R v. Allen

In Constitutional Cases, Fish Cases on (Updated )

The case involved charges of failing to pay dues are required by the Fisheries Organizations Support Act of Nova Scotia. This is legislation was enacted in 1996 for the stated purpose "to strengthen fisheries organizations in the province and provide a procedure to enable accredited fisheries organizations to collect mandatory annual dues from licence holders". The defendant argued that this Act was ultra virus because in pith an substance it was an attempt by the provincial government to become involved in the maintenance and preservation of the fishery as a whole. The defendant also argued that the Act violated the freedom of association provisions of s. 2(d) of the Charter.

With respect to the first argument, the trial court relied upon Ward v. Canada [2002] 1 S.C.R. 569 (digested herein) and a lack of evidence on a number of points to hold the Act intra virus the Province of Nova Scotia.

With respect to s. 2(d) of the Charter, the court held there was no violation of freedom of association rights because the association served the common good and collective social welfare of its members. In any event, a violation of s. 2(d) would have been justified under s. 1 of the Charter.

Upon appeal, the appeal court upheld the decision of the trial court, but found it unnecessary to make a ruling on the s. 1 justification issue.