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. Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2020 ABCA 74

[21] For reasons explained in detail below, the regulation of GHG emissions or any variation on this theme does not qualify for inclusion as a federal head of power under the national concern doctrine. Assigning this Act or a class of laws of this nature to Parliament would forever alter the constitutional balance that exists between the heads of power allotted to Parliament and the provincial Legislatures in the federal Canadian state. None of the cases in which the national concern doctrine has been successfully invoked contemplates a wholesale takeover of a collection of clear provincial jurisdictions and rights. But this Act does. There is no principled basis to judicially expand the heads of federal powers to concentrate such extensive law‑making powers in Parliament. We take no issue with the federal government’s virtuous motives for the Act; we are assessing only its constitutionality under division of powers.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov2019 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)

3. Semeniuk v Ron’s Bobcat Service2016 ABPC 231

[10] The term “burden of proof” is used to describe two distinct concepts: in its first sense, the term refers to the obligation imposed on a party to prove or disprove a fact or issue and in the second sense, it refers to a party’s obligation to adduce or point to evidence on the record to raise an issue to the satisfaction of the trial judge.[1]

[11] In the case at bar, the Plaintiff must prove the Defendant came on her property and while there caused her some loss or damage.

[12] In that the Defendant admits that it went on the Plaintiff’s property; it must prove that it did so pursuant to some lawful authority.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. A.D.H. 2013 CSC 28

[61] Il convient également de mentionner les infractions relatives à la négligence criminelle : voir, p. ex., les art. 219, 220 et 221. Est coupable de négligence criminelle la personne qui « montre une insouciance déréglée ou téméraire à l’égard de la vie ou de la sécurité d’autrui » (art. 219). Le libellé de cette disposition a suscité bien des débats au chapitre de l’élément de faute requis. L’emploi du mot « négligence » pour désigner l’infraction suppose l’application de la norme objective qu’appelle le mot « négligence » en responsabilité civile délictuelle. Par contre, on pourrait considérer que l’expression « insouciance déréglée ou téméraire » renvoie à la connaissance réelle du risque créé, de sorte que la faute serait subjective : voir R. c. Anderson, 1990 CanLII 128 (CSC), [1990] 1 R.C.S. 265, p. 269‑270. La Cour a finalement décidé que ni la preuve de l’intention, ni celle de la prévision réelle d’une conséquence prohibée n’étaient nécessaires. La négligence criminelle exige en fait un écart marqué et important par rapport à la conduite d’une personne raisonnablement prudente dans des circonstances où l’accusé soit a eu conscience d’un risque grave et évident sans pour autant l’écarter, soit ne lui a accordé aucune attention : R. c. J.F., 2008 CSC 60, [2008] 3 R.C.S. 215, par. 7‑11.

(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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