Decision Date: March 29, 1999
Court: B.C.S.C. Vickers, J.
Cite: Vancouver Registry No. A982003
The companies appealed a decision of the Forest Appeal Board, which affirmed the method of correcting a mathematical error in the calculation of stumpage rates used by the Ministry of Forests’ Revenue Branch. The Director of the Revenue Branch had corrected the error and recalculated the stumpage rates. The companies appealed to the Board on the grounds that the Cost Appraisal Manual required a full stumpage reappraisal by the Regional Manager, not simply a correction of the error. On appeal to the Court, the companies argued that the Board erred in (1) its interpretation of section 2.3.4(e)(iii) of the Coast Appraisal Manual; and (2) in its interpretation of the notice requirement in s. 2.3.4 of the Manual.
The Court found that the first issue involved a question of law and that a “standard approaching correctness” was to be applied to the Board’s decision. The Court found that, while the language of the Manual clearly stated that a full reappraisal was required, a strict interpretation of this requirement would lead to an absurd result. Thus, the Court found that the Board did not err in its interpretation of s. 2.3.4(e)(iii).
On the second issue, the Court found that the Board erred in law. However, as the question of sufficiency of notice involves issues of both fact and law, the standard of review was one of reasonableness. The Court found that there was evidence that would allow the Board to reach the decision it did and that the decision was not unreasonable. Therefore, the Board did not err. The appeal was dismissed.