Can a municipality obtain contribution and indemnity from a property owner for failing to comply with its by-laws?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Orange Julius Canada Ltd. v. Surrey (City of), 2000 BCCA 467 (CanLII):

The City cites no authority in support of its contention that the owner owed it a statutory duty to comply with its by-laws and I know of no basis upon which it could be said that the passing of municipal by-laws gives rise to a duty, owed by property owners to the municipality, the breach of which would support a claim such as the city makes for contribution and indemnity here. As the applicants point out, the duty that arises on the passing of a by-law is borne by the municipality to all those who might be injured by the negligent exercise of the power to issue permits and conduct inspections that are vested in the municipal authorities: Rothfield v. Manolakos, 1989 CanLII 17 (SCC), [1990] 1 W.W.R. 408 at 415 (S.C.C.). That may be why the City purported to obtain an indemnity from the owner when it issued the permit to build the shopping centre.

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