Permits and Licenses: Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t!

Welcome to Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t! This week, lawyer Kyla Lee discusses the permits and licenses.

Acumen Law Corporation lawyer Kyla Lee gives her take on a made-in-Canada court case each week and discusses why these cases should have been heard by Canada’s highest court: the Supreme Court of Canada.


Kirby Elson was prohibited by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada from applying for or obtaining any fisheries’ license. The reason for this was that he was engaged in an agreement with a business that would allow him to essentially transfer the use of his license to the business and the business could then use it for commercial fishing purposes.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada wanted to shut down Mr. Elson’s ability to engage in this business practice, and so they revoked his fishing license and his ability to apply for future fishing licenses.

Mr. Elson argued that this was a violation of his rights because he had the right, once he held a fishing license, to engage in any type of business practice that he wanted. What the government was effectively doing, was collaterally regulating what type of businesses a person can engage in without any justification or right to do so.

Watch the video for more.

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