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Category Archives: This Week at the SCC

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This Week at the SCC (21/11/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

This was a busy week at the Court, with the release of one oral decision, and eight leave-to-appeal rulings, all likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professionals.

The Court granted an oral decision in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, 2014 SCC 70.  The SCC reversed the ruling of the BCCA on the grounds that the lower court had failed to give adequate deference to an arbitrator’s interpretation of a collective agreement, and had failed to recognize the differences between the purposes underlying pregnancy benefits and parental benefits.… Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (31/10/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada this week issued a judgment in one case, granted leave to appeal in one case, and denied leave to appeal in one case of interest to Canadian businesses.

In Thibodeau v. Air Canada, 2014 SCC 67, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the claims of airline passengers arising from a breach of an airline’s obligation to provide services in French under the federal Official Languages Act was precluded by the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air.Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (24/10/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court this week issued a number of leave-to-appeal rulings likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professionals.  Four such leave-to-appeal requests were refused, and one was remanded.

The following applications were refused:

  • Leave-to-appeal from the Alberta ruling in Somji v. Wilson, 2014 ABCA 35, was dismissed.  The Court of Appeal had affirmed the striking of claims against both (i) a trial judge (who had granted default judgment against the appellants), and (ii) the respondents (who were alleged to have acted deceitfully in obtaining the default judgment).
  • Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (17/10/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada released one judgment this week of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Imperial Oil v. Jacques, 2014 SCC 66, the Court held that a private litigant can request the disclosure of recordings of private communications from third parties to the civil action, which were intercepted by the government during a criminal investigation, without the consent of either of the communicating parties.… Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (03/10/2014)

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

Posted in Case Comments, This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a judgment in one case and denied leave to appeal in another case of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), a majority of the Court ruled that a provincial rule requiring the payment of court hearing fees, with limited exemptions, was unconstitutional, as it infringed litigants’ right to access to justice.  The majority of the Court ruled that, in order to pass constitutional muster, such fees cannot be so high as to cause litigants to “sacrifice reasonable expenses in order to … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (26/09/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in one case, and refused leave in several other cases, likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

The Court granted leave from the ruling of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Lemare Lake Logging Ltd v 3L Cattle Company Ltd, 2014 SKCA 35.  That constitutional law decision had addressed the alleged operational conflict between the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Saskatchewan Farm Security Act, regarding the appointment of a receiver.   The Court of Appeal had found the provincial enactment to be inoperative pursuant … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (19/09/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada released judgment this week in a trilogy of cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Bank of Montreal v. Marcotte, 2014 SCC 55, Amex Bank of Canada v. Adams, 2014 SCC 56 and Marcotte v. Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, 2014 SCC 57, the Court upheld class action trial judgments against several financial institutions in which consumers recovered conversion charges that the defendants imposed upon credit card purchases made in foreign currencies.  The defendants were found not to have complied with certain disclosure required in the Quebec … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (27/06/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

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

This Week at the SCC (13/06/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada issued two rulings, granted two leave to appeal applications, and dismissed three applications for leave to appeal, in cases likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professionals.

In R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the police engaged in an unconstitutional search and seizure when they obtained from an Internet service provider — without prior judicial authorization — the subscriber information associated with an IP address.… Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (06/06/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

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 at the SCC (30/05/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal this week from two appeals of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

The first, Transalta Corporation v. Canada, 2013 FCA 285, held that a taxpayer who successfully appeals a tax assessment after making a failed settlement offer to the Minister of National Revenue is not automatically entitled to substantial indemnity costs in the Tax Court, even if the outcome of the appeal is more favourable than the terms of the settlement rejected by the Minister.  The Federal Court of Appeal found that the Tax Court judge retained full discretion … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (16/05/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

This was a busy week at the Supreme Court of Canada, with numerous developments likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses.

A very significant labour law appeal — Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, on appeal from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal — was argued on May 16, 2014.  At issue was a Charter challenge to two pieces of provincial legislation.  The statutes had, respectively, (i) introduced restrictions on the ability of public sector workers who provide essential services to engage in strike activity, and (ii) changed existing provincial labour legislation to make it more difficult for unions … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (02/05/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

This week the Supreme Court of Canada released two decisions and granted leave to appeal in one case likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses.

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Quebec Court of Appeal in Immeubles Jacques Robitaille inc. v. Québec (City), 2014 SCC 34. The appellant developer had challenged an offence notice issued by the municipality for permitting or tolerating non-conforming parking use contrary to the municipality’s zoning and planning by-law. The developer, in challenging the notice, relied in part on acquired rights based on the use of the parking lot. The question … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (25/04/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada released three judgments this week of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

The first, Peracomo Inc. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2014 SCC 29, involved an action against a crab fisherman and his company brought after he deliberately cut a cable lying on a river bottom which, unbeknownst to him, was a live fiber-optic cable co-owned or used by several of the plaintiffs.  The defendant relied on s. 29 of the federal Marine Liability Act, which limits liability for property damage caused by the operation of ships of the defendant’s class to $500,000.  … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (18/04/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal this week in two cases of interest to Canadian business.

In Re Nortel Networks Corporation, the Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appeal a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal addressing whether a stay of proceedings granted under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act stays remediation orders issued by the Ministry of the Environment.

Leave to appeal was also declined by the Supreme Court of Canada in Association des pompiers professionnels de Québec inc. c. Québec (Ville de), an administrative law case emanating from the Quebec Court … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (11/04/2014)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in one case, and denied leave to appeal in two other cases, all likely to be of interest to Canadian business.

The Court granted leave to appeal from the Alberta ruling in Atco Gas and Pipelines Ltd. v Alberta, 2013 ABCA 310.   Under the applicable regime for setting consumer rates, the Alberta Utilities Commission has the power to consider expenditures undertaken by the regulated company.  At issue was the extent to which the cost-of-living adjustments owing under the company’s pension plans could be claimed by the company.  The … Continue Reading

The Second Opinion: This Week at the Supreme Court of Canada (07/05/2014) Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada through an Unrelated Canadian Subsidiary

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

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

This Week at the SCC (28/03/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal from two cases of interest to Canadian businesses, particularly insurers.

The application for leave to appeal in Malhotra v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 2013 ONCA 326 concerns two orders appointing an umpire under s. 128 of the Ontario Insurance Act. The dispute was in respect to five properties owned by the applicant, Ms. Malhotra, and insured by the respondent.

The applicant maintained that each property required a separate umpire be appointed but the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the decisions appointing a single umpire for … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (21/03/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada released one judgment this week of significant interest to the legal profession.

In Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21, a 6-1 majority ruled that the appointment of the Honourable Marc Nadon and his swearing-in as a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada were void ab initio, and that he remains a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal.  The Court clarified that s. 6 of the Supreme Court Act, which requires that three of its nine judges be appointed “from among the judges of … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (14/03/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal this week from one case of interest to Canadian businesses and professions: Thompson v. Canada (National Revenue), 2013 FCA 197.  The Thompson appeal concerns whether a lawyer who received a Requirement to produce information under s. 231.2(1) of the Income Tax Act relating to his accounts receivable can be compelled to divulge the names of his clients.  The Court will be asked to determine whether s. 231.2(1) gives lawyers the opportunity to resist disclosure by first establishing that solicitor-client privilege protects the names of their individual clients before a … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (07/03/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal this week in one case of interest to Canadian businesses.

In Springdale Pizza Depot Ltd. et al v. 2189205 Ontario Inc. et al, the Supreme Court of Canada  declined to grant leave to appeal from an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which addressed the availability of the right of set-off in the context of a statutory right of rescission in Ontario’s franchise legislation.

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 Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (31/01/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada this week released two judgments of interest to Canadian businesses and professions, the first dealing with the scope of the ”unlawful means” required to ground the tort of interference with economic relations and the second addressing the permissable use of a pension surplus.

In A.I. Enterprises Ltd. v. Bram Enterprises Ltd., 2014 SCC 12, the Supreme Court brought some clarity to the so-called “unlawful means” tort, affirming a narrow definition of “unlawful means”. There has been an ongoing debate in Canada as to whether “unlawful means” encompassed any act without legal justification or only … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (17/01/14)

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

Posted in This Week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada rendered judgment in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello, 2014 SCC 1, a case of great interest to Canadian businesses.  Vivendi involved the “commonality” of issues test for authorizing class actions in Quebec.  The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Quebec test for “commonality” was broader and more flexible than its common law counterparts.  A similar question of fact or law is, the Court ruled, “common” if it resolves a “not insignificant portion of the dispute”.  Common issues need not lead to common answers.  Moreover, the Court ruled that the multitude of legal schemes … Continue Reading