Williamson v. Canada (Attorney General), 2005 FC 954, [2006] 3 F.C.R. D-38


Judicial review of Heritage Canada decision Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society ineligible for designation as Category “B” institution under Cultural Property Export and Import Act (CPEIA), s. 32(2)—Applicant donated historically significant property to Society before Society acquiring designation under s. 32(2)—S. 32(2) interpreted by Heritage Canada policy manual such that institution must be designated before donation made with result donor not entitled to tax benefit for “certified cultural property” gift under Income Tax Act (ITA)—Standard of review of interpretation of law correctness—Concept of CPEIA described in reasons of Rothstein J. in Art Gallery of Ontario v. Canada (Cultural Property Export Review Board), [1994] 3 F.C. 691 (T.D.)—Purpose of Act, ITA amendments, to provide for national heritage preservation through combination of export controls, preferential purchase rights for designated cultural institutions, income tax incentives for cultural property donors to such institutions—It also created limited right of expropriation when Canadian cultural property offered for sale—When donation made to s. 32(2) designated institution, donor may apply to Review Board for determination whether donation cultural property under CPEIA, fair market value determination—If Board finds CPEIA criteria met, Cultural Property Income Tax Certificate is issued—Donor receives tax break for capital gains, tax credit or deduction—Context demanding s. 32 be read as whole—Subsections 32(2), (3) not independent, but meant to be employed in context of tax benefits under s. 32(1)—Principal purpose of designation to create tax benefits—S. 32(1) refers to institution “designated”, not “designated or to be designated”—Furthermore, wording of ITA provisions cross‑referenced in CPEIA, s. 32(1) make it clear institution must have been designated at time of donation—While plight of smaller institutions such as Society may have been in Minister’s mind when policy explained upon introduction of Bill, this was not reflected in legislation—Application denied—Cultural Property Export and Import Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. C‑51, s. 32 (as am. by S.C. 1991, c. 49, s. 218)—Income Tax Act, R.S.C., 1985 (5th Supp.), c. 1.

Williamson v. Canada (Attorney General) (T‑1214‑02, 2005 FC 954, von Finckenstein J., order dated 6/7/05, 12 pp.)