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. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65

[1] This appeal and its companion cases (see Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 66 (CanLII)), provide this Court with an opportunity to re-examine its approach to judicial review of administrative decisions.

[2] In these reasons, we will address two key aspects of the current administrative law jurisprudence which require reconsideration and clarification. First, we will chart a new course forward for determining the standard of review that applies when a court reviews the merits of an administrative decision. Second, we will provide additional guidance for reviewing courts to follow when conducting reasonableness review. The revised framework will continue to be guided by the principles underlying judicial review that this Court articulated in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9 (CanLII), [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190: that judicial review functions to maintain the rule of law while giving effect to legislative intent. We will also affirm the need to develop and strengthen a culture of justification in administrative decision making.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 66

[80] We are of the view that the applicable standard of review is reasonableness and that the CRTC’s decision was reasonable. As we point out in our concurring reasons in Vavilov, the majority’s framework disregards the significance of specialized expertise and results in broad application of the standard of correctness. It does so based solely on the premise that appeal clauses reflect the legislature’s intention that all questions of law be reviewed by a court on the basis of correctness. Since there is an appeal clause in the Broadcasting Act, the majority says the Court is entitled to substitute its opinion for that of the CRTC. This case demonstrates the fundamental flaws of such an approach.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Canada Post Corp. v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers, 2019 SCC 67

[1] This appeal concerns an application for judicial review of a decision by the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada (“OHSTC”). The administrative decision maker was tasked with interpreting a provision of the Canada Labour Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. L‑2 (“Code”), to determine whether the employer, Canada Post Corporation (“Canada Post”), complied with its work place health and safety obligations. He determined that Canada Post was not in contravention of its work place inspection obligation under the Code. The application for judicial review was dismissed at the Federal Court, and allowed on appeal.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Aloise Hoch, 2019 QCCA 2182

[24] Il faut revenir ici au texte de l’article 7(7) qui constitue, je le rappelle, une exception au principe de la territorialité des lois établi à l’article 6(2)[20] et qui doit, en conséquence, être interprété restrictivement. Le texte de l’article 7(7) ne saurait être plus clair. Si le procureur général du Canada ne donne pas son consentement au plus tard huit jours après que la poursuite a été engagée, il est mis fin à celle-ci. La version anglaise est toute aussi limpide : « no proceedings […] shall be continued […] ».

(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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