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R v Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd, [1988] 1 SCR 401 (Link)


s.4(1) of the Ocean Dumping Control Act prohibits dumping of certain things at sea, does not include fresh water such as lakes. Company owed logging business and was dumping things a water source, which was in the internal (along coast) waters of BC – there license did not cover the kind of dumping they were doing, and they were charged under fed law


Does the fed legislation jurisdiction to regulate the dumping of substances at sea extend to the regulation of dumping in prov marine waters?


National Concern doctrine is separate and distinct from Emergency doctrine of POGG
*Emergency Branch provides a basis for what is necessarily legislation of a temporary nature
*National concern doctrine applies to both new matters and to which matters, although originally of a local or private nature in a province, have since, in the absence of a national emergency, become matters of a national concern

Test for a matter to qualify as a matter of national concern: matter of national concern that has singleness, distinctiveness or indivisibility that distinguishes it from matter s of a prov nature
**In determining above it is relevant to consider what would be the effect on extra-provincial interests of a prov failure to deal effectively w/ the control or reg of the intra-prov aspects of the matter – Provincial Inability Test


National Concern Doctrine
*It is separate and distinct from national emergency doctrine
*Applies to both new matters which did not exist at Confederation and to matters which, although originally matter of a local or private nature in a prov, have since, in the absence of national emergency, becomes matters of national concern

*Where matter falls w/in national concern doctrine of POGG Parl has exclusive jurisdiction or a plenary nature to leg in relation to that matter, including its intra-prov aspects
*Provincial Inability Test should not go as far as to say that there must be a plenary jurisdiction in one order of gov or the other to deal w/ any leg problem


s.4(1) of Act is constitutionally valid as enacted bc of the national concern doctrine


Summary of NC - Zellerback:
1. The national concern doctrine is separate from the national emergency doctrine, the latter of which only provides a constitutional basis for legislation of a temporary nature.
2. The doctrine applies to matters that did not exist at Confederation as well as to matters that were once matters of a local or private nature but have since become matters of national concern.
3. To qualify under the doctrine, a matter must have a singleness, distinctiveness and indivisibility that clearly distinguishes it from matters of provincial concern, as well as a scale of impact on provincial jurisdiction that is reconcilable with the fundamental distribution of legislative power under the Constitution.
4. In determining whether a matter has sufficient singleness, distinctive-ness and indivisibility, it is relevant to consider the effect on extra- provincial interests of a provincial failure to deal effectively with the control or regulation of intra-provincial aspects of the matter.

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