Careen v. Few & Strathie Ltd.

In Contracts, Fish Cases, Fisheries Practice on (Updated )

This case involved the breach of agreement respecting the purchase and sale of a fishing licence. This agreement included a declaration of trust concerning the status of the licence prior to it being transferred to the purchaser. Prior to the licence being completely paid for and prior to the transfer of the licence, the vendor made an assignment in bankruptcy. In order to facilitate the completion of this transaction by the trustee, a court made an order authorizing the trustee to sign documents in place of the bankrupt vendor. Upon appeal by the bankrupt, the court refused to set aside the order and revised the order to provide that “any benefits, and any obligations necessary to claim those benefits, of the agreement . . . flow through to the trustee in bankruptcy, and for greater certainty, the authority of the trustee in bankruptcy to sign, in the place of [the bankrupt] any and all documentation required by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or others, to effect the transfer of fishing licences . . . is confirmed.”

Editor’s note: It is not known whether or not D.F.O. recognized the validity of this order and transferred the licence?

Post script: The use of trust agreements on the East coast of Canada has been challenged in a discussion paper released by D.F.O. entitled "Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries" December 2003