This case was heard in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Ogden Martin Systems of Nova Scotia Ltd. (“Ogden Martin”) entered into a contract with the Metropolitan Authority to construct and operate a waste disposal and power generation facility. The contract was subject to certain conditions, including formal approval of the project under the provincial Environmental Assessment Act. Ultimately, the Minister of the Environment decided not to approve the project, and the Metropolitan Authority terminated its contract with Ogden Martin. Ogden Martin then commenced legal proceedings against the various parties involved, eventually naming the Minister, the Attorney General, the Metropolitan Authority, and the City of Halifax as defendants.
The Minister and the Attorney General filed applications for Orders striking out Ogden Martin’s Originating Notice and Statement of Claim on the basis that Ogden Martin was not an “aggrieved” person and therefore had no standing. The Metropolitan Authority applied for an Order disallowing Ogden Martin to include it as a defendant.
The Court held that Ogden Martin was an “aggrieved” person and therefore had standing, and it held that the rules of civil procedure allowed the company to add the Metropolitan Authority as a defendant. The Minister and the Attorney General also argued that because Ogden Martin had not filed the proper notifications, it could not initiate proceedings against the Crown. The company took the position that its claims against the Minister referred to the Minister personally rather than to his role as a representative of the Crown, and the Court held that the claims against the Minister could therefore be allowed. In doing so, however, the Court struck Ogden Martin’s allegations concerning “officers, members, participating bodies, employees, agents or representatives” of the Minister.
When the defendants appealed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, Ogden Martin cross-appealed, taking issue with the striking of the “officers, members, participating bodies, employees, agents or representatives,” and also taking issue with the lower court’s decision as to costs. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals brought by the defendants, and it allowed Ogden Martin’s cross-appeal concerning the striking of the allegations concerning the officers etc. associated with the Minister. Finally, the Court dismissed Ogden Martin’s cross-appeal concerning the lower court’s decision as to costs.
To read a related decision, go to Ogden Martin Systems of Nova Scotia Ltd. v. Nova Scotia (Minister of the Environment), 1995 CanLII 4492 (NS SC).