Duck Lake Feed Processors Ltd. (“DLFP”) succeeded in obtaining an order setting aside an order issued by the council of Duck Lake directing DLFP to remedy perceived inadequacies in the structure of DLFP’s feed processing facility. The court held that the council did not have sufficient evidence with respect to the actual condition of the building to support the order made.

Administrative law – Municipal boards – Orders – Validity

Duck Lake Feed Processors Ltd. v. Duck Lake (Town), [2002] S.J. No. 139, Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, March 13, 2002, Maher J.

DLFP applied pursuant to s. 134(4) of The Urban Municipality Act, 1984 S.S. 1983-1984, c. U-11, for review of an order made by Duck Lake declaring DLFP’s property a nuisance pursuant to s. 124 of the Act. DLFP was the registered owner of a parcel of land where it had a feed processing facility located in Duck Lake. The plant was no longer in operation. In September 2000, council of Duck Lake passed a resolution declaring the DLFP’s property a nuisance. On October 24, 2000, council issued an order which directed DLFP to remedy certain matters relating to its plant by June 1, 2001.

When council considered the matter, it had before it a report from Saskatoon District Health, resulting from an inspection of the property by a public health inspector. DLFP arranged for this structure to be inspected by an engineering technician with Prakash Engineering. By the time of the hearing, both parties agreed that DLFP had remedied all items on council’s list except those respecting “cyclones” which formed part of the structure. The Saskatoon District Health report indicated that the inspector had not inspected the cyclones at the top of the building but merely stated that “should shifting deterioration occur in the beams, the assembly may fall”. The report did not express an opinion that shifting or deterioration was actually occurring. The Prakash Engineering opinion noted that the two cyclones on the roof were “securely mounted”.

The court noted that council was mandated under s. 124(2) of the Act to form an opinion as to the status of the building to determine whether it is dangerous to public safety or health. This required the council to have evidence as to the actual condition of the building and not mere speculation that something could occur if the building shifted or deteriorated. Therefore, the court held that there was no evidence before the council that the cyclones were a danger to the health and safety of the public. DLFP’s application was allowed and Duck Lake’s order with respect to the cyclones was set aside.

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