Prokam Enterprises Ltd. v. British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board, 2023 BCSC 403
Ken McEwan, K.C. and Will Stransky successfully represented a respondent in the judicial review of a decision of the BC Farm Industry Review Board.
The judicial review proceeding arose from a decision of the Board in the context of a supervisory review into allegations of bad faith and unlawful activity raised in court filings alleging misfeasance in public office by members and staff of the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission. At the conclusion of the lengthy supervisory review, the Board concluded that there was no cogent evidence to substantiate the very serious allegations of wrongdoing and expressed its concern that the complainants had advanced their allegations of bad faith and unlawful conduct for strategic or ulterior purposes. One of these complainants, Prokam Enterprises Ltd., sought judicial review of the decision, alleging that the Board’s decision was ultra vires (which argument was not made before the Board), and that the decision was not procedurally fair and was patently unreasonable. Ken McEwan and Will Stransky opposed each of these bases for review, and further argued that certain of the relief sought by Prokam was premature.
Justice Brongers dismissed Prokam’s petition in its entirety, including on the basis that certain relief sought was premature. In dismissing the jurisdictional challenge, Justice Brongers declined to exercise his discretion to allow Prokam to raise the issue of jurisdiction for the first time on judicial review. On the procedural fairness ground, Justice Brongers concluded that none of the procedural “problems” identified by Prokam amounted to a reviewable denial of procedural fairness. Finally, Justice Brongers found no merit to Prokam’s submission that the Board’s decision was patently unfair.
The full reasons for judgment can be found here.