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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. Valard Construction Ltd v Bird Construction Company, 2016 ABCA 249

[26] The appellant does not dispute the fact that it had the means to legally compel the respondent to provide information about a bond under s 33 of Alberta’s Builders’ Lien Act. Nor does it suggest ignorance of its general rights under a labour and material payment bond, or the need for timely notice to be given under such an instrument. The appellant’s knowledge and ability to independently, legally compel information from entities it explicitly knew possessed the ability to confirm or refute the existence of a bond, in circumstances where the appellant was aware of the possibility that such a bond may exist, wholly distinguishes the appellant’s situation from that of an infant who has no means whatsoever of learning of the existence of a trust in their favour, except and unless the trustee informs them of the trust’s existence. Infant beneficiaries ignorant of a trust will necessarily remain ignorant, by force of circumstance, until informed otherwise by some person completely unknown to them. In contrast, the appellant remained ignorant of the existence of its entitlement to claim under this specific labour and material payment bond because the appellant elected not to make inquiries, all the while knowing that such inquiries would definitively confirm or refute the existence of a bond. In sum, the infant beneficiaries possessed no independent ability to obtain necessary information; the appellant did.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Brown v Cassidy, 2016 ONSC 5446

[80] The doctrine of caveat emptor [ “let the buyer beware” ] applies to residential real estate transactions in Ontario. The underlying rationale for the doctrine rests on a policy decision as to which party should bear the risk of any deficiencies in property purchased. In general, that risk is to be borne by the purchaser unless the circumstances fall within recognized exceptions. The buyer may otherwise protect him or herself by contractual terms.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Dhaliwal, 2016 ONCA 652

[13] Asking the appellant, in front of the jury to provide his “theory” of the case or to explain the evidence against him undermined the presumption of innocence. Permitting the Crown to ask the question, and requiring the appellant to answer it, could only have led the jury to believe that he had some obligation to provide a “theory”. The line of questioning should not have been permitted.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Moisan c. Simard, 2008 QCCA 505

[19] Il m’apparaît difficilement concevable dans ces conditions que l’on saisisse une formation de trois juges de la Cour d’appel afin qu’ils se penchent sur des milliers de pages de transcription et de documentation diverse, alors qu’à ce stade de l’instance ils ne pourront connaître qu’une infime fraction de ce qui était connu du juge de première instance lorsqu’il a statué, et ce, dans le seul but de les amener à revisiter des questions de pertinence ou de proportionnalité dont il est très possible qu’elles ne laissent aucune trace dans le dossier lors de l’instruction au fond. À mon sens, le principe de proportionnalité, en supposant qu’il soit applicable à autre chose que des « actes de procédure », impose de faire le contraire de ce que souhaitent les requérants, afin que « le déroulement harmonieux et efficace de l’instance » (voir Weinberg c. Cinar Corporation, 2006 QCCA 1283 (CanLII), paragr. 4-7) se poursuive sans délai additionnel en première instance. C’est en tout cas ce que requièrent ici les fins de la justice.

(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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