Chalets St-Adolphe inc. v. St-Adolphe d’Howard (Municipalité de)

In Constitutional Issues in Maritime Law on (Updated )

This case concerned the validity of a municipal bylaw which restricted the use of a municipal boat ramp and a lake to residents. The bylaw was challenged by a local businessman who had a small cottage rental business and used the municipal boat ramp to launch his customers’ boats. At first instance the validity of the bylaw was upheld, on the basis of the double aspect doctrine with the Trial Judge holding that the dominant aspect of the impugned bylaw was protection of the environment. On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the pith and substance of impugned provisions encroached upon the basic, minimum and unassailable core of the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament over navigation and shipping. (Note: Regrettably, this decision appears to be reported only in French and the author has only a limited understanding of the French language.)