Her Majesty the Queen v B & B Barges Ltd.

In In Rem Actions and Arrest, Injunctions on

Facts: The Province sought an injunction for removal of two barges on Crown land that were argued to constitute a trespass and nuisance. The barges were last used in 2016-2017 and moored at a floating installation owned by the third party. The barges detached from that floating installation and grounded 300 metres from the moorage location. In 2018 the Province became aware of the barges and issued trespass notices and fines under the Land Act but the fines were not paid nor the barges moved. The respondent argued that the Province’s application should not be granted since the respondent did not have the money to remove the barges and that the Land Act provides for the Province to remove the barges at public expense and pursue the respondents for repayment after.

Decision: Injunction granted.

Held: The Court rejected both of the respondent’s arguments. There was evidence that the respondent’s had paid a substantial sum for timber licences in 2019 and the Court found that the respondent was able to raise substantial sums for operations when it suits them. Since there was no compliance under the fines and trespass notices under the Land Act, the Court held that an injunction was a perfectly admissible next step. The Court applied the test in RJR-MacDonald for an interlocutory injunction and found that there was no question to be tried between the parties, the barges are causing and will continue to cause irreparable harm to the marine ecosystem, and that the balance of convenience fell clearly in favour of the applicant.