3.15: Originating application for judicial review
3.2: How to start an action

Case Summary

The Respondent, rather than launching an Appeal pursuant to the relevant provision of the Municipal Government Act, RSA 2000, c M-26, applied for Judicial Review of a Decision of the Appeal Committee. The Chambers Judge quashed that Decision.

The Majority of the Court of Appeal, citing Supreme Court of Canada authority, indicated that the general rule is that specific adequate remedies must be exhausted before Judicial Review is available, subject to the Court’s discretion to grant Judicial Review notwithstanding the alternate remedy. In this case, however, the Majority indicated that the Application for Judicial Review did not undermine the Appeal process for the following reasons: the time limits for each process were respected, the record was the same, the standard of review and available remedies were the same, and the Tribunal (being the Court of Queen’s Bench) conducting the Review was the same.

Citing Rule 3.2(6), the Majority determined that to the extent that the Decision was within the jurisdiction of the Appeal Committee, the Application should be treated as having been commenced under Rule 3.2(2), rather than under Rule 3.15(1). The Court pointed out that a portion of the Application was properly in the form of a Judicial Review, since the proper interpretation of the applicable statute did not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the Appeal Committee.

Berger J.A., in Dissent, did not make reference to the Rules of Court in determining that the Chambers Judge failed to consider the adequacy of the Statutory Appeal before proceeding to Judicial Review.

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