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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. Pollard Windows Inc. v 1736106 Ontario Inc., 2019 ONSC 4859

[51] In my view, having admitted liability formally, including admitting the facts on which liability was based, it is not open to 1746878 Ontario Inc. to withdraw its admission before this court without leave to now argue that the judge erred in finding it liable for contempt. Mr. Hutton argued that there was no way for his client to apologize to the court for its contempt without an admission of liability. So, he argues, the admission should not be held against the client now. That argument denudes the admission and apology of any content. An admission of liability is not required to make an apology. It could have been worded with a reservation. That might well have limited its utility in mitigation of sentence. But one cannot admit liability and take responsibility for acts while the next day asserting that the acts were committed by others and were not the responsibility of the speaker.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Hunt v. Peel Mutual Insurance Company, 2019 ONCA 656

[6] The plain and ordinary meaning of section 239(1)(a) precludes recovery. It makes clear that to be covered, an occupant’s liability must be for loss or damage arising from the use or operation of the automobile. Even though Amealia’s injuries arose from the use of a vehicle, Mr. Hunt’s liability for her loss or damage does not. His liability is alleged to arise from negligent parenting, not from anything he did or did not do as an occupant connected to the use or operation of the automobile. When the motion judge spoke of the absence of a causal connection this is what he was alluding to – the statutory requirement that the occupant’s liability must be caused by or connected to the use or operation of the automobile.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Kearns v. Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, 2019 ONSC 4946

[26] When I apply these principles to the Minutes of Settlement, I conclude that there is no ambiguity in the written terms, and that the Minutes of Settlement include all terms essential to the formation of a contract. The words “[i]n addition to amounts already paid” are not ambiguous. The plaintiff had already been paid certain amounts by the defendant and the meaning of these words is clear that the amounts to be paid under the Minutes of Settlement are in addition to the amounts already paid. The problem is not one of ambiguity. The problem, from the defendant’s perspective, is that when it entered into the Minutes of Settlement, the persons with authority to commit to the terms of settlement did not know that the November 23, 2018 payment had been made to the plaintiff.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Droit de la famille — 191677, 2019 QCCA 1386

[68] Bien que le juge de première instance ait cru utile d’exposer son point de vue sur la triple filiation en détail – quant à son inexistence en droit québécois et à l’opportunité pressante de la reconnaître à titre de lex ferenda – je m’abstiendrai de le faire ici. Je prends bonne note que la Cour, dans des circonstances fort différentes des nôtres, a pu observer que le droit positif ne la consacre pas formellement[9]. Aussi suis-je sensible aux arguments de texte qui laissent croire que le législateur n’admet pas la tri-parenté[10]. Si certaines provinces canadiennes s’ouvrent à la possibilité qu’un enfant ait trois parents[11], le droit civil québécois diffère du droit positif applicable ailleurs au pays en la matière. D’une part, l’établissement de la filiation par la loi, dans ce contexte, ne laisse que peu ou pas de place au pouvoir discrétionnaire du juge au Québec et, d’autre part, la distinction qui nous concerne ici – entre parenté et parentalité – s’articule autrement en common law[12]. À cet égard, je note que la réforme que propose le juge de première instance au législateur afin de faire reconnaître plus de deux parents à un enfant en droit divise les esprits et, me semble-t-il, appelle à une réflexion que l’on ne peut faire à partir du dossier tel que présenté devant la Cour. D’ailleurs, la conclusion à laquelle j’arrive en l’espèce, soit que X a deux parents en vertu des règles de la filiation par procréation assistée, ne m’oblige pas à entrer davantage dans ce débat.

(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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