What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of May 7 – 14.

1. Bruni v. Bruni 2010 ONSC 6568 [Second week at #1]

[1] Paging Dr. Freud. Paging Dr. Freud.

[2] This is yet another case that reveals the ineffectiveness of Family Court in a bitter custody/access dispute, where the parties require therapeutic intervention rather than legal attention. Here, a husband and wife have been marinating in a mutual hatred so intense as to surely amount to a personality disorder requiring treatment.

[3] In addition to the volatile issues of custody and access, this application raises a question as to whether grounds exist to set aside the separation agreement of the parties.

[4] Then follows a mash of issues . . . .

2. R v MacKenzie 2011 SKCA 64 [Leave to appeal to the SCC granted May 10]

[1] This is a “sniffer-dog” case under s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”), which sets out the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. The issue in this appeal is whether peace officers violated that right by conducting a “sniff-search” of the respondent’s vehicle.

3. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v Alberta (Attorney General) 2012 ABCA 130

[1] The respondent union videotaped people crossing its picket line, and suggested it might post those recordings on the Internet. The issue on this appeal is whether the union has a constitutionally protected right to collect images of persons crossing the picket line, and therefore whether an order by the respondent Commissioner preventing it from doing so should be set aside.

The most-consulted French-language decision was Rochon c. R. 2011 QCCA 2012 [Leave to appeal to the SCC was dismissed on May 10]

[7] L’appelante est la mère d’Olivier Rochon, auquel elle avait confié sa propriété en son absence.

[8] Il n’est pas inutile de mentionner qu’Olivier Rochon a été trouvé coupable d’accusations relatives à une autre plantation de marijuana que celle qui nous concerne.

[9] Revenant en camping sur sa propriété à l’été, l’appelante constate la présence d’une culture de marijuana sur ses terres.

[10] L’appelante témoigne avoir demandé à son fils à deux reprises d’«enlever ça ». Elle ajoute ne pas avoir voulu le dénoncer aux autorités.


  1. Every time publicity is given to the decision in Bruni v. Bruni, the unfortunate parties are exposed to (further) ridicule. The recitation of the facts and the reasons are an appalling example of the gross abuse of judicial power and the judge who gave them should have been disciplined. Out of simple kindness to the parties, whether or not some survey shows that the case is “popular”, it should get no more publicity.

  2. Gary P. Rodrigues

    Angela Swan has raised an important issue relating to the use of the parties names in reported decisions.

    Years ago, I read a case in the Reports of Family Law in which the domestic problems of a former classmate were published for everyone to read, including their children. It all seemed so unnecessary. For that reason, I became proponent of the use of initials in family law cases.

    Early efforts by the legal publishers to deal with this issue were rendered ineffective with the arrival of comprehensive case citators and the publication of full text cases. The result was that the effort by some publishers to protect the innocent was negated by the courts and by other publishers who used the names of the parties.

    I believe that the issue is one that could be easily addressed by the courts who have the option of releasing the decisions without using the parties names, as happens in Quebec.

    I agree with Angela that it is time for the judiciary to act responsibly in these matters rather than indulge themselves at the expense of families who are made the objects of ridicule as a result.