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. R. v. Sullivan, 2020 ONCA 333 (CanLII)

[42] The trial judge was correct in finding s. 33.1 to be in prima facie violation of both ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Charter. Section 33.1 violates each of the constitutional principles that were identified by Cory J. for the majority in R. v. Daviault, 1994 CanLII 61 (SCC), [1994] 3 S.C.R. 63. In Daviault, the Supreme Court of Canada modified the common law rule that eliminated the defence of extreme intoxication because the common law rule was in breach of the Charter in three ways. I will describe these breaches as “the voluntariness breach”, “the improper substitution breach”, and “the mens rea breach.” Although there has been some variation in articulation and emphasis, virtually all the judges who have considered this issue have found that the legislation breaches the Charter in one or more of these respects.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Hasson v Habitat for Humanity – Edmonton Society, 2020 ABQB 352 (CanLII)

[70] Habitat Edmonton is also having to deal with the adverse consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the need to assist Partner Families who are likely to lose their employment, the loss of revenue from its ReStores and an anticipated drop in donations. Ultimately, there is the real possibility that Habitat Edmonton will fail leaving 450 Partner Families without the support they have become to depend on, leaving 110 people unemployed and ending the hope of affordable home ownership for potential Partner Families in the Edmonton area.

[71] Taken as a whole, it is apparent to this court that the risks that an injunction would pose to the ongoing operation of Habitat Edmonton, and its possible failure, outweighs any risk of harm asserted by the Plaintiff Partner Families in this application as outlined above.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. 1406444 Alberta Ltd v Taylor, 2020 ABQB 356 (CanLII)

[115] Contrary to the plaintiff’s argument that “Calculating fair damages for lost Goodwill should not be too difficult”, the Canadian Institute of Charted Accountants suggests a six-step approach to valuing goodwill that has been used by several experts and sanctioned by the Courts in jurisprudence. These steps include examining the earnings record, adjusting past earnings to arrive at future maintainable profits, determining the appropriate rate of return that should be realized on an investment in the particular type of business, determining total value by capitalizing the earnings as adjusted by the rate of interest, valuing tangible and intangible assets other than goodwill and then calculating the difference between the value of the assets and the capitalized earnings. (see Surrey Animal Hospital Ltd. v British Columbia (Minister of Transportation and Highways) 1993 CarswellBC 2730, 51 L.C.R. 37 at para 60). This is an accounting and financial valuation exercise and is not one that the Court can or should undertake in the absence evidence.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Canada (Ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration) c. Vavilov, 2019 CSC 65

[1] Le présent pourvoi et les pourvois connexes (voir Bell Canada c. Canada (Procureur général), 2019 CSC 66), donnent à la Cour l’occasion de se pencher de nouveau sur sa façon d’aborder le contrôle judiciaire des décisions administratives.

[2] Dans les présents motifs, nous traitons de deux aspects clés de la jurisprudence actuelle en droit administratif qu’il est nécessaire de réexaminer et de clarifier. D’abord, nous traçons la nouvelle voie à suivre pour déterminer la norme de contrôle applicable lorsqu’une cour de justice contrôle une décision administrative au fond. Ensuite, nous donnons des indications additionnelles aux cours de révision qui procèdent au contrôle selon la norme de la décision raisonnable. Le cadre d’analyse révisé est encore guidé par les principes en matière de contrôle judiciaire qu’a énoncés la Cour dans l’arrêt Dunsmuir c. Nouveau‑Brunswick, 2008 CSC 9, [2008] 1 R.C.S. 190 : le contrôle judiciaire a pour fonction de préserver la primauté du droit tout en donnant effet à la volonté du législateur. Nous insistons également sur la nécessité de développer et de renforcer une culture de la justification au sein du processus décisionnel administratif.

(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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