Federal Appeal

Civil Practice and Procedure



Provincial A-G granted intervener status on conditions
Applicants were aboriginal groups, opposed to expansion of pipeline project by respondent federal government and energy company. Project was approved by tribunal. Groups applied to quash tribunal decision. Timetable was set to expedite matter. Provincial attorney-general did not move to intervene at first instance, although another province’s A-G did move to intervene. After election and change of government in province, provincial A-G moved to intervene. Motion was not made until 5 weeks after new government was formed. Motion did not explain delay, or set out scope of intervention. Respondents and established intervenor questioned how they could respond to provincial A-G’s submissions. A-G moved to intervene in matter. Respondents opposed motion. Motion granted on terms. Scope of intervention was limited. A-G’s office appeared to lack understanding of process. Public interest of province’s citizens outweighed procedural problems. Intervention of established intervenor appeared to benefit respondents. Moving A-G appeared to be onside with aboriginal groups. A-G did participate in tribunal proceedings, and was entitled to advance similar position before court. Conditions were necessary to regulate intervention. A-G was to file memorandum of no more than 15 pages. A-G was also granted opportunity to make submissions, at length determined by hearing panel. Neither A-G nor established intervenor could make reply submissions to each other. Any reply would have to take place at hearing. Scope of intervention was to be limited to already-established issues. A-G was limited to commenting on other submissions, from perspective of its citizens.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 4093, 2017 FCA 174, David Stratas J.A. (F.C.A.).

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