Alcan Primary Metal v. Groupe Maritime Verreault Inc

In Admiralty Jurisdiction on (Updated )

This case concerned whether the Federal Court had the jurisdiction to determine a dispute between the parties involving alleged breaches of a brokerage contract relating to tugs. The parties had entered into a contract whereby the plaintiff was to be paid a commission in the event that it found a tug or tugs that met the needs of the defendant. The plaintiff claimed it was owed commission under the contract and brought this action to recover the commission. The defendant responded by challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal Court. At first instance, the Motions Judge dismissed the motion finding that the contract was maritime in nature and fell within Canadian maritime law. The Federal Court of Appeal affirmed the Motions Judge. The Court did not accept that there was any distinction to be drawn between the purchase of a tug and brokerage services that enable the purchase. The Court held the two were inseparable.