A Regulatory Board did not perform the function it was statutorily required to in accordance with procedural fairness. The Court of Appeal held that the Motor Transport Board did not accept the apellant's third application for filing and review the material filed to assess whether it met the threshold that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, required that the application be granted and instead dismissed the application on grounds that it constituted an abuse of porcess. The Board did not give the appellant a meaningful opportunity to respond to that decision.

[2012] M.J. No. 342

2012 MBCA 95

Manitoba Court of Appeal

F.M. Steel, M.M. Monnin and A.D. MacInnes JJ.A.

October 12, 2012

The appellant, Prairie Coach Charter Services Ltd., appealed a decision of the Motor Transport Board refusing to accept for processing an application for an amendment to the appellant's operating authority. The appellant had sought to remove certain restrictions from its operating authority, but had had its applications rejected by the Board on three separate occasions.

The appellant appealed the Board's decision to refuse to reconsider its decision on the basis that it failed to follow the procedures with respect to processing applications and had therefore breached its obligation of procedural fairness.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. The Court held that the Board failed to perform its function on the third application, namely to accept the appellant's application for filing and review the material filed to assess whether it met the threshold that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, required that the application be granted. The fact that the Board returned the application to the appellant with the filing fee suggested that it did not accept the documents for filing under s. 5(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, C.C.S.M., c. H60 and therefore did not meet its statutory obligations under ss. 7 and 8 to properly assess the evidence contained in the material filed.

The appellant was therefore allowed to resubmit its application along with the appropriate filing fee, and the Board was ordered to process the application in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.