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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. Conlin v Edmonton (City) Police Service, 2021 ABCA 287

[62] The appellants are correct that there is a fine line between a correctness standard of review and a finding that there was only one possible outcome that was reasonable. Empirically, there is never only one possible outcome, because there are always at least two: the challenged outcome selected by the decision maker, and the one advanced by the applicant. The finding is, essentially, that the tribunal’s decision was unreasonable, and on a proper consideration of the facts and the law, there was not a range of reasonable and justified outcomes, only one. The issue for the reviewer is constrained by deference and remains whether the outcome reached by the chief, on a proper consideration of the facts and the law, was reasonable, defensible and transparent. Nevertheless, this sort of conclusion is possible within the reasonableness standard of review: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 at paras. 142, 195.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Rumney v. Nelson, 2021 ONSC 5632 

[44] The existence of a statutory deductible is not necessarily the same. It is not evidence, but rather a regulation. Every case is subject to the same regulation. No evidence at trial has any impact on the application of this statute.

[45] The role of the jury is to decide liability, apportion liability if applicable, and assess damages without regard to the statutory deductible or other amounts that may be deducted. The jury is not asked to determine how much the plaintiff is to receive. That is the role of the judge. The judge takes the assessment of damages and apportionment of liability and applies the law to them to determine the actual amount to be awarded to the Plaintiff.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Morningstar v. WSIAT, 2021 ONSC 5576

[79] An employee can claim constructive dismissal when an employer’s conduct demonstrates the employer’s intention no longer to be bound by the employment contract. This can come about when an employer engages in conduct that objectively demonstrates the employer’s intention no longer to be bound by the contract. There is no requirement that a worker be injured at all: Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, 2015 SCC 10 (CanLII), [2015] S.C.J. No. 10, at paras. 30, 39; Farber v. Royal Trust Co., 1997 CanLII 387 (SCC), [1996] S.C.J. No. 118, at paras. 26, 33. Constructive dismissal may arise where the employer’s treatment of an employee makes the employee’s continued employment objectively intolerable: Potter, at para. 33. Courts have found constructive dismissal based on the breach of an implied term or duty that the employer will treat the employee with civility, decency, respect and dignity or that the work atmosphere will be conducive to the well-being of its employees: Colistro v. Tbaytel, 2019 ONCA 197, at para. 50. Workplace harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment can ground claims for constructive dismissal: Colistro, at paras. 42-48.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Ramacieri c. Hébert, 2021 QCTP 62

[252] De plus, le Conseil semble se fonder principalement sur le fait que l’appelante ait présenté une demande en réouverture des débats pour justifier sa décision de condamner l’appelante aux déboursés. Il s’agit là d’une erreur manifeste et dominante du Conseil justifiant l’intervention du Tribunal. Le Tribunal voit mal comment cette demande formulée alors que le dossier est en délibéré peut rendre chacun des chefs de sa plainte abusif et frivole justifiant ainsi la condamnation de l’appelante au paiement de l’ensemble des déboursés.

[253] Le Conseil avait le pouvoir discrétionnaire de rejeter la demande en réouverture des débats présentée par l’appelante, vu notamment sa tardiveté. Cela dit, rien dans le dossier ne justifiait le Conseil d’en tirer une inférence d’abus et d’acharnement et de conclure au caractère abusif et frivole de la plainte.

(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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