Jackson v. Fisheries and Oceans Canada

In Constitutional Issues in Maritime Law on (Updated )

This case concerned the constitutional applicability of the Occupiers Liability Act of British Columbia to a slip and fall that occurred while the Plaintiff was walking down a ramp from the shore to a wharf administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Defendants argued that the Occupiers Liability Act had no application as the matter was to be governed by Canadian Maritime Law. The Judge considered the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ordon v Grail, [1998] 3 SCR 437 but held that a provincial statute could incidentally affect matters coming within the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament. The Judge noted that the Defendants needed to show that the subject matter of the Plaintiff’s claim “is so integrally connected to maritime matters as to be legitimate Canadian Maritime law within federal competence” and held that they had failed to do this. It is noteworthy that the Judge considered the case of Peters v ABC Boat Charters, [1992] B.C.J. No. 2345, where it was held that the Occupiers Liability Act applied to a slip and fall on board a ship, and was asked to not follow it on the grounds that it had been implicitly overruled by Ordon v Grail. The trial Judge held, however, that Peters v ABC Boat Charters was still good law.