Provincial OHS Regulations Apply to Ships that May Fish in International Waters

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The owners of various commercial fishing vessels challenged orders issued to them under BC’s OHS Regulations, claiming that that those laws didn’t apply to them. The court disagreed, ruling that the fishing operations were provincial undertakings because they were based in BC, where the boats were maintained, the catch was unloaded and workers were hired and lived. The fact that the vessels may sometimes have caught fish outside of BC’s borders doesn’t make them international fishing operations over which the federal OHS laws have exclusive jurisdiction [Jim Pattison Enterprises Ltd. v. BC (Workers Compensation Board), [2011] BCCA 35 (CanLII), Feb. 2, 2011].