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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. Davies v. The Corporation of the Municipality of Clarington, 2019 ONSC 2292

[1] If there was ever any case that demonstrates how expensive it is to litigate in the 21st Century, this case is the gold standard. Few in this country could afford to litigate a case where the costs sought by Mr. Zuber total close to $7,000,000, and the costs on a partial indemnity sought collectively from the defence total approximately $3,000,000. The magnitude of these costs is brought into focus given that the court’s judgment was for a total recovery by Mr. Zuber of $50,000 plus prejudgment interest.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Hicklin Estate v. Hicklin, 2019 ABCA 136

[120] It is not helpful to equate several meanings for a single word with an ambiguity. Rather, it is more accurate to state that the English language frequently attributes to one word a range of meanings as the language is complex and the correct interpretation depends on the context.[81] This is why extrinsic evidence may assist the court to ascertain the testator’s intentions.

[121] The existence of two plausible meanings of “home” required Justice Yamauchi to adopt the meaning that best promotes the testator’s intention.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Mills, 2019 SCC 22

[44] Here, an undercover police officer conversed with Mr. Mills using Facebook messenger and email. Obviously, Mills did not realize he was talking to someone who was an undercover officer. However, this is no different from someone who unwittingly speaks to an undercover officer in person. Fliss makes clear that individuals conversing orally with an undercover officer are not thereby subject to a search or seizure within the meaning of the Charter, even if they have no reason to believe they are speaking to the police. In this case, Mr. Mills clearly intended for the recipient (who happened to be a police officer) to receive his messages. It would not be reasonable for him to expect otherwise. Because he had no reasonable expectation that his messages would be kept private from the intended recipient, s. 8 is not engaged.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Landry et Provigo Québec inc. (Maxi & Cie), 2011 QCCLP 1802

[69] La Commission des lésions professionnelles retient que chaque commentaire écrit sur Facebook est fait à titre personnel et ne peut engager aucune autre personne que celle qui émet ce commentaire. Il faut distinguer cependant le caractère personnel d’un commentaire du caractère privé de ce commentaire.

[70] Une personne qui détient un compte Facebook permet à ses amis et aux amis de ses amis de prendre connaissance de ses commentaires. Cette personne peut contrôler la liste de ses amis, mais il devient plus difficile de contrôler l’accès à son profil aux amis de ses amis, liste qui peut s’allonger presque à l’infini. Nous sommes donc loin du caractère privé du profil de cette personne et des commentaires qu’elle émet.

(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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