Court deference to Ministry staff exercising judicial functions (two comments)

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

The only persons now authorized to issue eviction orders against B.C. residential tenants are employees of the Tenancy Branch, of the Office of Housing and Construction Standards, in the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Residential Tenancy Act, SBC 2002, C.78 (as amended).  

When one of these Office of Housing’s employees exercised this judicial function and issued an order requiring Christine Jestadt, a retired actress, removed from her apartment -an order issued despite Jestadt’s claim that the termination clause on which the landlord relied was extracted from her under duress – Jestadt applied to the BC Supreme Court for judicial review.

The application was dismissed and, on appeal, the BC Court of Appeal confirmed that, in B.C., the  standard of review the courts are required to apply to the eviction orders issued by employees of the Office of Housing is patent unreasonableness. 

The Court, satisfied that the Ministry staff member’s finding of no duress could not be characterized as patently unreasonable, dismissed the appeal.

See: Jestadt v. Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver, 2013 BCCA 183 (CanLII)


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