Federal Appeal

Administrative Law

Prerogative remedies


Filing of notice of application was premature

Applicant filed notice of application seeking stay of certain administrative proceedings before Canadian Transportation Agency. Applicant did not ask agency to suspend proceedings, and instead relied on s. 50 of Federal Courts Act to come directly to court. This was ruling, as requested by registry, on whether notice of application should be removed from court file and file ordered closed. Pursuant to authority under R. 74.1 of Federal Court Rules, notice of application was ordered removed from court file and file was ordered closed. Applicant was actually seeking prohibition of administrative proceedings, so standards had to be same. Prohibition was administrative law remedy not to be pursued where there was adequate alternative remedy and lack of extraordinary circumstances or unusual urgency, so same requirements applied here. Canadian Transportation Act gave agency full power over its proceedings, including determining whether to suspend or adjourn proceedings. To allow applicant to bypass agency and go directly to court would offend statutory scheme. Notice of application revealed no unusual urgency or exceptional reason that immediate access to court was necessary. Filing of notice of application was premature and thus contrary to Canada Transportation Act. Decision was without prejudice to applicant’s ability to bring motion for stay of pending appeal of interlocutory decision for which applicant had applied for leave to appeal.

Canadian National Railway v. BNSF Railway (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 5738, 2016 FCA 284, David Stratas J.A. (F.C.A.).

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