transcon­tinental railway, was required by s. 223 of the Railway Act (Can.) to maintain and keep its right-of-way free from dead grass, weeds and other unnecessary com­bustible matter - C.P., pursuant to s. 223, did controlled burning near residential areas in Ontario, causing smoke damage and minor fire damage to properties - C.P. was convicted of two offences under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act 1980, s. 13(1)(a) - The Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed the convictions - C.P. appealed on constitu­tional grounds (interjurisdictional immu­nity) - The Supreme Court of Canada dis­missed the appeal ruling that s. 13(1)(a) constitutionally applied to C.P. when maintaining its right-of-way - See para­graph 1.

Constitutional Law - Topic 6660

Federal jurisdiction - Interprovincial works and undertakings - Provincial laws of general application - [See Constitutional Law - Topic 6642 ].

Pollution Control - Topic 2

Environmental legislation - General - [See Constitutional Law - Topic 6642 ].

Cases Noticed:

Canadian Pacific Railway Co. v. Corpora­tion of the Parish of Notre Dame de Bonsecours, [1899] A.C. 367 (P.C.), folld. [para. 1].

Counsel:

H.C. Wendlandt and G. Despars, for the appellant;

David Lepofsky and Pat Moran, for the respondent;

Jean Bouchard, for the Attorney General of Quebec;

Kenneth J. Tyler and Stewart J. Pierce, for the Attorney General of Manitoba;

Graeme G. Mitchell, for the Attorney General of Saskatchewan;

Richard D. Lindgren, for the Canadian Envi­ronmental Law Association.

This appeal was heard on January 24, 1995, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci, and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. On January 24, 1995, the following partial judgment was rendered orally for the court in both official languages by Lamer, C.J.C.

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44 practice notes
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 409 A.R. 207 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 31, 2007
    ...of the Parish of Notre Dame de Bonsecours, [1899] A.C. 367 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 52]. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1028; 183 N.R. 323 ; 82 O.A.C. 241 ; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385 , refd to. [para. Mississauga (City) v. Greater Toronto Airports Authority et al. (2000), ......
  • CSI Wireless LLC v. Harris Canada Inc. et al., (2003) 342 A.R. 57 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • June 26, 2003
    ...Pacific Ltd. - see Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243; 41 C.R.(4th) 147; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 17 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 129; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 24 O.R.(3d) 454; 30 C.R.R.(2d) 252, refd to. [para. 58, footnote 32]. R. v......
  • R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., 2002 ABQB 665
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • July 9, 2002
    ...Pacific Ltd. - see Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243; 41 C.R.(4th) 147; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 17 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 129; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 24 O.R.(3d) 454; 30 C.R.R.(2d) 252, refd to. [para. 114, footnote R. v. Ti......
  • Reference re Impact Assessment Act, 2023 SCC 23
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 13, 2023
    ...Ltd. v. The Queen, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 292 ; R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd., [1988] 1 S.C.R. 401 ; Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1028; Interprovincial Co-operatives Ltd. v. The Queen, [1976] 1 S.C.R. 477 ; Fowler v. The Queen, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 213 ; Reference re Envir......
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22 cases
  • Canadian Western Bank et al. v. Alberta, (2007) 409 A.R. 207 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 31, 2007
    ...of the Parish of Notre Dame de Bonsecours, [1899] A.C. 367 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 52]. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1028; 183 N.R. 323 ; 82 O.A.C. 241 ; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385 , refd to. [para. Mississauga (City) v. Greater Toronto Airports Authority et al. (2000), ......
  • CSI Wireless LLC v. Harris Canada Inc. et al., (2003) 342 A.R. 57 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • June 26, 2003
    ...Pacific Ltd. - see Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243; 41 C.R.(4th) 147; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 17 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 129; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 24 O.R.(3d) 454; 30 C.R.R.(2d) 252, refd to. [para. 58, footnote 32]. R. v......
  • R. v. General Scrap Iron & Metals Ltd., 2002 ABQB 665
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • July 9, 2002
    ...Pacific Ltd. - see Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1031; 183 N.R. 325; 82 O.A.C. 243; 41 C.R.(4th) 147; 99 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 17 C.E.L.R.(N.S.) 129; 125 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 24 O.R.(3d) 454; 30 C.R.R.(2d) 252, refd to. [para. 114, footnote R. v. Ti......
  • Reference re Impact Assessment Act, 2023 SCC 23
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 13, 2023
    ...Ltd. v. The Queen, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 292 ; R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd., [1988] 1 S.C.R. 401 ; Ontario v. Canadian Pacific Ltd., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1028; Interprovincial Co-operatives Ltd. v. The Queen, [1976] 1 S.C.R. 477 ; Fowler v. The Queen, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 213 ; Reference re Envir......
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42 books & journal articles
  • Sources of Authority: Federal-Level Powers and the Constitution Acts
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Land-use Planning
    • June 23, 2017
    ...Municipalities v AT & T Canada Corp , 2002 FCA 500 . 135 2016 SCC 23 . 136 John Deere Plow Co v Wharton , [1915] AC 330 (JCPC). 137 [1995] 2 SCR 1028. 138 Ibid (appeal dismissed with very short reasons); the passage quoted is from the Ontario Court of Appeal decision: (1993), 103 DLR (4t......
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    • Irwin Books Constitutional Law. Fifth Edition Conclusion
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    ...352 R. v. Canadian Pacif‌ic Ltd. (1993), 13 O.R. (3d) 389 , 103 D.L.R. (4th) 255 , 63 O.A.C. 222 (C.A.), aff’d [1985] 2 S.C.R. 1028 , 183 N.R. 323, 41 C.R. (4th) 147 ......................................131−32 Table of Cases 629 R. v. Clark, [1943] O.R. 501 , [1943] 3 D.L.R. 684 ......
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    ...206 R v Buena Vista Kennels 1979 Ltd, 2010 SKQB 195 ........................................... 173 R v Canadian Pacific Ltd, [1995] 2 SCR 1028, 183 NR 323 , [1995] SCJ No 6, aff’g (1993), 13 OR (3d) 389 , 103 DLR (4th) 255 , 1993 CanLII 8608 (CA) ..........................................
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    • Irwin Books Environmental Law. Fifth Edition
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    ... [1985] 1 SCR 662 , (sub nom Canadian Dredge & Dock Co v R) 19 DLR (4th) 314 , 19 CCC (3d) 1 ....... 199 R v Canadian Paciic Ltd, [1995] 2 SCR 1028, 125 DLR (4th) 385 , 17 CELR (NS) 129 .................................................................13, 42, 66–67, 337 R v Cardinal, ......
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