Taser International, Inc. v. British Columbia (Commissioner)

[2010] B.C.J. No. 1578

2010 BCSC 1120

British Columbia Supreme Court

R.J. Sewell J.

August 10, 2010

Mr. Dziekanski was struck several times by members of the RCMP at the Vancouver International Airport with conducted energy weapons manufactured by the petitioner. During the course of the confrontation Mr. Dziekanski died. As a result, the provincial government established two commissions of inquiry under s. 2 of the Public Inquiry Act, S.B.C. 2007, c. 9. The first commission was designated as a study commission to make recommendations regarding the appropriate use of conducted energy weapons in the province. The second commission was to inquire into and report on the death of Mr. Dziekanski.

The petitioner sought an order quashing all findings of the Commissioner in respect of the safety of conducted energy weapons, an order quashing certain parts of the report in question, and certain declarations and injunctions. The Court held that it had an inherent common law jurisdiction to grant certiorari but that the duty of fairness that was owed to the petitioner with respect to the conduct of its mandate and with respect to its decision making process was met. In particular, since the study commission was expressly precluded from making any findings of fault or misconduct, the Court found that the petitioner’s submission with respect to the necessity of being given notice prior to the report had no merit. This is because the obligation to provide notice to a person prior to the release of a commission report arises when findings of fault or misconduct are made in the report against an individual or corporation.

Additionally, the Court found that the petitioner’s alternative argument, that the report’s conclusions were patently unreasonable and unsupported by any credible evidence, had no merit. The Court dismissed the petition without costs.