Ontario Civil


Administrative Law

DUTY TO ACT FAIRLY
Improper delegation of powers of fire marshal

Application by fire chief for order directing respondent to comply with fire safety inspection order regarding installation of sprinkler system. Fire marshal on appeal of directive upheld directive but allowed that respondent could make proposals for alternative measures through a professional engineer that if approved by fire department would constitute compliance with order. Respondent did not appeal decision of fire marshal to Fire Safety Commission and fire department had not accepted alternatives proposed. Order that matter be referred to fire marshal for determination as to whether alternative measures carried out by respondent constituted compliance with order. Fire marshal left ultimate decision in hands of fire department with no provision for appeal or reference back to fire marshal if parties could not agree. Improper delegation of its power. Decision lacked procedural fairness and contained no mechanism for review or oversight. Referring matter back for further consideration struck out as appropriate balance between interests of two parties and respected common law duty of fairness.

Port Hope (Municipality) Fire Chief v. 1660524 Ontario Inc. (July 19, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Mulligan J., File No. 77845/12) 217 A.C.W.S. (3d) 753 (10 pp.).

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