Every once in a while I feel the need to rep-re-sent the East Coast on Slaw and the following case which was heard at the SCC on Wednesday of this week (Jan 23) does that; but it also raises an interesting question that has broader implications. Simply put, can a commercial fishing license be defined as property under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act? Here is a story about the case from the local paper. And the summary from the SCCRoyal Bank of Canada v. Saulnier.
A simplified synopsis is if the court rules in favour of the Royal Bank it would introduce property rights throughout the commercial fishery in Canada allowing licenses to be used as collateral in bank loans. A broader implication is the possibility that fishing rights would come to be concentrated in the hands of a few corporations and the wealthy.
P.S. I see that the Court has already posted on this case, but I think that is worthwhile to post here as well, this could be described as a “sleeper” case.