Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (September 21 – October 24, 2018 inclusive).

Oral Judgment

Criminal Law: Impaired
R. v. Cyr-Langlois, 2017 QCCA 1033 ; 2018 SCC (37760)

The Chief Justice: “A majority of the judges of the Court would allow the appeal, although Côté J. would dismiss it. As a result, the appeal is allowed, the verdict of acquittal is set aside and a new trial is ordered. Reasons will follow.”


Aboriginal Law: Duty to Consult
Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), 2018 SCC 40 (37441)

The duty to consult does not apply to the law-making process.

Civil Liability: Prudence & Diligence Obligations; Exclusion Clauses
3091 5177 Québec inc. (Éconolodge Aéroport) v. Lombard General Insurance Co. of Canada, 2018 SCC 43 (37421)(37422)

The Court of Appeal erred in intervening and the judgment of the Court of Québec should be restored. The finding by the courts below that Éconolodge is liable for the theft of the car insured by Axa does not warrant intervention by the S.C.C., so the appeal of 3091 5177 Québec inc. against Axa in file 37421 is dismissed with costs. The trial judge did not make any palpable and overriding error reviewable on appeal in finding keys were handed over solely for the purpose of snow removal, and this was insufficient to transfer custody and control to Éconolodge. Since the exclusion clause in Éconolodge’s liability insurance policy is inapplicable on the facts, the appeal of 3091 5177 Québec inc. against Lombard in file 37421 as well as Promutuel’s appeal against the same insurer in file 37422 is allowed with costs throughout. The trial judge’s decision ordering Lombard to pay damages, interest and the additional indemnity to 3091 5177 Québec inc. and Promutuel is restored.

Constitutional Law: Parliamentary Privilege; Scope
Chagnon v. Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec, 2018 SCC 39 (37543)

Staff dismissals here are not protected by parliamentary privilege.

Leaves to appeal granted

Criminal Law: Conspiracy; Co-conspirator Hearsay
R. v. Kelsie, 2017 NSCA 89 (38129)

Is the first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder convictions appropriate, and how is co-conspirator hearsay to be handled.

Environmental Law: Downstream Pollution; Corporate Transfers
Resolute FP Canada Inc. v. R., 2017 ONCA 1007 (37985)

Who is liable for downstream pollution in a multiple corporate transfer context.

Intellectual Property/Copyright/Internet: Norwich Orders; Costs
Rogers Communications Inc. v. Voltage Pictures, LLC, et al., 2018 SCC 38 (37679)

ISP’s are entitled to be compensated for reasonable costs incurred to comply with Norwich orders (Voltage Pictures (2015)), but not every cost. Where costs should have been borne by an ISP in performing its statutory obligations under s. 41.26(1), these costs cannot be characterized as either reasonable or as arising from compliance with a Norwich order.

Tax: GST
Canada (Attorney General) v. British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, 2018 BCCA 47 (38059)

Whether B.C.’s agreement to pay GST/HST binds a B.C. Crown corporation.

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