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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. Canada (Attorney General) v E.F., 2016 ABCA 155

[28] Canada acknowledges that nowhere in paragraph 127 is there a reference, express or otherwise, to the “illness, condition or disability” of the applicant being terminal, nor to the applicant being at or near the end of life. A legislative background document published by the Canadian government and provided to the court by counsel for Canada notes that the declaration describes a broad right, that the terms used to describe it, such as “grievous and irremediable medical condition”, are not defined but could include conditions that are not life-threatening or terminal, and that the declaration is framed largely in terms of subjective criteria[1].

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Cozzi v Heerdegen, 2016 ONSC 3082

[1] The appellant, who is a lawyer, brought an action in Small Claims Court against the defendant seeking damages in the amount of $14,933.22 for breach of contract. The contractual obligation arose from a written retainer agreement in relation to legal work performed by the plaintiff for the defendant. The agreement was a very simple one. It sets out the work to be done by the solicitor and certain other obligations of the parties. However, with respect to fees, it does nothing more than stipulate an hourly rate.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. McGuffie, 2016 ONCA 365

[71] A trial judge’s failure to expressly refer to an applicable legal principle, or a factor relevant to a decision, does not necessarily mean that the judge did not consider that principle or factor. In this case, however, I am satisfied that the trial judge’s failure to refer to the impact of the breaches on the appellant’s Charter-protected rights does demonstrate a failure to consider that impact. The trial judge never identified the Charter-protected interests affected by the multiple Charter breaches. He made no assessment of the extent to which those interests were compromised by the specific breaches. In my view, the trial judge failed entirely to consider the impact of the breaches on the appellant in assessing whether the admission of the evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301) c. Biondi, 2016 QCCA 831

[27] En définitive, aussi tentante que soit l’offre du requérant dans les circonstances, en raison de son caractère éminemment pragmatique, je partage l’avis de l’intimée. Le fait d’offrir un cautionnement, si généreux soit-il, ne peut à lui seul justifier la suspension de l’effet d’un arrêt de la Cour. S’il fallait que ce soit le cas, cela neutraliserait en pratique, dans bien des cas, les conditions établies par la jurisprudence en matière de sursis. Sans doute est-il exact de dire que, en l’espèce, un tel cautionnement ferait en sorte d’éviter tout préjudice à l’intimée et aux autres réclamants. Toutefois, les critères établis par la jurisprudence (à commencer par la Cour suprême[10]) ne sont pas ceux-là. La règle n’est pas que le sursis peut être ordonné lorsqu’il se fait dans des conditions telles qu’il ne cause aucun préjudice à la partie adverse et n’entraîne que l’inconvénient de ne pas profiter immédiatement d’un arrêt qui l’avantage. Elle est plutôt la suivante : le sursis ne peut être ordonné que si les questions soulevées sont sérieuses, le préjudice lié à l’exécution important, voire irréparable, les inconvénients de l’exécution l’emportant sur ceux du sursis. En l’espèce, les deux premières conditions ne sont pas remplies et cela suffit pour que la requête soit rejetée.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* 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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