This case was heard in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island (Appeal Division).
The Community of Hazelbrook applied for judicial review of two decisions by the Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Environment. The first Ministerial decision approved the operation of an excavation pit in Hazelbrook, and the second approved the operation of a construction and demolition disposal site in Hazelbrook.
The Court determined that the standard by which the Minister's decisions should be reviewed was the standard of patent unreasonableness. The Court went on to find that both Ministerial approvals had been patently unreasonable; however, it held that the Judicial Review Act gave it a wide discretion to grant relief to the Minister. The Court chose to use that discretion, and it declined to declare that the approval processes were null and void.
When the Town of Hazelbrook appealed to the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal, the Court held that the lower court had erred in its exercise of the discretion granted by the Judicial Review Act. It therefore reversed the lower court’s decision and nullified the permits that had been issued.
To read about this case in the Trial Division, go to Hazelbrook v. Government of PEI, 2004 PESCTD 22 (CanLII).