Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, SupremeAdvocacyLett@r, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with). For leaves, both the date the S.C.C. granted leave and the date of the C.A. judgment below are added in, in case you want to track and check out the C.A. judgment. (April 12 – May 8, 2014 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Murder 1; Parole Ineligibility
R. v. Jackson (Ont. C.A., Oct. 17, 2013)(35622) Judgment rendered Apr. 23, 2014
Abella J.: — “… [no] basis for interfering with the reasons of Gillese J.A. and, in particular, with her conclusion that the trial judge made no error in determining that the minimal probative value of the proposed evidence was substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect”.


Access to Information: Confidential Provisions for Sex Offenders
Ontario (Community Safety and) v. Ontario (Information and Privacy)(Ont. C.A, June 4, 2012)(34949) Apr. 24, 2014

Upon request to a provincial Sex Offender Registry, the Information and Privacy Commissioner held privacy exemptions do not apply and ordered disclosure. The S.C.C. held the Commissioner made no reviewable error in ordering disclosure, and reasonably concluded disclosure could not lead to the identification of offenders or home addresses and the Ministry did not provide sufficient evidence of the risk of the harms which the relied-on exemptions seek to prevent. The reasonableness standard will generally apply to a tribunal interpreting its home statute or statutes closely connected to its function.

Access to Information: Disclosure
John Doe v. Ontario (Finance) (Ont. C.A., Feb 24, 2012) (34828)
Policy options prepared in the process of government decision-making, whether communicated or not, are within the meaning of “advice or recommendations” in s. 13(1) and qualify for exemption from disclosure.

Civil Procedure in Quebec: Settlement Privilege v. Mediation Confidentiality
Union Carbide Canada Inc. v. Bombardier Inc. (Que. C.A., July 17, 2012)(35008) May 8, 2014
Although it was open to the parties to contract out of the exception to settlement privilege, they did not do so in this case.

Constitutional Law: Senate Reform
Senate Reference(Order in Council P.C. 2013-70, Feb. 1, 2013)(35203) Apr. 25, 2014
Parliament cannot unilaterally achieve most of the proposed changes to the Senate, requiring the consent of at least seven provinces representing, in the aggregate, at least half of the population of all the provinces; abolition requires consent of all of the provinces and can only be done with unanimous federal-provincial consensus.

Maritime Law: Cap on Damages; Statutory Insurance Exclusions
Peracomo Inc. v. TELUS Communications Co.(Fed C.A., June 29, 2012)(34991) Apr. 23, 2014
The S.C.C. held:

  • defendant here cannot limit his liability if “committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result” (art. 4); and the loss is excluded from insurance coverage if attributable to “wilful misconduct”
  • limit on liability under the maritime Convention applies
  • defendant’s conduct does not meet the very high level of fault such that he loses the benefit of the Convention’s limit on liability, but does constitute wilful misconduct for insurance purposes.

Municipal Law in Quebec: Non-Conforming Uses; Promissory Estoppel
Immeubles Robitaille inc. v. Québec (City) (Que. C.A., Feb 7, 2013)(35295) May 2, 2014
Estoppel is unavailable to avoid the application of a clear legislative provision, including, as in the instant case, one that establishes a strict liability regulatory offence; the facts of this case support neither the due diligence defence nor the defence of officially induced error.

Occupational Health & Safety: Pregnancy
Dionne v. Commission scolaire des Patriotes et al. (Que.C.A, Apr. 2, 2012)(34854) May 1, 2014
The pregnancy of a supply teacher is not an incapacity that prevents her from performing her work, but where the workplace is a dangerous environment, that triggers her statutory right to substitute that work with a safe task or withdraw.


Bankruptcy: Driving Tolls
How are highway driving tolls dealt with on bankruptcy.
407 ETR Concession Company Limited v. Superintendent of Bankruptcy (Ont. C.A., Dec. 19, 2013)(35696) May 8, 2014

Should there be extradition in these two (related) cases.
David Caplin v. Ministre de la justice du Canada (Que. C.A., July 31, 2013)(35527); Attorney General of Canada v. Anthony Barnaby (Que. C.A., July 31, 2013)(35548) May 8, 2014

Immigration: Refugees
Publication ban in this case, in the context of refugee/people smuggling.
B306 v. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Fed. C.A., Nov. 12, 2013)(35685) Apr. 17, 2014

Immigration: Refugees
Publication ban in the context of refugee/people smuggling.
J.P., G.J. v. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Fed C.A., Nov. 12, 2013)(35688) Apr. 17, 2014

Immigration: Refugees
Is a people smuggling organizer inadmissible by reason of criminality.
J.R.H. v. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Fed. C.A., Nov. 12, 2013)(35677) Apr. 17, 2014

Human Rights: (Alleged) Discrimination
To what extent do U.S. pilot training security restrictions have to be followed in Canada.
Commission des droits de la personne et al. v. Bombardier Inc., et al. (Que. C.A., Sept . 24, 2013)(35625) May 1, 2014


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