ATL Trucking Ltd. v. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

In Admiralty Jurisdiction on (Updated )

Précis: The Federal Court held that it did have jurisdiction to hear a judicial review application appealing a decision by a Port Authority denying trucking licences to the Applicants.

The Port of Metro Vancouver had been plagued with labour issues relating to the drayage of containers to and from the port for many years. In an effort to resolve the issues, the licencing system was changed to, inter alia, decrease the number of trucks used to service the Port’s requirements. The Port evaluated the licence applications received based upon various published criteria but the applications were processed in batches rather than at a single time. The Port did not advise that applications were to be evaluated in this way. The result was that some of the applications that were processed at a later point in time were denied licences even though those applicants had higher scores than applicants who had been processed earlier. A number of the applicants who were denied licences brought this proceeding for judicial review.The Port then filed this application to strike the proceeding on the basis that the Port’s decision was not subject to judicial review by the Federal Court.

Decision: Motion dismissed.

Held: The Port is a “federal board, commission or tribunal” and its decision was subject to judicial review by the Federal Court.

Comment: See also Goodrich Transport Ltd. v. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, 2015 FC 520 where the application for judicial review was allowed.