Radil Bros. Fishing Co. Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen et al.

In Admiralty Jurisdiction on (Updated )

The facts of this case are quite complicated involving licence swaps, fishing quotas and catch history. One of the issues in the case was whether the Federal Court had jurisdiction to entertain a claim arising out of an agreement of purchase and sale of a fishing licence. The Federal Court of Appeal concluded that such a claim did not fall under section 91(10) of the Constitution Act (navigation and shipping) as it was more specifically dealt with under section 91(12) (Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries). The Federal Court of Appeal also extensively reviewed the jurisprudence in relation to the definition of Canadian Maritime Law and concluded that Canadian Maritime Law does not include a claim arising out of an agreement to purchase a fishing licence or to matters arising out of a breach of an agency contract entered into for the purpose of purchasing a fishing licence. The Court of Appeal noted that agency claims cannot be entertained under the court’s admiralty jurisdiction ” unless the true essence of the contract relied upon is maritime”.