The SUPREME COURT OF CANADA judgement in the court action initiated by CANADIAN INDUSTRAIAL GAS & OIL LTD against the SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT back on FEBRUARY 8th, 1974, is expected to be handed down on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16th, 1977. Both parties to the legal action were advised at weekend that the long awaited decision would be made this week.
The Appellant oil company seeks judgment for the "Mineral Income Tax" and "Royalty Surcharge" which it paid to the Government of Saskatchewan pursuant to the following statutes and orders. The Oil and Gas Conservation, Stabilization and Development Act 1973, S.S. 1973-74, C. 72, an act amending the same, S.S. 1973-74, C. 73: The act amending the Mineral Resources Act, S. S. 1973-74, C. 64; an act amending the Mineral Taxation Act, S. S. 1973-74, C. 65; orders related to the above acts. The Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Queens Bench dismissed the plaintiffs claim that these acts and orders related thereto, were ultra vires the Province of Saskatchewan. Whether (1) The "Mineral Income Tax" and "Royalty Surcharge" are indirect taxes, (2) the Legislation as a whole is in relation to the regulation of trade and commerce: (3) the legislation is an impediment of interprovincial trade contrary to S. 12 1 B.N.A. Act.
A glance back at the records reveals that CIGOL, now Noreen Energy Resources Ltd, filed its first Statement of Claim against the Saskatchewan Government on February 8th, 1974. This resulted in hearings before the Saskatchewan Court commencing July 29th, 1974. When the decision went against the company it filed an appeal and this was aired before the Saskatchewan Appeal Court, starting on March 24th, 1975. The Saskatchewan Appeal Court Decision also went against CIGOL when it was handed down in late 1975 and this resulted in the decision to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada with the appeal filed on January 15th, 1976. The case came before the Supreme Court commencing on November 8th, 1976, and was concluded on November 17th, of last year. Several times in the interim period there were indications that the Supreme Court decision would be handed down. Next Wednesday's date is confirmed as the time at which the judgement will be mace public.