1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
3.15: Originating application for judicial review
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Respondents named the Applicants as parties to an Originating Application for Judicial Review. The Applicants were the Woodlands County Municipal Planning Commission (“MPC”) and the Woodlands County Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (“SDAB”). The Applicants applied for Summary Dismissal under Rule 7.3 and, in the alternative, to strike out parts of the Originating Application under Rule 3.68.

One of the Respondents (“Pipistrel”) was a corporation that had applied to the MPC for a development permit to build a hanger on lands owned by Pipistrel’s principal, Jonas Boll, who was the second Respondent. The MPC granted the permit but did not grant additional relief that Pipistrel sought. Pipistrel unsuccessfully appealed the MPC’s decision to the SDAB, and the Alberta Court of Appeal (the “ABCA”) denied leave to appeal the SDAB’s decision.

The Respondents then filed the Originating Application for Judicial Review in the Court of Queen’s Bench naming the MPC and SDAB as parties and alleging that the SDAB erred in law by upholding the MPC’s decision. The Originating Application also alleged that a bylaw that the MPC and SDAB relied upon was constitutionally invalid.

The Court noted that Applications for Summary Judgment are governed by Rule 7.3 and reviewed the test as summarized in Bruno v Samson Cree Nation, 2020 ABQB 504. The Court also noted that Rule 1.2 emphasizes the importance of cost-effectiveness, efficiency, fairness, justice, and overall efficacious functioning of the legal system. The Applicants argued that the Respondents’ Originating Application should be summarily dismissed because it was filed outside the 6-month period outlined in Rule 3.15 to file an Originating Application seeking certiorari.

The Court determined that whether the Originating Application was filed in time was moot. The Respondents appealed a question of law to the ABCA pursuant to section 688 of the Municipal Government Act, RSA 2000, c M-26 (the “MGA”). Mandziuk J. noted that the Court should be reluctant to exercise its jurisdiction where an alternative remedy exists such as an Appeal to the ABCA. MPC and SDAB’s role in the Appeal process in the MGA concluded when the Appeal to the ABCA failed. The Court thus determined that MPC and SDAB were not proper parties to the Action and granted the Application for Summary Dismissal.

The Court also considered the Rule 3.68 Application in the event that granting the Application for Summary Dismissal was incorrect. As the Originating Application disclosed no reasonable claim against either party, the Court struck several paragraphs of the Originating Application.

With respect to Costs, the Court determined that enhanced Costs were appropriate as it was clearly unnecessary to keep MPC and SDAB in the Action.

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