Prothonotary properly held it was debatable whether adequate alternative remedy existed

Federal court | Environmental Law | Statutory protection of environment | Approvals, licences and orders

Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued conditional registrations to respondents for certain pest control products (PCPs) under s. 8 of Pest Control Products Act. Environmental groups (applicants) applied for judicial review of alleged course of conduct by PMRA, claiming that PMRA improperly registered PCPs by issuing notices under s. 12 of Act, even though respondents failed to provide information required to show products’ environmental risks were acceptable to pollinators. Respondents brought motion to strike judicial review applications, alleging PMRA review processes constituted adequate alternative remedy. Respondent also argued that applicants sought to review 79 discrete registration decisions, not course of conduct, contrary to R. 302 of Federal Court Rules and outside time limit in s. 18.1(2) of Federal Courts Act. Prothonotary dismissed motion, finding issues were debatable and should be determined on judicial review. Respondents appealed. Appeal dismissed. Prothonotary did not err in her application of test to strike judicial review application. Prothonotary properly held it was debatable whether adequate alternative remedy existed, and whether applicants’ claims related to course of conduct warranting exemption from R. 302 or s. 18.1(2). Prothonotary did not err by conflating R. 302 and s. 18.1(2), or in her application of jurisprudence governing those provisions. Prothonotary did not misunderstand PMRA regime or confuse purpose and effect of ss. 8 and 12.

David Suzuki Foundation v. Canada (Health) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 1745, 2018 CarswellNat 3718, 2018 FC 380, 2018 CF 380, Catherine M. Kane J. (F.C.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 3285, 2017 CarswellNat 8481, 2017 FC 682, 2017 CF 682, Mandy Aylen J. (F.C.).

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