14.22: Format of Appeal Record – fast track appeals

Case Summary

Pursuant to Rule 14.22, the Appellant submitted an Application for permission to Appeal a Suspension Order issued by the Alberta Energy Regulator (the “Regulator”) made under the Responsible Energy Development Act, SA 2012, c R-17.3. The Order was issued by the Regulator on June 5, 2023. On June 9, 2023, the Appellant requested of the Regulator, i) a regulatory Appeal of the Order and collateral matters; ii) an inquiry regarding the Order; and iii) a Stay of Enforcement of the Order. An interim Stay of the Order was granted by the Regulator, pending consideration of the requested inquiry. The Regulator granted the Appellant’s request for Appeal of the Order but denied the request for an inquiry and Stay of Enforcement. At the time of the Application for permission to Appeal, the regulatory Appeal had not been heard nor decided.

The Court held that the Order constituted a decision by the Regulator. Thus, Chief Justice Khullar possessed the necessary authority to grant the Application if arguable errors of law were present, and the remaining elements of the test were satisfied. However, the Application was deemed premature, given the outstanding Appeal to the Regulator. The Court emphasised that as a general rule, parties should exhaust the administrative process and remedies before bringing an Appeal or Judicial Review to the Court. Though exceptions exist, Chief Justice Khullar was not satisfied the case at hand met an exception. Therefore, Chief Justice Khullar adjourned the Application sine die, pending the outcome of the regulatory Appeal.

However, by adjourning the matter, Chief Justice Khullar realised that the adjournment would run afoul Rule 14.44(2). Pursuant to Rule 14.44(2), an Application for permission to Appeal must be heard within six months of the date of the filing of the Application. If the six-month period lapses, the Application is deemed to be abandoned. Thus, the Court directed that Rule 14.44(2) would not apply to the adjourned Application, ensuring that the Appellant could still seek permission to Appeal both the Order and the decision of the regulatory Appeal at the conclusion of the regulatory Appeal.

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