R. v. Cdn. Pacific Ltd., (1983) 44 A.R. 294 (ProvCt)

Judge:Nelles, J.
Court:Provincial Court (Alberta)
Case Date:February 11, 1983
Citations:(1983), 44 A.R. 294 (ProvCt)

R. v. Cdn. Pacific Ltd. (1983), 44 A.R. 294 (ProvCt)

MLB headnote and full text

R. v. Canadian Pacific Limited

Indexed As: R. v. Canadian Pacific Ltd.

Alberta Provincial Court

Nelles, J.

February 11, 1983.


Canadian Pacific was charged with burning discarded creosote-treated ties within the City of Calgary. C.P. obtained authorization for burning the ties under the Alberta Clean Air Act Regulations, but failed to comply with the authorization requirement that no ties be burned within five miles of a city. C.P. pleaded in its defence that the Alberta Clean Air Act Regulations did not apply to railways, which were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government under s. 92(10)(a) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

The Alberta Provincial Court convicted C.P. and found that the Alberta Clean Air Act Regulations were directed at the prevention of pollution and not the operation of railways and did not interfere with the operation of the railway.

Constitutional Law - Topic 3504

Paramountcy of federal statutes - Conflict or repugnancy - Requirement of - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the doctrine of paramountcy of federal legislation did not come into play unless there was conflict between valid federal legislation and provincial legislation - See paragraphs 32 to 40.

Constitutional Law - Topic 6642

Federal jurisdiction - Interprovincial works and undertakings - Transportation - Railways - Constitution Act, 1867, s. 92(10)(a) - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the regulation of burning under the Alberta Clean Air Act Regulations was applicable to the burning of discarded creosote-treated ties by a railway, because the Regulations were directed at pollution control and not the operation of railways, which was within federal jurisdiction, and did not interfere with operation of the railway.

Cases Noticed:

Canadian Pacific Railway Company v. Corporation of the Parish of Notre Dame De Bonsecours, [1899] A.C. 367, appld. [para. 7].

C.P. Ltd. v. Attorney General of Alberta, [1980] 2 W.W.R. 148; 20 A.R. 225, dist. [para. 15].

R. v. Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., 127 C.C.C. 205 (O.C.C.), dist. [para. 19].

R. v. Rice, [1963] 1 C.C.C. 108, dist. [para. 20].

Canadian Pacific Railway Company v. R. (1907), 39 S.C.R. 476, dist. [para. 22].

R. v. Canadian Pacific Railway Company (1915), 33 O.L.R. 248, dist. [para. 23].

Greer v. C.P.R., 51 S.C.R. 338, dist. [para. 27].

Multiple Access Limited v. McCutcheon (1982), 44 N.R. 181 (S.C.C.), appld. [para. 33].

Statutes Noticed:

British North America Act - see Constitution Act below.

Clean Air Act, S.A. 1971, c. 16, Clean Air (Maximum Levels) Regulations, Pt. 2, sect. 10(3)(f) [para. 2].

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 91(29), sect. 92(10)(a) [paras. 3, 4].

Railway Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. R-2, sect. 220 [para. 26].


H.W. Hagglund, for the Crown;

L.H.L. Nelson, for the Attorney General of Alberta;

M.M. Szel, for the defendant.

This case was heard at Calgary, Alberta, before NELLES, J., of the Alberta Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on February 11, 1983:

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