Nov 6, 2020

Summary of Rural Municipality of Birch Hills No. 460 v Town of Birch Hills

Rural Municipality of Birch Hills No. 460 v Town of Birch Hills, 2020 SKQB 208 (CanLII)
Statutes – Interpretation – Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act
The appellant, Rural Municipality of Birch Hills, appealed from the decision of the Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board pursuant to s. 19 of The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act. The appellant had acquired a building permit from the respondent, the Town of Birch Hills, to build an uninsulated cold storage unit for its equipment. The respondent’s building inspector indicated a number of deficiencies and he ordered certain changes, including that a wall be constructed adjacent to the property line with a specific fire resistance. The appellant requested a hearing before the board regarding the order. It made a motion to dismiss the order on the basis that it was invalid, as the edition of the National Building Code (NBC) in effect at the time of its issuance and throughout construction was the NBC of 2015 and not 2010 as cited in the order. The board found that as the wording of the relevant provisions in the NBC was the same in 2010 and 2015, the order was not invalid and the construction of the wall requiring specific fire resistance should be upheld. The provision in the 2010 NBC that applied to the building was effective because the wording of the 2015 NBC was the same. The appellant argued on appeal that the standard of review from administrative decisions was correctness, following Vavilov. It submitted that the order based upon the 2010 NBC rather than the 2015 replacement was invalid and could not have effect. If the order were determined to be valid, the appellant said that the section related to fire prevention measures did not apply to the building in question.
HELD: The appeal was dismissed. The court found that the order was valid. The board had not erred in its adjudication on the application of the appropriate iteration of the NBC. The relevant provisions of the 2010 and 2015 NBC were identical. It agreed as well with the board’s interpretation of the provision regarding the requirements for fire prevention in the case of this specific building.