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Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Hay v. Ontario (Human Rights Tribunal), 2014 ONSC 2858

[52] The Vice-Chair concluded that the applicant failed to establish that the decisions to suspend and terminate his appointment were discriminatory. The Commissioner suspended the applicant’s appointment because his comments put into question the appropriateness of his appointment as a First Nations Constable. The suspension allowed the OPP to investigate his conduct. The Commissioner consulted with the Council prior to terminating the applicant’s appointment. While it is unknown whether the Commissioner would have acted differently had the Council taken disciplinary action, the decision to terminate was based on non-discriminatory reasons. The applicant was terminated because he made public allegations against the OPP and other police services while in uniform and on duty. The comments were unsubstantiated because the applicant refused to explain them. The comments fostered disrespect for police officers and potentially placed them at risk. They interfered with the cooperation necessary for police services to work together. The comments were more concerning because they were made by the chief of police. She said that these were the reasons given in the termination letter and that they were not discriminatory.

2. Harry Sherman Crowe Housing Co-operative Inc. v. Benjamin, 2014 ONSC 3744

[44] While the picture is an incomplete one, it does appear that Ms. Benjamin is in a catch-22 situation. Through no fault of her own she now finds herself as a single person occupying a two-bedroom unit. This is a violation of the Occupancy By-law. Knowing this, Ms. Benjamin did what the Occupancy By-law required her to do, and notified the Co-op. The Co-op, however, says that she cannot move to a smaller unit, which she would be more likely able to afford, because she and her mother had moved to the unit she currently occupies less than a year previously. Furthermore, the Co-op says that the applicant is barred by virtue of the fact that she has fallen into arrears (not surprising given the cost of occupancy of the two-bedroom unit). Even if she could overcome these two hurdles, she would still have to fill out the correct form, which the applicant says she has not filed, and she would then have to wait her turn. Indeed, although it is not entirely clear, it may be that her position on the priority list has been negatively impacted by the Co-op having provided incorrect information to Toronto Community Housing.

[45] While the Co-op necessarily has rules that govern the number of occupants, units, transfers and arrears, there is nothing in the record that suggests a recognition by the Board that the respondent’s circumstances were the result of a conflicting intersection of these rules. She should have been extended more of a helping hand. Instead the Co-op moved quickly down the path to an eviction decision.

3. Leroux v. Canada Revenue Agency, 2014 BCSC 720

[318] It is essential to keep in mind that the relationship between Mr. Leroux and the auditors at CRA exists in the context of a self-assessing tax system. Mr. Leroux, like anyone running a business, is obliged to keep proper records and to be able to document and support his tax positions.

[319] While there is no requirement to keep a formal set of accounting records, and Mr. Leroux’s shoe-box approach to record keeping is not prohibited, it put him at a disadvantage once CRA began to look at his documents. According to Ms. Quance and Mr. Hansen’s notes, Mr. Leroux had many obviously personal expenses included with his business expenses. They went through each one, listed them, described them and either accepted them as a business expense or did not, and provided an explanation for each one. Items such as pet supplies, shaving and hair products, restaurant meals (unless bought in Valemount), groceries, candies, ladies clothing and lingerie, toys, tobacco and many other items were disallowed. The auditors were painstaking in their approach, and Mr. Leroux was eventually supplied with all their worksheets. They sent Mr. Leroux the proposal letter in September of 1997 and invited him to reply. He did not.

The most-consulted French-language decision was E.B. c. Warnaco of Canada Inc., 2013 QCCQ 11945

[17] Un fabricant qui met en marché un produit doit aussi s’assurer qu’il peut être utilisé sans danger. La responsabilité du fabricant pour défaut de sécurité du bien qu’invoque M. B… s’applique en faveur d’un tiers[2]. Ici, M. B… bénéficie de la garantie de qualité du bien vendu qui impose au fabricant de s’assurer que son bien est exempt de défaut.

[18] La preuve en l’espèce démontre que le maillot de bain de marque Speedo que M. B… portait au moment de l’incident est affecté d’un défaut.

[19] Le Tribunal a examiné[3] le maillot de bain et constaté le côté tranchant de la bande velcro. Il a également constaté que les fabricants utilisent maintenant une bande de tissu cousue de chaque côté de la braguette, rendant impossible en pratique le contact du pénis avec la bande velcro.

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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