Burnell v. Canada (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

In Fish Cases, Fisheries Practice on (Updated )

This case involved a class action by a group of halibut fishers against the Minister of Fisheries alleging that the halibut management scheme that held back 10 per cent of the halibut quota and assigned it to the Pacific Halibut Management Society was illegal and that it cost the fishers more to access the quota than it had under the previous management scheme. In response to a argument by the Minister that it had additional defences against directors of the Society the Plaintiff brought an application to create a subclass of directors of the Society.

In response to the application, the court created a subclass comprised of the following:

"All owners of fishing vessels with a Category L Commercial Halibut License to fish for halibut issued by the Minster of Fisheries and Oceans (“Licensed Vessels”) between 2001 and 2006 inclusive (the “Material Time”) for which quota was purchased from PHMA and:

(a) who at any time during the Material Time:

i. were directors of PHMA; or,

ii. were corporations in which a PHMA director owned more than 50% of the shares; or

(b) who claim that they were in a partnership with a PHMA director in relation to a Licensed Vessel and the purchase of quota from PHMA at any time during the Material Time."

The court also made some additional changes to the definition of the class.