Island Tug & Barge Ltd. v. Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union

In Constitutional Issues in Maritime Law on (Updated )

The Respondent union had set up a “water” picket attempting to prevent vessels from berthing at the Petro-Canada terminal in Vancouver where the union was on strike. The Appellant tug and barge operators sought an injunction from the BC Supreme Court to restrict or limit the picketing. The BC Supreme Court held that it did not have jurisdiction as the matter fell within provincial jurisdiction and the provincial Labour Relations Code removed the courts’ jurisdiction to enjoin picketing. The decision was affirmed on appeal on the basis that the Appellant’s business was conducted wholly within the province and s. 92(10) of the Constitution Acts 1867-1992 therefore governed. That section assigns to provincial jurisdiction local works except, inter alia, shipping lines connecting the province to other provinces or beyond the limits of the province. By implication, therefore, a shipping line operated wholly within the province was within provincial jurisdiction and the BC Labour Relations Code applied.