Administrative law – Municipalities – Appeals – Jurisdiction – Limitations – Judicial review – Compliance with legislation
Markwart v. Prince Albert (City),  S.J. No. 193, Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, March 23, 2005, Klebuc J.
The Applicants brought, amongst other things, an appeal pursuant to section 329(4) of the Saskatchewan Cities Act for an order quashing or staying City Council’s decision to demolish a building owned by the Applicants.
On November 18, 2004, the Applicants had been served with a Notice of Non-Compliance indicating that the subject building had been allowed to deteriorate into a ruinous and dilapidated state such that the building was dangerous to the public health and safety and had substantially depreciated the value of the land. The notice indicated that the building was to be vacated and would thereafter be demolished. On November 22, 2004, the Applicants appealed the demolition order contained in the notice to City Council pursuant to section 329 of the Act. November 29, 2004 was set as the date their appeal would be heard by City Council. On that date, the Applicants requested an adjournment of the appeal, which was denied. City Council then instructed the administration to proceed with the demolition order. At its meeting of December 13, 2004, City Council confirmed the resolutions passed at the November 29th meeting. The Applicants appealed City Council’s decision to the Court of Queen’s Bench on January 6, 2005. The City submitted that the Applicants launched their appeal to the court 37 days after City Council dismissed their appeal and therefore the court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal given the 30-day limitation period set out in the Act.
The court noted that nothing in the evidence indicated that City Council’s dismissal of the Applicants’ appeal on November 29 was conditionally made or that its policy was not to consider its decision under section 329 to be final until confirmed at a later meeting. The court held that the Act clearly stated that an appeal from a decision of City Council must be brought within 30 days of when the decision was made, not 30 days from the day it was subsequently reviewed by City Council. The court was without jurisdiction to consider the Applicants’ appeal and the appeal was dismissed.
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