Payne v. City of Prince George, (1977) 15 N.R. 386 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Ritchie, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 17, 1977
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1977), 15 N.R. 386 (SCC);2 MPLR 162;[1977] 4 WWR 275;1977 CanLII 161 (SCC);15 NR 386;75 DLR (3d) 1;[1978] 1 SCR 458;AZ-78111027

Payne v. Prince George (1977), 15 N.R. 386 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Payne v. City of Prince George

Indexed As: Payne v. City of Prince George

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Ritchie, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

May 17, 1977.

Summary:

This case arose out of the plaintiff's claim to be entitled to a business licence from the City of Prince George, British Columbia. The plaintiff applied for a business licence from the municipal council to operate a boutique for the sale of various sexual devices. The council refused the licence on moral grounds. The plaintiff applied for an order of mandamus to compel issuance of the licence. The British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the application. The plaintiff appealed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and granted an order of mandamus. The municipal council appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal and affirmed the granting of an order of mandamus to compel issuance of the licence. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the council pursuant to its licencing power had no power to refuse to permit a lawful type of business to operate.

Trade Regulation - Topic 4163

Retailers - Licencing - Municipal bylaws - Scope of or limitation on licencing power - Municipal Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 255, s. 455 - The plaintiff applied for a business licence to a municipal council to operate a boutique for the sale of various sexual devices - The council refused the licence on moral grounds - The Supreme Court of Canada granted an order of mandamus to compel the issuance of the licence - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the council pursuant to its licencing power had no power to refuse to permit a lawful type of business to operate.

Cases Noticed:

Sunshine Valley Co-operative Society v. City of Grand Forks, [1949] 1 W.W.R. 165, dist. [para. 17].

Canadian Wire Vision Limited v. City of New Westminster (1965), 53 W.W.R.(N.S.) 373, affd. 54 W.W.R.(N.S.) 238, dist. [para. 17].

Active Trading v. City of New Westminster, [1974] 5 W.W.R. 354, dist. [para. 17].

Wilcox v. Township of Pickering, [1961] O.R. 739, folld. [para. 18].

Tresnak v. City of Oshawa, [1972] 1 O.R. 727, folld. [para. 19].

Smith v. Municipality of Vanier (1972), 30 D.L.R.(3d) 386, folld. [para. 19].

Municipal Corporation of the City of Toronto v. Virgo, [1896] A.C. 88, appld. [para. 20].

Brampton Jersey Enterprises Ltd. v. The Milk Control Board of Ontario (1955), 1 D.L.R.(2d) 130, refd to. [para. 22].

Statutes Noticed:

Municipal Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 255, sect. 455 [para. 2]; sect. 458 [para. 12]; sect. 458M(1), sect. 458N [para. 13]; sect. 870(m) [para. 16]; sect. 870(n) [paras. 11, 15]; sect. 871 [para. 15].

Counsel:

M. Howard Thomas, for the Appellant;

John D. McAlpine, Q.C. and W.R. Hibbard, for the respondent.

This case was heard on December 13 and 14, 1976, at Ottawa, Ontario, before LASKIN, C.J.C., RITCHIE, DICKSON, BEETZ and de GRANDPRE, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On May 17, 1977, DICKSON, J., delivered the following judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada:

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