Application for judicial review of decision of Registrar of Motor Dealers refusing salesperson’s licence

28. April 2015 0

Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Motor Vehicle Dealers – Permits and licences – Judicial review – Compliance with legislation – Public interest – Competence – Standard of review – Reasonableness simpliciter

Fryer v. British Columbia (Motor Vehicle Sales Authority), [2015] B.C.J. No. 325, 2015 BCSC 279, British Columbia Supreme Court, February 13, 2015, N. Sharma J.

The petitioner applied for judicial review of a decision of the Registrar of Motor Dealers denying the petitioner a salesperson’s licence under the Motor Dealer Act and relevant regulations. The respondent, Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia, participated in the hearing for the purposes of providing the record of the decision being challenged and to fully inform the court of the statutory scheme underlying the decision.

The petitioner applied for a licence under the Motor Dealer Act. The Registrar denied the petitioner’s application to be licensed as a salesperson on the basis of (a) the petitioner’s criminal record; (b) the petitioner providing false or incomplete declarations on his application; and (c) the petitioner working as a salesperson in Alberta when unlicensed to do so.

On judicial review, the court reviewed the Registrar’s decision as to whether it was in the public interest to issue, with or without conditions, a salesperson’s licence to the petitioner on a standard of review of reasonableness. The court found the Registrar’s refusal was reasonable and, in any event, the correct result in the circumstances of this case.

The petitioner had an extensive criminal record dating back to 1975 with a most recent conviction in 2012. Convictions included armed robbery, kidnapping, forcible confinement and extortion, sexual assault, theft over $5,000, possession of stolen property, break and entering, and various impaired driving and narcotic related offences. The petitioner also had over 10 convictions for failing to comply with a recognizance or probation or for failing to appear in court. The court found it would have been unreasonable to find the petitioner suitable to be a salesperson given his extensive criminal record.

The court also found it was reasonable to deny the petitioner’s application on the basis of his failure to disclose his prior employment in Alberta as an unlicensed salesperson. The Registrar found, and the petitioner agreed, the petitioner was not trying to be deceitful but was “being lazy.” Both the failure to disclose relevant information and the fact the petitioner worked as a salesperson without a licence for a period of time further supported denying him a licence.

The court found the decision was both reasonable and correct and dismissed the petition.

This case was digested by Joel A. Morris of Harper Grey LLP. If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact him directly at or review his biography at

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