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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. Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Québec inc., 2020 SCC 32 (CanLII)

[1] This appeal requires this Court to decide whether s. 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects corporations from cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Like our colleagues, we conclude that it does not, because corporations lie beyond s. 12’s protective scope. Simply put, the text “cruel and unusual” denotes protection that “only human beings can enjoy”: Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Quebec (Attorney General), 1989 CanLII 87 (SCC), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927, at p. 1004. The protective scope of s. 12 is thus limited to human beings.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Odhavji Estate v. Woodhouse, 2003 SCC 69 (CanLII), [2003] 3 SCR 263

32 To summarize, I am of the opinion that the tort of misfeasance in a public office is an intentional tort whose distinguishing elements are twofold: (i) deliberate unlawful conduct in the exercise of public functions; and (ii) awareness that the conduct is unlawful and likely to injure the plaintiff. Alongside deliberate unlawful conduct and the requisite knowledge, a plaintiff must also prove the other requirements common to all torts. More specifically, the plaintiff must prove that the tortious conduct was the legal cause of his or her injuries, and that the injuries suffered are compensable in tort law.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Rebel Media v Election Commissioner, 2020 ABQB 682 (CanLII)

[65] With Rebel itself drawing a distinction between its advertisement and the “journalistic content” to which readers were being drawn, Rebel effectively closed the door to further exploration by the Commissioner of the multi-pronged exception. If it wished to argue that the billboard itself amounted to “transmission to the public of an editorial, a debate, a speech, an interview, a column, a letter, a commentary or news”, it would not have focused on the “journalistic content” of its websites and characterized the ad as a merely a stepping-stone to that content.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Pharmaciens (Ordre professionnel des) c. Sami, 2020 QCCDPHA 43 (CanLII)

[55] Le critère de l’intérêt public retenu par la Cour suprême a été appliqué à maintes reprises par les conseils de discipline. Cette grande déférence à l’égard des recommandations conjointes s’explique par leur caractère vital pour l’administration de la justice en général[6] ainsi qu’au sein du système disciplinaire[7].

[56] Sans être lié par les recommandations conjointes sur sanction, le Conseil n’a pas à décider de la sévérité ou de la clémence de la sanction proposée conjointement[8]. Quoique la sanction qui aurait pu être imposée à l’issue de l’audition soit pertinente, le Conseil ne doit pas commencer son analyse par une comparaison entre cette sanction et la recommandation conjointe[9].

(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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