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POWERS OF MUNICIPALITY - Regulation of property and activities - Environmental

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 @ 8:39 AM  

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Appeal by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association from the dismissal of its judicial review application that challenged the respondent City of Victoria’s bylaw that prohibited businesses from providing or selling plastic bags. The City received feedback from the public and stakeholders prior to enacting the bylaw but did not seek approval from the Minister of the Environment. The chambers judge agreed with the City’s characterization of the bylaw as one relating to business and upheld the bylaw.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The overall determination of the dominant character of the bylaw was a question of law subject to a standard of review of correctness. The bylaw was in substance a law intended to protect the environment rather than one concerned with business. Its effects were mainly environmental. The effect on business was incidental. Given the City did not obtain the required approval from the Minister of the Environment, the bylaw was invalid.

Canadian Plastic Bag Assn. v. Victoria (City), [2019] B.C.J. No. 1281, British Columbia Court of Appeal, M.V. Newbury, N.J. Garson and B. Fisher JJ.A., July 11, 2019. Digest No. TLD-August26019006