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POLITICAL PARTIES - Practice and procedure - Standing

Tuesday, May 07, 2019 @ 8:30 AM  

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Application by the Progressive Conservative Caucus of Nova Scotia (PCCNS) to amend its Notice of Appeal. In May 2016, Manninger filed an application to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) for information in relation to the management fee paid to Bay Ferries Limited (BFL) for their operation of ferry services between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine. TIR refused to disclose the sought-after information. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nova Scotia recommended that TIR disclose the withheld information in full. However, in January 2019, TIR advised that it did not agree with the recommendation and did not intend to make further disclosure. In February 2019, the PCCNS filed a Notice of Appeal, challenging the refusal by TIR. In its style of cause, the Notice of Appeal showed the PCCNS as the appellant. The PCCNS was seeking to change the named appellant to Houston, as representative of the PCCNS. BFL took the position that the appeal was a nullity because Houston was not the applicant for the information requested and therefore had no standing to appeal and could not be the appellant. BFL further submitted that the PCCNS was not a legal person and did not have capacity to bring the appeal. According to BFL, Manninger was the only proper person who could appeal.

HELD: Application allowed. In the application for information, Manninger identified the applicant’s mailing address as the PC Caucus Office. More likely than not, Manninger requested the information on behalf of the Leader of the PCCNS. The beneficial or true applicant in 2016 was therefore the Leader of the PCCNS. The Court was satisfied that the present Leader of the PCCNS had the capacity and standing to become the proper named appellant. Houston was presently the Leader of the PCCNS and was therefore eligible to be the appellant.

Houston v. Nova Scotia (Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal), [2019] N.S.J. No. 149, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, P.P. Rosinski J., April 5, 2019. Digest No. TLD-May62019004