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Interpretation of municipal powers to contract

On July 2, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal from a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 1298417 Ontario Ltd. v. Lakeshore (Town) 2014 ONCA 802.

The decision in Lakeshore highlights the principle that a person contracting with a municipality should take careful notice of the municipality’s power to contract.

Canada Post v. City of Hamilton: using municipal streets for community mailboxes

We reported earlier in this blog on the dispute between the City of Hamilton and Canada Post. To recall, the City adopted a bylaw that required Canada Post to obtain a City permit before placing community mailboxes on City streets.

Canada Post challenged the constitutional validity of the bylaw and, on June 11, 2015, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued its decision.  The Court agreed with Canada Post and declared the bylaw invalid.   

To quote some of the Court’s reasons:

CASL Enforcement: Porter Airlines doesn't have an escape route, agrees to pay $150,000 fine

The CRTC has reported that Porter Airlines has agreed to pay a $150,000 fine due to its failure to include an unsubscribe mechanism, or a clearly set out unsubscribe mechanism.  Some emails also allegedly did not include complete contact information as required by CASL. For certain emails sent between July 2014 and February 2015, the company was unable to provide proof that it had obtained consent.

Using municipal streets for community mailboxes

Over the past year, Canada Post has been phasing out door-to-door mail delivery and converting to community mailboxes. 

The March 2015 progress report issued by Canada Post states that Canada Post intends to “work with municipal officials to find the safest, most convenient locations for each neighbourhood, leveraging existing street lighting and sidewalks where feasible.” 

The outcome of a current dispute between Canada Post and the City of Hamilton may shed some light over how much say local governments have over the placement of super-mailboxes on their streets.


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