Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District

NST was retained by GVSDD to appeal an arbitration award. The appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada arose from an arbitration award, in which Wastech was awarded compensation based on an alleged breach of the duty of good faith in a 20-year relational contract. NST succeeded at all levels in British Columbia in establishing that the arbitration award was based on errors of law, including a misapplication of the leading case, Bhasin. Wastech successfully sought leave to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the matter was heard on December 6, 2019.

The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that Metro Vancouver did not breach any duty of good faith when it made its waste allocation decision, finding that Metro Vancouver’s decision was consistent with the purposes for which it was given the discretion to make those decisions under the contract. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in this case will have important implications for all contracts that provide one party with discretionary powers, building on the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, and C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, 2020 SCC 45.

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