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This Week at the SCC (15/03/2013)

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Posted in This Week at the SCC
Brandon Kain

The Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appeal this week from several cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

The decisions included Bossé v. Chief Financial Officer, 2012 FCA 231, where the Federal Court of Appeal held that the Federal Court did not have jurisdiction to resolve a dispute over the seizure of a vehicle for non-payment under a financing agreement.  Nadon J.A. observed that the issues raised in the action were “purely contractual”, and did not raise any questions regarding the Bills of Exchange Act so as to potentially engage the Court’s jurisdiction under the Federal Courts Act.

The Supreme Court also denied leave to appeal from Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l’image et du son (AQTIS) c. Association des producteurs de théâtre privé du Québec (APTP), 2012 QCCA 1524.  The Quebec Court of Appeal in AQTIS upheld a ruling by the Commission de reconnaissance des associations d’artistes et des associations de producteurs on judicial review.  The Commission had found that the collective bargaining scheme for artists hired by producers established by the Quebec Act respecting the  professional status and conditions of engagement of performing, recording and  film artists applies even to artists used in productions in respect of which they are otherwise employees.

A final case of note is Berthiaume c. Carignan, 2012 QCCA 2061.  The decision raised questions about the test for journalist-source privilege, including how the principles from R.  v. National Post, 2010 SCC 16 and Globe and Mail v. Canada (A.G.)2010 SCC 41 should be applied in defamation proceedings where the journalist is not one of the litigants.  The trial judge in Berthiaume refused to order evidence from a third-party journalist on the basis of the privilege, and leave to appeal from that decision was dismissed by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The McCarthy Tétrault Opinions Group consists of members of the firm’s litigation department whose practices focus on written advocacy and the provision of strategic advice and opinions in the context of complex business disputes and transactions.  The members of the Opinions Group are Anthony Alexander, Martin Boodman, Brandon Kain, Hovsep Afarian and Kirsten Thompson.