“Air Transportation is an indispensable part of modern life. Yet as our dependence on aircraft has grown, the demands of aviation have increasingly collided with other interests.”
These words with which Chief Justice McLachlin began her judgment in Quebec (Attorney General) v. Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, 2010 SCC 39 summarized the issue before her.
Bernard Laferriere and Sylvie Gervais owned a wooded lot near the City of Shawinigan. In 1998, they cleared part of their lot and built a grass airstrip. But the new aerodrome was situated in a designated agricultural region and the Quebec Agricultural Lands Protection Commission ordered the aerodrome to be closed. These facts set up the classic Canadian constitutional confrontation between the power of the …Keep reading