Fitter International – Alberta Court of Appeal finds that B.C. must be sued in B.C. for unconstitutionally imposing extra-provincial sales tax obligations on non-B.C. vendors

The Alberta Court of Appeal found that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench lacked the jurisdiction to hear an application by an Alberta company (“Fitter”) for a declaration that provisions of the Provincial Sales Tax Act (B.C.), that purported to impose liability on non-B.C. vendors for failure to charge and collect B.C. sales tax on sales to B.C. residents, were unconstitutional. The Court stated:

Fitter can bring an action against the Crown in right of BC pursuant to the BC CPA [Crown Proceeding Act], but it must do so in the courts of BC in accordance with the requirements of that statute. BC has not waived its Crown immunity so as to permit it to be sued in the courts of Alberta.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Fitter International Inc. v British Columbia, 2021 ABCA 54 under Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019, s. 16(1).