R v. Jail Island Aquaculture Ltd.

In Constitutional Issues in Maritime Law on (Updated )

In this matter the accused had been charged with various offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of New Brunswick. The charges arose out of a fatal accident that occurred on board the accused’s barge while smolt salmon were being unloaded into a salmon cage. The accused argued that as the accident occurred on a ship it fell within exclusive federal jurisdiction with respect to maritime law and, in particular, navigation and shipping. At first instance, the Provincial Court Judge dismissed the motion holding that the case was not about shipping but was about aquaculture, a matter coming within provincial jurisdiction under property and civil rights. The accused then brought an application for judicial review to the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Court of Queen’s Bench did not deal with the substantive issues raised in the application as it was of the view that the application was in pith and substance an appeal from the order of the Provincial Court Judge and held that there was no right to appeal such an interlocutory decision.