Judicial Review Decisions

  • International Forest Products v. Forest Appeals Commission (Forest Practices Board; Government of British Columbia, Third Parties) (Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Intervenor)

    June 16, 1997
    File Numbers:
    BCSC 170

    Decision Date: June 16, 1997

    Court: B.C.S.C. Hood, J.

    Cite: (1997), 23 C.E.L.R. (N.S.) 170 (B.C.S.C.)

    Keywords: Forest Practices Code – ss. 141, 126(1); statutory interpretation; plain reading and meaning of words; avoidance of repugnancy; MacKeigan v. Hickman

    International Forest Products Ltd. appealed the March 1997 decision of the Forest Appeals Commission affirming that the company contravened the Forest Road Regulation. On a motion for partial directions, pursuant to Rule 49 of the Supreme Court Rules, Interfor sought a ruling on whether it needed to obtain “leave to appeal” from the Supreme Court in order to appeal a decision of the Commission. At issue was the interpretation to be given to section 141 of the Code.

    The Court noted that the parts of a statute are presumed to fit together logically to form a rational, internally consistent framework. Subsection 141(1) of the Code was therefore interpreted in conjunction with subsections (2) and (3). The Court concluded that the best way to give effect to the subsections’ individual purposes, while avoiding conflict between them, was to read the word “application” as “application for leave to appeal” throughout section 141. Therefore appeal to the Supreme Court from a decision of the Forest Appeals Commission is not an appeal as of right. Costs of application awarded.