Driving Prohibition Does Not Apply to Santa Driving a Team of Reindeer; Nasty Mistletoe

December 7, 2018 Paul Emile Trudelle Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Uncategorized 0 Comments

While noting up cases on reindeer and mistletoe (as one does this time of year), I came across the decision of R. v. Stewart (1972), 10 C.C.C. (2d) 83. There, the appellant was convicted of driving a motor vehicle while prohibited from doing so. The prohibition stated that the appellant was “prohibited from driving anywhere in the Dominion of Canada for a period of 30 days.” The Court held that this prohibition was overly broad, and should be restricted to driving on a “highway”. Further, the prohibition should have been limited to the object being driven. As written, the prohibition “is broad enough to embrace such diverse and innocent activities as, for example, driving a spike or a locomotive on railroad tracks, driving a herd of reindeer over the arctic plains or even a team of them over the house-tops at Christmas.” The conviction was set aside.

I hindsight, however, a broad prohibition on driving a herd of reindeer over the house-tops may have saved poor grandma from her unfortunate Christmas eve fate.

Turning to mistletoe, mistletoe is the common name for parasitic plants in the order “Santalales”.

in ATCO Electric Ltd. v. Serink, 2017 ABSRB 958 (CanLII), a landowner sought compensation for trees cut down on his land in connection with the construction and maintenance of power lines. The Alberta Surface Rights Board heard that the trees were infested with “Dwarf Mistletoe”, which is a condition that causes excessive branch growth thus reducing the value of the trees as timber due to an increased number of knots. The Board held that because of the Dwarf Mistletoe, the trees had no merchantable value, and compensation was denied.



Have a merry weekend.

Paul Trudelle

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