Federal Court


Admiralty

JURISDICTION

Court had jurisdiction over port authority’s denial of container truck licenses

Respondent port authority was established pursuant to Canada Marine Act (“CMA”). Respondent created and implemented new Trucking Licensing System (“TLS”) in response to recent work stoppages. Governments of British Columbia and Canada also introduced/amended legislation to regulate container trucking industry in response to turbulent history at port. Container Trucking Act (B.C.) contained licensing and rate regime for container trucks and s. 31.1 of Port Authorities Operators Regulations (Can.) provided respondent not permit truck to access port for transporting containers unless it was acting for person with authorization from respondent and provincial license. With advent of new scheme, respondent gave notice that all authorizations were terminated and those unsuccessful under new TLS process would no longer have access to port. Respondent published handbook with instructions on applying under TLS and criteria for assessment. Applicants received letters stating their applications had been denied and applied for judicial review. Motion by respondent to dismiss judicial review application on basis Federal Court lacked jurisdiction and applications were out of time. Motion dismissed. Respondent was exercising its authority under s. 28(2)(a) of CMA, namely port activities related to supply, transportation, handling and storage of goods. By denying or granting licenses, respondent was denying applicants access to port to transport goods in and out, so was acting as Federal Board, Tribunal or Commission within meaning of ss. 2, 18, 18.1 of Federal Courts Act (Can.). Letters sent to applicants stated applications had been reviewed and rejected, which was sufficient to find reviewable decision had been made. Applicants were challenging decisions to deny licenses, and brought application for judicial review within 30 days of decisions; while decisions were based on earlier-issued handbook, applicants were not challenging handbook itself.

ATL Trucking Ltd. v. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (Apr. 8, 2015, F.C., Russel W. Zinn J., File No. T-196-15, T-192-15) 254 A.C.W.S. (3d) 8.

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