British Columbia v. Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund

In Pollution (Ship Source) on (Updated )

Précis: The province was permitted to restore the corporate owner of a derelict vessel but the restoration was without prejudice to the subrogated rights the SSOPF had acquired against the Province while the corporate owner was dissolved.

Facts: The Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund paid a claim by the Canadian Coast Guard for the costs and expenses incurred by it to remove oil and hydrocarbons from “Chilcotin Princess”. At the time the owner of the vessel, Inter Coast Towing Ltd., had been dissolved for failure to file annual reports and, as a result of the dissolution, the “Chilcotin Princess” vested in the province of British Columbia. The Administrator therefore commenced subrogation proceedings against British Columbia to recover the amounts it paid to the Canadian Coast Guard. The province responded with this petition to restore Inter Coast Towing Ltd. to the Register of Companies as if it had never been struck and dissolved.

Decision: The company is restored but without prejudice to the rights acquired by persons before the restoration.

Held: The Administrator does not oppose the restoration of Inter Coast Towing Ltd. but says that it must be without prejudice to the rights acquired during the dissolution of the company. The restoration of a British Columbia company is governed by s. 360 of the Business Corporations Act, S.B.C. 2002, c. 57. Generally, the restoration is without prejudice to the rights acquired before the restoration. The onus is on the province to prove the restoration should be with prejudice to such rights. The province has not discharged this onus.