bcIMC – B.C. Supreme Court held that bcIMC was immune from HST payable on its investment fund but for an intergovernmental agreement

bcIMC is a BC Crown agent which was formed to manage and hold, under a provincial statutory trust, investments for the provincial pension plans. Weatherill J rejected a federal Crown argument that bcIMC was not immune under s. 125 of the Constitution Act from HST otherwise payable on the fees taken out of the funds under its management - on the grounds inter alia that ETA s. 267.1(5) deemed the statutory trust impressed on bcIMC’s investments to be a separate (non-Crown) person who thus was not exempt from federal tax on such fees - stating that “Canada cannot, under the guise of the deemed trust provisions of the ETA or otherwise, defeat the Province’s immunity from taxation.” However, he found that such immunity was taken away by agreements between B.C. and Canada in which the Province committed itself and its agents to pay any tax imposed under the ETA. He stated:

Section 16 of [bcIMC’s incorporating legislation] states that bcIMC “…is not liable for taxation except as the government is liable for taxation”. That language, in my view, is the specific legislative authority required to bind bcIMC to the Agreements and should be interpreted accordingly.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of British Columbia Investment Management Corp. v. Canada (A. G.), 2016 BCSC 1803 under Constitution Act, 1867, s. 125.