Cassie v. Canada (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

In Fish Cases, Judicial Review/Crown Liability on (Updated )

This case involved an application by a group of snow crab fishermen for an injunction ordering the Minister of Fisheries to issue snow crab licences to them.

Whether or not the court could issue an order of mandamus compelling the Minister to issue the requested licences.

In denying the application, the court relied upon Hahlon v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) [1986] 3 F.C. 386 for the proposition that an order of mandamus may be made to compel the performance of a public duty, but it cannot dictate the result to be achieved. Since the Minister has complete discretion under s. 7 of the Fisheries Act, the court cannot dictate how that discretion will be exercised.

The court also noted that s. 22(1) of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act prohibits the issuance of an injunction against the Crown.

Given all of the above, the applicant failed to satisfy the first branch of the tripartite test set out in RJR-Macdonald Inc [1994] 1 S.C.R. 311.