R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd., (1988) 84 N.R. 1 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Beetz, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJune 26, 1986
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1988), 84 N.R. 1 (SCC);[1988] 1 SCR 401;40 CCC (3d) 289;[1988] 3 WWR 385;49 DLR (4th) 161;1988 CanLII 63 (SCC);84 NR 1;3 CELR (2d) 1;25 BCLR (2d) 145

R. v. Crown Zellerbach Can. Ltd. (1988), 84 N.R. 1 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Her Majesty the Queen v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Limited and Attorney General of Quebec and Attorney General of British Columbia

(18526)

Indexed As: R. v. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ.

March 24, 1988.

Summary:

Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd. carried on logging operations on Vancouver Island in connection with its forest products business in British Columbia. The company maintained a log dump on a waterlot leased from the provincial Crown for the purposes of log booming and storage in Beaver Cove, off Johnstone Strait, on the northeast side of Vancouver Island. In 1980 the company, using an 80 foot crane operating from a moored scow, dredged wastewood from the ocean floor immediately adjacent to the shoreline at the site of its log dump in Beaver Cove and deposited it in the deeper waters of the cove approximately 60 to 80 feet seaward of where the wastewood had been dredged. The wastewood consisted of waterlogged logging debris such as bark, wood and slabs. The company had no permit to dump in this location under the Ocean Dumping Control Act, s . 4(1). The company was charged with two counts of dumping waste without a permit contrary to s. 4(1).

The British Columbia Provincial Court, in a decision reported 11 C.E.L.R. 151, held that s. 4(1) of the Act was ultra vires the federal Parliament and acquitted the company of the charges. The Crown appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal in a decision reported [1984] 2 W.W.R. 714; 51 B.C. L.R. 32; 7 D.L.R.(4th) 449; 11 C.C.C. (3d) 113; 13 C.E.L.R. 29. The Crown appealed again, raising the following constitutional question: "Is s. 4(1) of the Ocean Dumping Control Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 55, ultra vires of the Parliament of Canada, and in particular is it ultra vires of the Parliament of Canada in its application to the dumping of waste in the waters of Beaver Cove, an area within the Province of British Columbia?" The Supreme Court of Canada, La Forest, Beetz and Lamer, JJ., dissenting, allowed the appeal, answering the constitutional question in the negative. The court held that s. 4(1) of the Act was constitutionally valid as enacted in relation to a matter within the national concern doctrine of the peace, order and good government power of the Parliament of Canada. In particular the court held that s. 4(1) was constitutional in its application to the dumping of waste in the waters of Beaver Cove. In the result the court set aside the judgments of the courts below and referred the matter to the Provincial Court judge.

La Forest, Beetz and Lamer, JJ., would have answered the constitutional question in the affirmative and therefore dismissed the appeal.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4661

Peace, order and good government - The national concern power - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the history and development of the national dimensions or national concern doctrine of the federal peace, order and good government power - See paragraphs 23 to 36 - The court outlined the doctrine as it existed in 1988 - See paragraph 33.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4661

Peace, order and good government - The national concern power - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "the national concern doctrine is separate and distinct from the national emergency doctrine of the peace, order and good government power, which is chiefly distinguishable by the fact that it provides a constitutional basis for what is necessarily legislation of a temporary nature" - See paragraph 33.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4661

Peace, order and good government - The national concern power - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "the national concern doctrine applies to both new matters which did not exist at Confederation and to matters which, although originally matters of a local or private nature in a province, have since, in the absence of national emergency, become matters of national concern" - See paragraph 33.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4661

Peace, order and good government - The national concern power - General principles - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "for a matter to qualify as a matter of national concern ... it must have a singleness, distinctiveness and indivisibility that clearly distinguishes it from matters of provincial concern and a scale of impact on provincial jurisdiction that is reconcilable with the fundamental distribution of legislative power under the Constitution ... In determining whether a matter has attained the required degree of singleness, distinctiveness and indivisibility that clearly distinguishes it from matters of provincial concern it is relevant to consider what would be the effect on extra-provincial interests of a provincial failure to deal effectively with the control or regulation of the intra-provincial aspect of the matter" (provincial inability test) - See paragraph 33 - The court thereafter discussed further the "provincial inability test" - See paragraphs 34, 35.

Constitutional Law - Topic 4709

Peace, order and good government - Particular legislative purposes - Pollution - Ocean - The federal Ocean Dumping Control Act, s. 4(1), provided that "no person shall dump except in accordance with the terms and conditions of a permit" - The Supreme Court of Canada held that s. 4(1) was validly enacted legislation in relation to a matter falling within the national concern doctrine of the peace, order and good government power of the Parliament of Canada - In particular the court held that the section was constitutional in its application to the dumping of waste into the waters of a cove off Vancouver Island within the Province of British Columbia - Three members of the court disagreed that s. 4(1) could be supported under the peace, order and good government power.

Constitutional Law - Topic 5995

Federal jurisdiction - Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91(12) - Fisheries - Pollution control - The Ocean Dumping Control Act (Can.), s. 4(1), provided that "no person shall dump except in accordance with the terms and conditions of a permit" - The Supreme Court of Canada held that s. 4(1) could not be supported constitutionally under the Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91(12)(the federal jurisdiction over seacoast and inland fisheries), because s. 4(1) did not meet the test laid down in R. v. Fowler, 32 N.R. 230, and R. v. Northwest Falling Contractors Ltd., 32 N.R. 541 - That is, s. 4(1) made no attempt to link the proscribed conduct to actual or potential harm to fisheries - See paragraphs 19 to 22, 50.

Pollution Control - Topic 4081

Water - Dumping - General - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "the main purpose of the Ocean Dumping Control Act is to regulate the dumping of substances at sea in order to prevent various kinds of harm to the marine environment" - See paragraph 3.

Pollution Control - Topic 4081

Water - Dumping - General - [See Constitutional Law - Topic 4709 above].

Cases Noticed:

Attorney General of Canada v. Attorney General of British Columbia et al. (1977), 1 B.C.L.R. 97, affd. [1984], 1 S.C.R. 388; 52 N.R. 335, refd to. [paras. 13, 45, 74].

R. v. Fowler, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 213; 32 N.R. 230, consd. [paras. 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 50, 64, 65].

Vapor Canada Ltd. et al. v. MacDonald, [1977] 2 S.C.R. 134; 7 N.R. 477; 66 D.L.R.(3d) 1, consd. [paras. 13, 14, 53].

R. v. Northwest Falling Contractors Ltd., [1980] 2 S.C.R. 292; 32 N.R. 541, consd. [paras. 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 50, 60].

R. v. Hauser, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 984; 26 N.R. 541, consd. [paras. 14, 25, 29, 32, 67].

R. v. Interprovincial Co-operatives Ltd. and Dryden Chemicals Ltd., [1976] 1 S.C.R. 477; 4 N.R. 231, consd. [paras. 16, 36, 57, 64].

Attorney General for Ontario v. Attorney General for Canada, [1896] A.C. 348, refd to. [para. 24].

Attorney General for Ontario v. Canada Temperance Federation, [1946] A.C. 193, consd. [paras. 24, 25, 26, 27, 30].

Johannesson v. Municipality of West St. Paul, [1952] 1 S.C.R. 292, consd. [paras. 25, 26, 67].

Munro v. National Capital Commission, [1966] S.C.R. 663, consd. [paras. 25, 26, 67].

Anti-Inflation Act, Re, [1976] 2 S.C.R. 373; 9 N.R. 541, consd. [paras. 25, 27, 28, 32, 39, 50, 57, 69, 71, 74].

Labatt Breweries of Canada Ltd. v. Attorney General of Canada, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 914; 30 N.R. 496, consd. [paras. 25, 30, 32, 34].

Schneider v. British Columbia, Province of et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 112; 43 N.R. 91, consd. [paras. 25, 31, 34, 67].

R. v. Wetmore, Kripps Pharmacy Ltd. and Kripps et al., [1983] 2 S.C.R. 284; 49 N.R. 286, consd. [paras. 25, 32, 34].

Fort Frances Pulp & Power Co. Ltd. v. Manitoba Free Press Co. Ltd., [1923] A.C. 695, refd to. [para. 27].

Reference re Validity of Section 5(a) of the Dairy Industry Act, [1949] S.C.R. 1, refd to. [para. 52].

Reference re Offshore Mineral Rights of British Columbia, [1967] S.C.R. 792, refd to. [para. 58].

Newfoundland, Reference Re Continental Shelf, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 86; 51 N.R. 362, refd to. [para. 58].

Canada Metal Co. Ltd. v. R. et al. (1982), 19 Man.R.(2d) 268; 144 D.L.R.(3d) 124 (Man. Q.B.), refd to. [para. 61].

Saumur v. City of Quebec, [1953] 2 S.C.R. 299, refd to. [para. 63].

Attorney General for Canada v. Attorney General for British Columbia (the Fish Canneries case), [1930] A.C. 111, consd. [paras. 64, 65].

In re Regulation and Control of Radio Communication in Canada, [1932] A.C. 304, refd to. [para. 67].

Renvoi relatif à la propriété du lit du détroit de Géorgie et des regions avoisinantes - see Attorney General of Canada v. Attorney General of British Columbia et al.

Renvoi: Loi anti-inflation - see Anti Inflation Act, Re.

Brasseries Labatt du Canada Ltée - see Labatt Breweries of Canada Ltd.

Reference Re Ownership of the Bed of the Strait of Georgia and Related Areas - see Attorney General of Canada v. Attorney General of British Columbia.

Renvoi relatif au plateau continental de Terre-Neuve - see Newfoundland Reference Re Continental Shelf (1984).

Statutes Noticed:

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 91 (preamble - P.O.G.G.) [para. 14 et seq.]; sect. 91(9) [para. 49]; sect. 91(10), sect. 91(12) [paras. 13, 49]; sect. 91(13) [para. 49]; sect. 92(5) [paras. 13, 55]; sect. 92(10), sect. 92(13), sect. 92(16) [para. 55].

Constitution Act, 1871, 34 & 35 Vict., c. 28 (U.K.), sect. 4 [para. 58].

Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) [para. 38].

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter (1972), generally [paras. 3, 13, 17, 18, 38, 53]; art. I [para. 53]; art. III, para. 3 [paras. 38, 53].

Fisheries Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. F-14, sect. 33(2) [paras. 21, 50]; sect. 33(3) [paras. 20, 50]; sect. 33(4) [para. 60].

Ocean Dumping Control Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 55, sect. 2(1) [paras. 3, 6, 43]; sect. 2(2) [paras. 7, 16, 75]; sect. 2(2)(b) [para. 45]; sect. 2(3) [paras. 7, 45, 75]; sect. 4(1) [para. 1 et seq.]; sect. 4(2), sect. 5(2) [para. 3]; sect. 9 [paras. 4, 8, 18]; sect. 9(6) [para. 3]; sect. 10 [paras. 4, 8, 18]; sect. 13(1) [para. 10]; sect. 13(1)(c) [para. 11]; sect. 28(3) [para. 3]; schedules I, II, III [paras. 3, 4, 9, 18].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Beaudoin, Gérald, La Protection de l'environnement et ses implications en droit constitutionnel (1977), 23 McGill L.J. 207 [para. 71].

Gibson, Dale, Measuring National Dimensions (1976), 7 Man. L.J. 15, pp. 34, 35, 36 [para. 34].

Great Lakes Science Advisory Board to the International Joint Commission, 1980 Annual Report, A Perspective on the Problem of Hazardous Substances in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, generally [para. 70]; p. 22 [paras. 60, 65, 72]; Appendix A & B, Assessment of Airborn Contaminants in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, pp. 1, 9, 95 [para. 60].

Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (1977), generally [paras. 34, 35]; p. 261 [para. 30].

Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (2nd Ed. 1985), pp. 392, 598 [para. 71].

Le Dain, Sir Lyman Duff and the Constitution (1974), 12 Osgoode Hall L.J. 261, generally [para. 69]; p. 293 [para. 68].

Lederman, William R., Unity and Diversity in Canadian Federalism: Ideals and Methods of Moderation (1975), 53 Can. Bar Rev. 597, p. 610 [para. 71].

UNESCO, United Nations Report of the Joint Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution, Reports and Studies No. 15, The Review of the Health of Oceans (1982), generally [paras. 38, 39, 41]; pp. 1, 2 [para. 60]; 3 [paras. 60, 73]; 4 [para. 73]; 12, 13 [para. 72]; 15 [paras. 60, 65, 72].

Counsel:

T.B. Smith, Q.C., and D.R. Kier, Q.C., for the appellant;

Duncan W. Shaw, Q.C., and Brian D. Gilfillan, for the respondent.

Odette Laverdière, for the intervenor, the Attorney General of Quebec;

E. Robert A. Edwards, Q.C., for the intervenor, the Attorney General of British Columbia.

Solicitors of Record:

Roger Tassé, Ottawa, Ontario, for the appellant;

Davis & Company and Brian D. Gilfillan, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the respondent;

Odette Laverdière and Alain Gingras, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, for the intervenor, the Attorney General of Quebec;

The Ministry of the Attorney General, Victoria, British Columbia, for the intervenor, the Attorney General of British Columbia.

This appeal was heard on June 26, 1986, before Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The decision of the court was rendered in both official languages on March 24, 1988, including the following opinions:

Le Dain, J. (Dickson, C.J.C., McIntyre and Wilson, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 40;

La Forest, J., dissenting (Beetz and Lamer, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 41 to 76.

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