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. Wills, 2014 ONCA 178

[26] Counsel for the appellant submits that the evidence could not reasonably support a finding that the appellant was one of the perpetrators. Counsel maintains that, without that finding, the appellant could not be convicted on any of the charges.

[27] Jury verdicts are regarded as the gold standard in criminal law. However, as with any human institution, juries can make mistakes. Where the mistake is a wrongful conviction, the cost to the accused can be measured in years of his or her life. Appellate review, and, in particular, review under s. 686(1)(a)(i), serves to protect against jury error in those cases where the trial is free of legal error and is entirely fair, but the evidence cannot justify the conviction of the accused: see R. v. W.H., 2013 SCC 22 (CanLII), at para. 39. Section 686(1)(a)(i) reads:
686(i) On the hearing of an appeal against a conviction … the court of appeal

(a) may allow the appeal where it is of the opinion that

(i) the verdict should be set aside on the ground that it is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence.

2. British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association v. British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, 2013 BCCA 405

The respondent union had filed a grievance alleging unequal treatment of birth mothers. It was argued that birth mothers were treated in an unequal fashion vis-à-vis birth fathers and adoptive parents concerning Supplementary Employment Benefits (“SEB”) paid to these categories of persons by the employer during birth and parental leave periods. An arbitrator accepted the validity of the grievance and ordered the parties then engaged in a new round of bargaining to work towards remedying the unequal treatment of birth mothers. On appeal, the appellant employer argued that the Court had jurisdiction on the appeal as the appeal raised an issue of general law. The respondent union argued that the essence of the appeal concerned interpretation of a collective agreement, a matter dealing with labour relations.

Held: Appeal allowed. This case involved a decision about principles of human rights legislation and was a matter of general law. This Court has appellate jurisdiction. The arbitrator erred in his interpretation of human rights principles applicable to this case. There was no unequal treatment of birth mothers concerning SEB. The grievance should stand dismissed.

3. Ali v. Ford, 2014 ONSC 6665

[2] The plaintiff claims “SIXTY MILLION United States Bank Notes (in lieu of lawful money)” as specified in his “Fee Schedule” for violations of his rights. He claims alternatively, “the equivalent amount in Canadian Bank Notes (in lieu of lawful money), or the equivalent in lawful silver dollars in accordance with the Coinage Act of 1792”.

[3] The claim seems to flow from the attendance at the plaintiff’s home of police officers in December 2013. The visit from the police, who were accompanied by a nurse, seems to have been prompted by a letter entitled “Warning to All Police Personnel, Government Agents and any other Public Servants” dated December 7, 2014 that the plaintiff sent to the police and others. According to the plaintiff’s “Affidavit of Fact”, his letter was accompanied by his fee schedule which, apparently, purported to entitle the plaintiff to fees from the defendants.

The most-consulted French-language decision was Dinard c. Eden Palace inc., 2014 QCCS 5269

[1] Les demandeurs ont acheté de la société défenderesse, propriété du défendeur Daniel Waknin, trois unités de copropriété dans un immeuble commercial en cours de conversion en un ensemble résidentiel.

[2] Ils reprochent aux défendeurs de les avoir bernés en leur livrant, avec des retards inexcusables, des unités et un environnement très en-deçà du complexe luxueux et haut de gamme que les défendeurs et leurs mandataires leur avaient promis. Sans compter que l’immeuble serait entaché de vices cachés, de malfaçons, de déficiences et que les défendeurs ont fait preuve de mauvaise gestion et d’incompétence grave, ce que les défendeurs nient.

* 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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