Injunctions: Irreparable Harm and Business Losses

Posted by Johannes Schenk on September 20th, 2006 — Posted in Municipal Law

The Plaintiff in Kosub et al. v. Cultus Lake Park Board, 2006 BCSC 1410, had leased waterfront property from the Parks Board and had spent considerable time and money on improvements on the property. The plaintiff was in the process of building a new boat rental building for tourists and other visitors to the lake and was close to finishing the building when the Parks Board terminated the lease.

The Plaintiff sought an injunction to stop the Parks Board from interfering with the lease and the new boat rental building. In a nutshell, the Court held that there was no irreparable harm. Any damage (business loss and expenses related to the improvements) that the plaintiff suffered was quantifiable and compensable.

I don’t see in the reasons that anyone addressed the position that a waterfront boat rental property on Cultus lake was entirely unique: the loss thereof would be difficult to impossible to compensate. That position may be different than a straight business loss which is generally quantifiable (see: White Room Ltd. v. Calgary (City of), 1998 ABCA 120; Semelhago v. Paramadevan, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 415)

In any event I think it is fair to say that when you are looking for injunctive relief where damages can be quantified your are not getting your injunction.

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