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

Category Archives: Case Comments

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Caution: An Entire Agreement Clause May Have Greater Implications Than Expected

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Corporate Law

At issue in One West Holdings Ltd. v Greata Ranch Holdings Corp. et al. was whether an entire agreement clause which referred to multiple contracts could be used to incorporate an arbitration clause from one of the other contracts. The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that it could despite the fact that the contracts involved… → Read More

Are pre-contractual representations “continuing”? Even if the contracting parties change?

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Corporate Law

Circumstances change and what is true today may not be true tomorrow. For that reason, some representations carry with them the obligation to advise the representee if the relevant circumstances change. These are usually referred to as “continuing” representations. But can a continuing representation carry with it the obligation to update a third party, to… → Read More

Beware: When Investors Act Tardily in Denouncing Suspect Movements in their Brokerage Accounts, They Have only Themselves to Blame

Posted in Case Comments, Securities

On February 11, 2014, the Quebec Court of Appeal rendered its judgment in Succession Huppé c. Valeurs mobilières Banque Laurentienne, 2014 QCCA 294 confirming a judgment of the Superior Court which had rejected an investor’s claim against his investment advisor and the latter’s brokerage firm because the investor had waited too long before denouncing the… → Read More

Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions: The Creation of Barriers by the BC Court of Appeal

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Constitutional

In a surprise decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has broken with the superior courts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec by holding that constitutional limits prevent a superior court judge from sitting outside of his own province. The Court of Appeal’s decision suggests limits to the inherent jurisdiction and discretion of superior courts… → Read More

Securities Secondary Market Liability in Quebec To Be Discussed by the Supreme Court of Canada

Posted in Case Comments, Case Previews, Class Actions, Securities

On February 20, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal from the first decision from the Québec Court of Appeal on the statutory secondary market liability regime adopted in 2007, pursuant to a reform of the Quebec Securities Act, R.S.Q. c. V-1.1 (“QSA”). Material Facts Under the QSA, Theratechnologies inc. (“Thera”) is… → Read More

Piercing the corporate veil may be easier than you think

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Corporate Law

How do corporate and personal liability intersect in a corporation that has only one officer, director and shareholder?  In the recent Shoppers Drug Mart v. 6470360 Canada Inc. case, the Court of Appeal helped to clarify when the person behind the corporation will be found liable. Background In October 2005, Shoppers Drug Mart (“Shoppers”) contracted… → Read More

The Final Word (Again?) On Limitation Periods for Securities Class Actions

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Securities

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Green represents yet another plaintiff-friendly class action development from the Canadian courts, this time in the context of limitation periods.  Less than two years after its watershed decision in Timminco, Ontario’s highest court reversed itself and in a decision authored by Feldman J.A. re-cast the limitation period regime… → Read More

“Stop and Identify” Yourself, to Avoid Personal Liability when Acting on Behalf of a Company

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Corporate Law

Third parties must know exactly who they are entering into a contract with, especially when dealing with a limited liability company. That said, the identity of the true contracting party may not be clear when an officer, director or employee of a company is negotiating on behalf of the company. Indeed, third parties are generally… → Read More

The Supreme Court Vivendi Decision and its Not Insignificant Implications

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions

The first judgment of 2014 rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada, Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello, 2014 SCC 1 (“Vivendi”), deals with the conditions for authorization of a class action in Quebec. The judgment has several important implications for Canadian businesses that are likely to be involved in class action proceedings. First, the Court held… → Read More

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… → Read More

SHOTGUN! You should know this before triggering a buy-sell provision

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

The following post on the Canadian M&A Perspectives blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: SHOTGUN! You should know this before triggering a buy-sell provision. On November 29, 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Western Larch Limited v. Di Poce Management Limited, 2013 ONCA 722 with important lessons… → Read More

The Burden of Proof to Rectify a Contract: The Ordinary Civil Standard Applies

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

The issue Rectification is an important equitable doctrine allowing courts to rewrite contracts that erroneously record the agreement reached by the parties.  The basic requirements for rectification are well settled.  Where there is a mutual mistake, the party seeking rectification must show (i) that the parties had a common continuing intention prior to the making… → Read More

The Court of Appeal Affirms that the Competence-Competence Principle Applies to Ontario’s Arbitration Act, 1991

Posted in Case Comments

In a decision that will preserve consistency in Ontario’s arbitration law and practice, the Court of Appeal has affirmed that the competence-competence principle, already well-established in private international law, also applies to Ontario’s domestic arbitration statute.  The principle, which gives precedence to an arbitral tribunal to determine its own jurisdiction, is incorporated into Ontario’s International… → Read More

10 Most Important Appeals of 2013

Posted in Case Comments, Features

 In order to help lawyers argue about cases at holiday parties, the Appeals Monitor is happy to once again present our countdown of the most significant civil appeals of 2013 that are sure to impact Canadian businesses.  Watch out soon for a review of the upcoming appeal decisions that are likely to be big stories… → Read More

Correctness is “Fashionable”, But in a Bad Way: SCC broadens scope for administrative tribunals and securities commissions

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Securities

The Supreme Court of Canada has released what may be the most important administrative law appeal of the year in McLean v. British Columbia (Securities Commission), reaffirming the deference that administrative tribunals are owed when interpreting their “home” or closely related statutes and expressly seeking – as always, it seems – to foster greater “predictability… → Read More

When is a Quistclose trust not a Quistclose trust? When you call it a “debt”

Posted in Aboriginal, Bankruptcy and Debt, Case Comments, Contracts

In Ontario (Training, Colleges and Universities) v. Two Feathers Forest Products LP, 2013 ONCA 598, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted the appeal of an interim receiver, Pricewaterhousecoopers Inc., from a Superior Court of Justice decision where grant funds that were advanced by the respondent, Ontario’s Minister of Training Colleges and Universities (the “Ministry”), to… → Read More

Using contract law to fix tax (and other) mistakes: the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes a rectification-like remedy under Quebec law

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Tax

The problem and the fix A taxpayer intends to undertake a transaction on a tax-efficient basis. But the transaction gets papered wrong, and the intended tax treatment is not achieved. Can the law of contract save the taxpayer by allowing a court to rewrite the contract documents retroactively in order to achieve the original intention… → Read More

The Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Ontario Laws Banning Pharmacies from Selling Private-Label Generic Drugs in Katz Group Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care)

Posted in Case Comments, Health, Manufacturing

Overview In Katz Group Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care), the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld the validity of regulations under the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act (DIDFA) and the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA). The regulations at issue were amended in 2010 to stop pharmacies from controlling manufacturers that sell… → Read More

“The digital and Internet age meets the law of search and seizure” as the SCC clarifies the law on search warrants and computers in R v. Vu

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Constitutional, Criminal

Overview The Supreme Court of Canada recently released a unanimous judgment in R. v. Vu, 2013 SCC 60, in which it ruled that authorities must obtain specific authorization in a search warrant in order to search computers located on premises covered by the warrant. In this case, the police collected incriminating evidence against Mr. Thanh… → Read More

Vancouver Student Protesters “Stripped” of Class Proceeding

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Class Actions

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently upheld the denial of certification of a proposed class action involving routine strip searches at a Vancouver city jail. Thorburn v. British Columbia (Public Safety and Solicitor General) illustrates the difficulty of certification in cases that require an individual inquiry into the facts and circumstances unique to each… → Read More

Freedom of Expression Trumps Privacy Rights as the SCC brings the Charter hammer down on Alberta’s privacy statute

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

Overview In Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 [“United Food”], the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously decided that Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act [“PIPA”] unjustifiably limits a union’s right to freedom of expression in the context of a lawful strike. The judgment, delivered by Cromwell and Abella… → Read More

NSCA Considers First-Ever Ministerial Order Vesting a Mining Company with Title to Private Land

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Construction and Real Estate, Municipal

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal recently addressed what the government must do to ensure a fair process takes place before making an order transferring private land to a mining company. In Higgins v Nova Scotia (Attorney General), 2013 NSCA 106, the Court considered the first vesting order made by the Minister of Natural Resources… → Read More

SCC Declares “When in Doubt, Report” Under the Environmental Protection Act

Posted in Case Comments, Construction and Real Estate, Energy, Manufacturing, Transportation

In Castonguay Blasting, the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously upheld a broad interpretation of environmental reporting obligations under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act. The judgment, delivered by Abella J., suggests that corporations may have environmental reporting obligations even in circumstances where they would appear not to have impacted “the environment” as that term is usually… → Read More