By the slimmest of majorities, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favour of the City of Edmonton in applying a standard of reasonableness in a case involving a municipal assessment dispute with a corporate taxpayer.
“The presumption of reasonableness is grounded in the legislature’s choice to give a specialized tribunal responsibility for administering the statutory provisions, and the expertise of the tribunal in so doing,” wrote Justice Andromache Karakatsanis for the majority.
“The appropriate standard of review of the Assessment Review Board’s decision is correctness,” which is concerned with the rule of law, Justices Suzanne Côté and Russell Brown wrote for the minority that included the chief justice. “Expertise is a relative concept. It is not absolute.”