This appeal concerns a dispute between a utility and a
rural municipality over the sharing of the utility’s costs to relocate parts of a gas pipeline as a result of the rural municipality’s
construction of certain drainage works. The disposition of the
appeal requires the court to consider the terms of a franchise
agreement dated September 28, 2004 between the parties (the
“franchise agreement”) and provisions of the Drainage Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c. D.17 (the “Act”).
 Union Gas Limited (“Union”) asserts that the Corporation
of the Township of Norwich (“Norwich”) is required to pay Union
35 per cent of its costs to relocate a gas pipeline necessitated by
certain drainage works, in accordance with the franchise agreement. Norwich argues that Union should assume the full cost of
relocation, as its engineer directed, under s. 26 of the Act.
 The application judge held that the cost to relocate gas
works when a drain is constructed under the Act is an increase
in the cost of “drainage works”, and therefore subject to s. 26 of
the Act, which provides for the utility to assume the entirety of
the increased cost of drainage works caused by the existence
of the public utility’s works. He held that the cost-sharing
provisions of the franchise agreement did not “trump and hold
priority over” s. 26 of the Act.
 Union appeals, arguing that the application judge erred (1)
in interpreting s. 26 of the Act to apply to the cost of relocating
gas works; and (2) in concluding that the Act overrides the cost-sharing provisions of the franchise agreement.
 The Ontario Energy Board (the “OEB”) intervened, taking
no position on the facts of the appeal, but to provide submissions
on the interpretation of the term “drainage works” in the Act
and the policy behind the cost-sharing provisions of the franchise agreement.
 For the reasons that follow, I would allow the appeal. It is
unnecessary to determine in this appeal the full scope of s. 26 and,
in particular, whether the reference to the increased cost of
“drainage works” could include a utility’s cost to relocate gas
works. The cost-sharing provisions of the franchise agreement
apply to the parties’ dispute. The application judge erred in law
when he refused to give effect to the parties’ agreement on the
basis that it could not “oust or override” the provisions of the Act.
 Under s. 4 of the Act, a landowner may petition a municipality to undertake drainage works. Where the municipality’s