One of the first lessons I remember being taught as a law student about statutory interpretation was to look at both the words of the statute and the purpose Parliament intended in enacting the statute. I quickly learned that statutory interpretation can be somewhat of a headache because, sometimes, the words and the purpose of the statute are at odds with each other. What to do then?… Continue Reading
In an important decision regarding the jurisdiction of the Federal Court in aboriginal claims, the Federal Court of Appeal has affirmed the right of the Pasqua First Nation to sue the Government of Saskatchewan in the Federal Court for breach of a settlement agreement on the basis of an attornment clause. In Canada v Peigan, 2016 FCA 133, Saskatchewan argued that notwithstanding the attornment clause, which directed that any disputes arising under the settlement agreement be determined by the Federal Court, it was immune from suit in the Federal Court and, alternatively, that the suit did not fall within … Continue Reading
The forum in which to litigate is a difficult decision in any case that crosses provincial or national borders. It is even more complicated in claims against the federal government. The Federal Court has exclusive jurisdiction in some cases; in others, the Federal Court and the provincial Superior Court in which the claim “arises” have concurrent jurisdiction. Where the jurisdiction is concurrent and the plaintiff elects to sue in Superior rather than Federal Court, the question becomes: in which province does the claim “arise”?
The question is further complicated where there are multiple causes of action asserted. One claim may … Continue Reading
The following post on the Canadian Class Actions Monitor blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: Ontario Court of Appeal Turns Against Cross-Border Securities Class Actions.
In the recent decision of Kaynes v. BP, PLC, 2014 ONCA 580, the Ontario Court of Appeal stayed a proposed secondary market securities class action on the basis of forum non conveniens. Writing for a unanimous Court of Appeal, Sharpe J.A. found that Ontario could assume jurisdiction over claims by Canadian residents who purchased their shares on foreign exchanges. Nevertheless, he held that Ontario should decline jurisdiction on … Continue Reading
This has been a particularly busy week at the Supreme Court of Canada vis-à-vis cases likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professionals. The Court issued two significant rulings, and refused leave to appeal in another seven cases.… Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal this week from one appeal of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.
The decision in Amtim Capital Inc. v. Appliance Recycling Centers of America (2014 ONCA 62) indicates that pre-emptive declaratory relief in one jurisdiction may not be effective to prevent subsequent litigation elsewhere.… Continue Reading
This week the Supreme Court of Canada granted an application for leave to appeal the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation 2013 ONCA 758. As a result, the Supreme Court of Canada will review the jurisdictional requirements for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Canada.
The case is particularly important to multi-national enterprises because it involves an attempt to enforce in Canada a foreign judgment against a non-Canadian judgment debtor and against its Canadian subsidiary, which was not a party to the litigation. The foreign judgment debtor had no presence and no assets … Continue Reading
Can a party that has not signed an agreement containing a forum selection clause nevertheless be bound by it? The Ontario Court of Appeal addressed this question in Aldo Group Inc. v. Moneris Solutions Corporation, 2013 ONCA 725. The Court in Aldo contemplated the application of forum selection clauses to third parties in limited circumstances.
The salient facts of the decision in Aldo are as follows. MasterCard entered into a license agreement with a Bank, allowing the Bank to issue credit cards (the “License Agreement”). The License Agreement contained a forum selection clause identifying New York as the … Continue Reading
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, has important implications for both foreign corporations and their Canadian subsidiaries. The decision clarifies the test by which Ontario courts will enforce foreign judgments, and allows enforcement actions to proceed in Ontario where the only hope of recovery is from the Canadian subsidiary of the foreign corporation.… Continue Reading
Can a class settlement that is entered into Ontario, and that purports to be inter-provincial in effect, be enforced in Manitoba? The answer – as a recent Manitoba Court of Appeal decision makes clear — entails a two-step analysis. First, the Ontario court must have properly assumed jurisdiction over the non-resident class members. Second, the Ontario court must have followed the principles of procedural justice, as the Supreme Court of Canada recognized in Canada Post Corp. v. Lepine, 2009 SCC 16. My earlier post on Meeking v. The Cash Store Inc., 2013 MBCA 81, dealt with … Continue Reading
Is an Ontario-based inter-provincial class settlement enforceable in Manitoba? The answer depends in part on whether an Ontario court can properly exercise jurisdiction over non-resident class members. The Manitoba Court of Appeal recently provided guidance on these important issues in the first appellate case to comprehensively address these questions since the Supreme Court of Canada revamped the test for jurisdiction in its Van Breda decision.
The pertinent facts of the decision in Meeking v. Cash Store Inc., 2013 MBCA 81 were as follows. A class action relating to broker fees that were alleged to have been charged by small loan … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
In twelve short paragraphs, the Supreme Court of Canada’s new judgment in Momentous provides helpful guidance on the question of whether a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds may be brought after the delivery of a Statement of Defence. The Court also reaffirms the centrality and uniqueness of the “strong cause” test where a jurisdictional challenge is based on the existence of a forum selection or arbitration clause.
In a recent decision with potentially far-reaching consequences – Red Seal – the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has rejected the so-called “Ragoonanan” principle applicable to class actions. The Ragoonanan principle, which derives from an Ontario case of the same name, requires that for each defendant named in a putative class action, there must be at least one representative plaintiff with a cause of action against it.
Should an Ontario court refuse to assume jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ claims in the face of choice of (foreign) forum and arbitration clauses, even though the non-Ontario defendants attorned to the jurisdiction of the Ontario court? The Supreme Court of Canada will examine this issue when it hears the appeal in Momentous.ca Corporation v. Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball Ltd.
In this case, Rapidz Baseball operated a team in the Can-Am League during the 2008 season, but lost over $1 million and applied under the League’s by-laws to withdraw voluntarily because of financial hardship. The League’s Board of Directors
In Dundee Precious Metals Inc. v. Marsland, Corrick J. dismissed a claim by an Ontario mining company, Dundee, against an employee, Marsland, on the basis that the Ontario courts lacked jurisdiction. Dundee alleged that Marsland misappropriated a mining project in Serbia through the use of improper use of confidential information while working in Bulgaria.