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Canadian Animal Law

Appeals - Grant with Terms versus New Tribunal Hearing

. Canada (Attorney General) v. Kattenburg

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Kattenburg (Fed CA, 2021) the Federal Court of Appeal held that where an administrative decision is flawed for inadequate reasons, and the reviewing court cannot infer the correct answer from the administrative decision-maker's fact-findings, then the case should be sent back down with directions:
[17] Vavilov makes it clear that when confronted with the absence of a reasoned explanation, courts should refrain from determining the proper outcome and providing the required justification themselves (Vavilov at para. 96). This merely recognizes Parliament’s institutional design choice in conferring on administrative decision-makers the task of construing the legislation that they are called upon to apply and applying it to the facts of their case, exercises that call for deference on the part of reviewing courts. It follows that in a post-Vavilov context, the Federal Court judge should not have embarked on the Agency’s task.

[18] The appropriate remedy is to send the matter back to the Agency so that it can determine the matter for itself. This is not the type of case where this step can be bypassed because the outcome is self-evident (compare Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union v. The Minister of Finance for the Government, 2021 MBCA 36 at paras. 104-108). ...


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