504578 Ontario Ltd. v. Great Lakes Fishermen
and Allied Workers' Union
IN THE MATTER OF The Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.O.
1980, Chapter 224
504578 Ontario Limited, carrying on business as Murray
Collard Fisheries, Jim Fraser Fisheries Ltd., H. Tiessen
Fisheries Ltd., Favignana Fishing Co. Limited, A. Figliomeni
& Sons Limited, Four Brothers Fishing Co., 538391 Ontario
Limited operating as Peralta Foods, CP Fisheries Ltd.,
Family Fishery Company Ltd., Applicants/Appellants, and
Great Lakes Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union and Ontario
Labour Relations Board, Respondents
 O.J. No. 39
Action No. 319/89
Ontario Supreme Court - Court of Appeal
Robins, Krever and Carthy JJ.A.
Heard: January 11, 1990
Judgment: January 16, 1990
Labour law -- Labour Relations Board and judicial review -- Boards, jurisdiction -- Duties of board -- Respecting certification of unions.
Appeal from Divisional Court holding that the Labour Relations Board had jurisdiction over the union's application for certification.
HELD: Appeal dismissed. The matter was within provincial, not federal jurisdiction. The business of fishing was not included in federal power.
Raymond C. Colautti and Brian P. Nolan, for the Appellants.
John Cavarzan, Q.C., for the Intervener Attorney General of Ontario.
Laurence C. Arnold, for the Respondent Great Lakes Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union.
Ronald J. Rolls, Q.C., and Daniel A. Bilak, for the Respondent Ontario Labour Relations Board.
The judgment of the Court was delivered by
ROBINS J.A. (endorsement):-- We agree with the Divisional Court that the Board correctly concluded that it had jurisdiction to entertain the union's applications for certification. The decided cases have held that Parliament's authority under s. 91(12) is restricted to legislation for the protection and preservation of fisheries as a public resource. We agree with the Board that s. 91(12) does not extend to the regulation of the business of commercial fishing. The labour relations of the appellants and their employees are therefore a matter within provincial jurisdiction.
We do not agree with the appellants' basic contention that the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in La commission de la Sante et de la Securite du Travail et al. v. Bell Canada,  1 S.C.R. 749 impairs the validity of the decisions of the Board and the Divisional Court. In that case provincial legislation respecting health and safety in the workplace (and characterized as legislation respecting working conditions and labour relations) was held inapplicable to what is clearly a federal undertaking. The case does not deal with the fundamental question in this case, namely, whether the regulation of the business of fishing is included in the federal power conferred by s. 91(12). As already indicated, it is our view that the business of fishing is not covered by s. 91(12). It follows that the labour relations in issue here remains a matter of property and civil rights in the province and is governed by the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
The appeal will be dismissed with costs to the respondent union. There will be no costs to the Board or the Attorney General.