Canadian Appeals Monitor Information and Commentary on Upcoming and Recent Appeal Court Decisions

Two Big Wins for Unions at the SCC

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Constitutional, Labour and Employment

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a pair of big wins to Canadian unions. Both judgments relate to public sector unions, but may have important implications for labour law more generally. In both cases, the Court has undermined its own precedent.

Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General)Continue Reading

ABCA Opens the Door to Punitive Damages for Surviving Dependents

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Torts

A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal has opened the door for awarding punitive damages to surviving dependants under Alberta’s Fatal Accidents Act (the “FAA”). The FAA creates a statutory cause of action for dependants of deceased persons where death was caused by a wrongful act. Similar legislation in other provinces has been held to preclude claims for punitive and other non-compensatory damages. Until now, the availability of punitive damages under the FAA was uncertain.

Background

Steinkrauss v. Afridi is a medical malpractice case. The deceased, Mrs. Steinkrauss, was a patient of Dr. Afridi. She sued … Continue Reading

A Lawsuit Isn’t Always the Best Revenge: JCPC Rules that the Tort of Malicious Prosecution is now Available for Civil Litigants

Posted in Case Comments, Procedure, Torts

In a recent decision, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled for the first time that the tort of malicious prosecution is available in the context of civil proceedings. In most jurisdictions, including Canada, the current view is that malicious prosecution is only available against the Attorney General or Crown prosecutors following criminal proceedings instituted for an improper purpose.

Background

The result was driven by the peculiar facts of the case. Mr. Paterson was a chartered surveyor resident in the Cayman Islands. He was appointed by Sagicor to act as a loss adjuster for a claim for property

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High Water Mark Test for Establishing Aboriginal Title to be Reviewed by the SCC

Posted in Aboriginal, Case Previews

The Supreme Court of Canada is set to revisit the test for Aboriginal title when it hears an appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision in William v. British Columbia this November. This appeal will be of particular significance to parties engaged in resource development, as it stands to affect the strength of claims to Aboriginal title over traditional territory, as well as claims to the right to fish and hunt in a given area. The trial judgment and the Court of Appeal took a restrictive view of the test for establishing Aboriginal title where proof of such … Continue Reading

SCC to Weigh-In on the Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants Where an Employment Relationship Follows the Sale of a Business

Posted in Case Previews, Contracts, Labour and Employment

This winter, the SCC will have the opportunity to clarify how the courts should go about determining how strictly to interpret restrictive covenants where they relate to both an employment agreement and the sale of a business. The opportunity arises from the Supreme Court’s decision to grant leave in Guay Inc. c. Yannick Payette et autres, where the Québec Court of Appeal upheld the enforceability of broadly-framed non-competition and non-solicitation clauses (or restrictive covenants), despite findings by the trial judge below that the employee, Mr. Payette, had been wrongfully terminated and that the restrictive covenants were too broad to

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BCCA May Consider the Test for Leave to Commence an Action Pursuant to the New Secondary Market Liability Provisions

Posted in Case Comments, Financial Services, Procedure, Torts

The British Columbia Court of Appeal may soon consider the test for a purchaser or vendor in the “secondary market” to obtain leave to commence an action for misrepresentation under Part 16.1 the BC Securities Act.  Leave to appeal has been filed by the plaintiff in Round v. MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.  This will be the first time any court of appeal in Canada will have the opportunity to consider the issue.

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