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. Ernst v. Alberta Energy Regulator, 2017 SCC 1

[1] The appellant, Ms. Ernst, claims that a quasi-judicial, regulatory board, the Alberta Energy Regulator (the “Board”), breached her right to freedom of expression under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She brought a claim against the Board for damages as an “appropriate and just” remedy under s. 24(1) of the Charter for that alleged breach. The Board applied to strike this claim on the basis, among others, that it is protected by an immunity clause which precludes all claims in relation to the Board’s actions purportedly done pursuant to the legislation which the Board administers.

[2] Ms. Ernst’s position, in both her factum and oral argument, is that this immunity provision is unconstitutional because it purports to bar her claim for Charter damages. She submits that the only issue on this appeal is whether the immunity clause is constitutionally inapplicable or inoperable to the extent that it bars a claim against the Board for Charter damages. She accepts, as the Alberta courts found, that the immunity clause on its face bars her claim; the issue she brings to the Court is whether this immunity clause is unconstitutional to the extent that it does so.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Ozerdinc Family Trust et al v Gowling et al, 2017 ONSC 6

[2] The Defendants have admitted that the Defendant Mark Siegel fell below the standard of care of a reasonably prudent tax lawyer in regards to some of the Plaintiff’s allegations and the Defendant Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP is liable for the acts or omissions of the Defendant, Mark Siegel. The Defendants specifically do not admit the issue of causality and claim that the damages were caused by the Third Party. Consequently, the Defendants have brought a Cross-Motion seeking an order that certain issues relating to causation and damages be heard by the same trial judge.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27

[1] Timely justice is one of the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. In the criminal law context, it takes on special significance. Section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms attests to this, in that it guarantees the right of accused persons “to be tried within a reasonable time”.

[2] Moreover, the Canadian public expects their criminal justice system to bring accused persons to trial expeditiously. As the months following a criminal charge become years, everyone suffers. Accused persons remain in a state of uncertainty, often in pre-trial detention. Victims and their families who, in many cases, have suffered tragic losses cannot move forward with their lives. And the public, whose interest is served by promptly bringing those charged with criminal offences to trial, is justifiably frustrated by watching years pass before a trial occurs.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Ville de Montréal c. Centre islamique Badr, 2017 QCCS 57

[2] La Ville soutient que les activités religieuses que tient le CIB à cet endroit constituent un usage dérogatoire au règlement de zonage en vigueur (règlement de zonage no. 1886)[2].

[3] Ce qui pose problème selon la Ville, ce sont les rassemblements pour la prière quotidienne mais surtout l’achalandage généré par les cérémonies religieuses du vendredi et davantage pendant le Ramadan. Les voisins qui opèrent des commerces sur le boulevard Langelier se plaignent d’une problématique de stationnement aux heures auxquelles se tiennent ces activités religieuses.

(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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