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

Defamation Law – Quebec Court of Appeal Reiterates the Fine Line Between Defamatory and Reasonably Fair Comments

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

Today we comment on a recent judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal adding to the infinite quest for a fair balance between freedom of speech and protection of reputation. This case reiterates the fine line between a reasonably fair and a defamatory comment. Clients questioning the appropriateness of comments they are about to make in the public sphere are welcome to seek our opinion. As one of the parties in this case submitted a leave application to the Supreme Court of Canada, this case is being closely monitored.… Continue Reading

Chevron Corp v. Yaiguaje: SCC Decision Highlights Increased Litigation Risk for Canadian Companies for Misdeeds of their Foreign Affiliates

Posted in Case Comments, International rights

The Supreme Court of Canada’s most recent decision in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje has significantly increased the litigation risk for companies with assets in Canada from plaintiffs seeking to enforce foreign judgments obtained against the foreign affiliates of such companies. The SCC decision in Chevron will have significant cross-border implications, as enforcement in Canada can now be pursued against foreign companies and their Canadian affiliates even if neither party to the original dispute has a “real and substantial” connection to Canada.… Continue Reading

Negligence of Public Authorities – “We have been using a screwdriver to turn a bolt”, Federal Court of Appeal says

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments

The majority decision (Stratas and Nadon, J.A.) of the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) in Paradis Honey Ltd. v. Canada, 2015 FCA 89 calls for a complete overhaul of the law governing public authority liability. In a surprising obiter, the Court expressed its view that the well-known analytical framework used for negligence is an anomaly when applied to public authorities, and that the last decades of case law using private law tools to solve public law problems should be revisited. The case can be seen as an open invitation for the Supreme Court of Canada to grant leave … Continue Reading

Illegal Contracts Does Not Preclude Discrimination Claims

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

In Hounga v Allen, the U.K. Supreme Court addressed an issue that has not received much attention from the courts recently: the defence of illegality, also called the “ex turpi causa” doctrine. The U.K. Supreme Court had the opportunity to shed light on this defense in the context of employment discrimination towards an illegal immigrant.

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Summary Judgment – The Cultural Shift Has Started

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Energy, Manufacturing, Torts

Earlier this year we discussed on this blog the new “sufficient appreciation test” set out by the Supreme Court in Hryniak v. Mauldin, which really represents a cultural shift in the availability of summary judgment to the parties.

In Windsor v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., 2014 ABCA 108, the Alberta Court of Appeal applied the test to a certified class action about Rylands v. Fletcher liability.

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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 a reporting issuer which must comply with continuous disclosure obligations. In 2009, Thera filed an application to the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to commercialize a major drug called Tesamoreline. In the course of the approval process, on May 25, 2010, the FDA … Continue Reading

NZSC Provides Guidance on Litigation Funding Agreements

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Torts

The New Zealand Supreme Court rendered an interesting decision on litigation funding agreements, more specifically on the extent to which they may be invalid based on abuse of process. Litigation funding agreements are a big issue in Canada right now, particularly in the context of class actions.


In Waterhouse v. Contractors Bonding Limited ([2013] NZSC 89) the Supreme Court of New Zealand considered whether the plaintiffs should be ordered to disclose a litigation funding agreement under the abuse of process principles.

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Notices of Termination Likely to be Revisited by the Supreme Court of Canada

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Labour and Employment

Last week, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal from an important Quebec Court of Appeal decision on labour standards, which may bring significant changes in the interpretation of the law on notices of termination (or délai-congé) for employment contracts.

In the facts of the case, Mr. Guay (hereinafter “the employee”) worked for Asphalte Desjardins Inc. (hereinafter “the employer”) from 1994 to 2008, moving up through the company ranks and ending up as a project manager. In February 2008, when the employee presented his employer with a resignation letter intending to leave on March 7, 2008, the employer unsuccessfully tried

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What is the scope of confidentiality included in the solicitor-client privilege?

Posted in Case Comments, Procedural Rights, Solicitor-Client Privilege

In Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Information Commissioner of Canada, 2013 FCA 104, the Federal Court of Appeal provides a useful reminder of the extent to which the solicitor-client privilege applies to policies agreed upon by several parties.


At the core of this decision is a request made to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) and the Department of Justice of Canada (“DOJ”) under the Access to Information Act. This request aimed at obtaining a Protocol that sets out the respective roles of the RCMP and the Attorney General, as well as the procedures to … Continue Reading

Is one “common issue” enough to authorize a class action in Canada? SCC grants leave to appeal in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello

Posted in Case Previews, Class Actions, Labour and Employment

On August 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal from the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello, a case concerning the requirement that there be “identical, similar, or related questions of law or fact” when authorizing a class action in Quebec. While this requirement is found in article 1003(a) of Quebec’s Code of Civil Procedure, an analogous “common issues” requirement applies on certification in other provinces as well. Accordingly, the Vivendi appeal could have important implications for class actions throughout Canada.

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SCC Addresses Test for “Federal Undertakings” under the Constitution

Posted in Case Comments, Constitutional, Labour and Employment

When do parties qualify as federal transportation undertakings for purpose of s. 92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867? This question arose in Tessier v. Québec (Commission de la santé et sécurité du travail), the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision rendered on May 17, 2012.

This case differs from those previously decided by the SCC, in that it is the first time the SCC had the opportunity to assess the constitutional implications which arise when the employees performing the work do not form a discrete unit and are instead fully integrated into the related operation.

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How Clear Must the Legislature Be to Set Aside a Final Judgment?

Posted in Case Previews, Labour and Employment

Rachel LaferrièreThe Supreme Court of Canada (Deschamps, Abella, Cromwell JJ.) has granted leave in a pension litigation case, in which the Court could potentially revisit the principles underlying democratic dialogue. This case may offer the Supreme Court the opportunity to provide an updated statement on the doctrines of retroactivity and res judicata, particularly on the differences between the authority of final judgments and the “cogency” of final judgments. It may also explain the impact of an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the status of a case. This appeal may also deal with

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Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

En fait, non. Vos chances de gagner étaient de 1 sur 120 millions. Le 28 février 2012, la Cour suprême du Canada a établi un test pour la publicité trompeuse et a rendu un arrêt de principe qui devrait engendrer d’importantes discussions partout au Canada.


En 1999, M. Richard reçu un avis officiel du concours Sweepstakes par courrier. En grosses lettres majuscules et en caractères gras, l’avis mentionnait« [TRADUCTION]NOUS AVONS MAINTENANT LES RÉSULTATS FINAUX DU CONCOURS : M. JEAN-MARC RICHARD A GAGNÉ LA SOMME DE 833 337 $ EN ARGENT COMPTANT!Continue Reading


Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

Rachel LaferrièreActually, not. The odds of your winning are one in 120 million. On February 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada established the test for misleading advertising and rendered a landmark decision that will generate important discussions all across Canada.


In 1999, Mr. Richard received an “Official Sweepstakes Notification” in the mail. In large, bold, capitalized letters, the notification proclaimed “OUR SWEEPSTAKES RESULTS ARE NOW FINAL: MR JEAN MARC RICHARD HAS WON A CASH PRIZE OF $833,337.00!”

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SCC to Determine Whether an Order to Clean is a Claim under the CCAA

Posted in Bankruptcy and Debt, Case Previews, Constitutional, Energy

On November 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case challenging the constitutionality and applicability of several sections of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to provincial environmental statutes. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the “Province”) compels AbitibiBowater Inc. to clean up industrial sites that the company once owned and operated in the province.

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