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. Sandu v. Fairmont Hotels and Another, 2014 ONSC 5919

[55] As mentioned above, the contents of the Midnight Log were circulated only within the circle of individuals within Fairmont who were its appropriate recipients. To that extent, the publication of the words complained of was contained.

[56] I accept that Sevillya was upset and embarrassed as a result of the publication. This must be separated, however, from her upset at what she perceived to be mistreatment at the front desk and lack of response by management when she complained.

2. Tossonian v. Cynphany Diamonds Inc., 2014 ONSC 7484

[64] In the present case, I have found that there was an oral agreement of employment which the plaintiff accepted orally on 15 July 2011. It was confirmed by Mr. Zorian’s email of 20 July 2011. A five-year fixed term was not part of that agreement. The actions of the parties do not support a conclusion that there was any variation to the terms of the original agreement prior to the plaintiff taking up his duties. There is no evidence of any further consideration for the subsequent written terms relied upon by the plaintiff, specifically, the five year fixed term.

[65] I would add that whatever Mr. Tossonian’s abilities as a salesman of fine watches and other jewellery, it is improbable that there was ever a mutual intention to evolve him into the ranks of professional athletes, movie stars or recording artists whose contracts of employment are often for fixed terms.

3. MacDonald v. Chicago Title Insurance Company of Canada, 2014 ONSC 7457

[7] As noted above, there is no genuine of issue of fact requiring a trial. In accordance with Hryniak v. Mauldin 2014 SCC 7 (CanLII), [2014] 1 S.C.R. 87, the absence of factual disputes means that the court is in a position to make the necessary findings of fact in a fair and just manner, as part of this motion. In turn, that allows the court at this time to apply the law to the facts and thereby achieve an expeditious and less expensive final determination of the claims for breach of both contractual terms and the duty of good faith.

[8] The respondent’s position that it chooses not to have a summary judgment in its favour is not a tenable position, in my opinion. When a party’s motion leads to the conclusion that there is no genuine issue requiring a trial, an adverse party cannot choose to ignore the benefits to society, to other litigants awaiting their day in court and to the court of the more proportional, more expeditious and less expensive final determination of the issue made fairly and justly in the summary judgment motion. That is because the wording of Rule 20.04(2)(a) is mandatory. As Karakatsanis J. said in Hryniak at paragraph [47], “Summary judgment motions must be granted whenever there is no genuine issue requiring a trial…” The reason for this is because, as Karakatsanis J. explained at paragraph [45], the recent amendments to Rule 20 are designed to transform it from a means of weeding out unmeritorious claims…“to a significant alternative model of adjudication.” In addition, this was the law before the recent amendments which added to R. 20’s dispositive potential: see Whalen et al. v. Hillier et al. (2001), 2001 CanLII 24070 (ON CA), 53 O.R. (3d) 550 (C.A.).

The most-consulted French-language decision was AM c Québec (Emploi et Solidarité sociale), 2013 CanLII 52617 (QC TAQ)

[1] Le Tribunal est saisi d’un recours à l’encontre d’une décision en révision de l’intimée, la ministre de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, du 5 octobre 2009, diminuant, dans un premier temps, les prestations des requérants à 1 152,69 $ à compter du 1er février 2009 et, dans un deuxième temps, leur réclamant solidairement la somme de 25 738,02 $, pour les périodes du 1er octobre 2000 au 31 janvier 2005, du 1er février 2005 au 31 décembre 2007 et du 1er février 2008 au 31 janvier 2009, en raison de revenus de mendicité. Ces revenus n’ayant pas été déclarés et cette omission étant considérée comme étant une fausse déclaration, des frais de recouvrement de 100,00 $ sont ajoutés à la réclamation. Les requérants contestent également ces frais de recouvrement.

* 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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