The BCSSGA intervened in a case before the BC Court of Appeal dealing with the question of the power of local governments to regulate quarries in British Columbia. The decision of the Court of Appeal will have significant implications for both the aggregate and mining sectors.
Brook Greenberg, QC and Tom Posyniak made submissions before the Court of Appeal on behalf of the BCSSGA arguing that the province of British Columbia – not municipalities – had broad authority to regulate quarries and that this authority reflected the province’s recognition of the importance of aggregate to the provincial economy and society.
The BC Court of Appeal ruled that the broad legislative scheme in relation to quarries and mines established that local government’s authority is clearly limited and subordinate to the provincial interest. Local governments may only regulate in relation to matters with “truly local impacts” that are not otherwise addressed in a provincially issued mines permit. Local government authority does not extend to regulation that has a prohibitory effect on the operation of a quarry in respect of the activities authorized under a mines permit and the conditions under which they are to be carried out, and any bylaws that have such an effect will be inapplicable.
The BC Court of Appeal specifically endorsed the BCSSGA’s submission on the strong provincial interest in a secure supply of aggregate, a key economic resource, remaining available throughout the province.
The decision clearly delineates the jurisdiction of the province as the primary regulator of the aggregate industry.
- British Columbia