Corporation of the City of Windsor v. Canadian Transit Company

(Federal) (Civil) (By Leave)




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Courts - Jurisdiction - Federal Court - Constitutional law - Federal Paramountcy - Interjurisdictional Immunity - Transit Company seeking declaration in Federal Court that City by-law does not apply to properties held by it - Federal Court granting City’s motion to strike - Federal Court of Appeal finding Federal Court has jurisdiction to deal with application - Whether Federal Court has jurisdiction over this dispute having regard to true nature of dispute and application of test in ITO-International Terminal Operators Ltd. v. Miida Electronics Inc., [1986] 1 S.C.R. 752 - Whether existence of sufficient federal law in determining dispute satisfies requirements of ITO-Int’l Terminal Operators test - Whether Constitution Act, 1867 and 1982 is a law of Canada for purposes of s. 101 of Constitution Act, 1867 for purposes of establishing jurisdiction of Federal Court.

The respondent Canadian Transit Company (“CTC”) owns and operates the bridge spanning between Windsor and Detroit. It plans to build another bridge and purchased land in Windsor. The appellant, the Corporation of the City of Windsor (“City”) alleges the properties have not been properly maintained and under its by-laws issued repair orders against CTC’s 114 properties.

CTC applied to the Federal Court. In its notice of application, CTC seeks a declaration that the City’s by-law “does not apply to properties purchased, leased or otherwise acquired and held” by it, including the 114 properties.

The City bought a motion to strike the application in the Federal Court. The Federal Court allowed the motion. The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the judgment of the Federal Court and dismissed the motion to strike.

Lower Court Rulings

May 21, 2014
Federal Court

T-1699-13, 2014 FC 461
City of Windsor’s motion to strike granted.
April 7, 2015
Federal Court of Appeal

A-297-14, 2015 FCA 88
Appeal allowed, judgment of Federal Court set aside and motion to strike dismissed.