October 10, 2019

The Affirmation of Federal Jurisdiction: Aviation Interpretation of Recent Maritime Port Ruling


Examples of provincial and municipal attempts to legislate or otherwise control activities that constitutionally are under the jurisdiction of the federal government continue to arise. One of the purposes of COPA’s Freedom to Fly fund is to pay for the legal costs so that defendants in select cases can prevail when challenged.

There have been a number of times where COPA has successfully supported cases that resulted in court decisions recognizing exclusive federal jurisdiction in aviation matters. However, aviation is not the only contentious subject between municipalities, provinces and the feds. Among others are federal lands, telecommunications, marine, pipelines and other federal undertakings.

Glenn Grenier, of McMillan LLP’s Toronto office, serves as COPA’s legal advisor on these and other matters. Grenier has prepared a document that, although pertaining to exclusive federal jurisdiction in maritime matters, is applicable to the subject matter of aviation and cites and reaffirms many of the aviation cases upon which COPA and its members rely.

The document can be found in the Members Only/Documents section, in the ‘Court Cases and Supporting Case Law Documents’ file. The document’s name is ‘Case Summary IMTT Port of Quebec’.