Bast J

3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies

Case Summary

The Parties brought Cross-Applications requesting the Court’s determination of whether, inter alia, an Appeal was statute barred under the Surface Rights Act, RSA 2000 c s-24 (the “Act”) and whether there was a right of appeal from the Decision of a reconsideration panel. Justice Bast considered Rule 3.68, and stated that the Rule provides that a commencement document may be set aside where the Court has no jurisdiction or where it constitutes an abuse of process.

Allan Thompson (“Thompson”), the owner of the lands in dispute, applied for an Order extending the time for the filing of his Appeal of a Decision of the Surface Rights Board (the “Board”). The Respondent, AltaLink Management Ltd. (“AltaLink”) argued that the Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear Thompson’s Appeal because it was filed out of time and the Court has no jurisdiction to extend the time for filing.

Bast J. noted that s. 26 of the Act provides that an Appeal of the Board’s Decision in this context must be filed within 30 days. The Appeal was not filed in time. Referring to recent leading authority, Bast J. noted that the Court “cannot amend a time limit in a statute by shortening or extending it, unless a statute gives that power”. As such, Justice Bast dismissed Thompson’s Application to extend the time for filing the Appeal, and AltaLink’s Application to strike Thompson’s Appeal under Rule 3.68 was granted.

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