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. Leggat v. Jennings, 2015 ONSC 237

[30] In view of the almost absolute nature of the privilege, competing interests are much less relevant, and indeed, as stated by Major J. in McClure, a balancing of interests is not appropriate. Solicitor-client privilege will almost invariably prevail over other interests. It is with that focus that I will analyze the issue before me, which is whether the admitted privilege has been waived either by implication or by partial disclosure.

[31] It is clear that the privilege is that of the client. It is for the client to waive the privilege, and no one else. Ordinarily, that requires a deliberate, conscious decision on the part of the client. In my view, anything that purports to be a waiver that does not involve a conscious, deliberate decision must be narrowly construed and applied.

2. Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1

[1] In this appeal, we must decide whether excluding members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) from collective bargaining under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, enacted by the Public Service Modernization Act, S.C. 2003, c. 22, s. 2 (“PSLRA”), and imposing a non-unionized labour relations regime violates the guarantee of freedom of association in s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This requires us to review the nature and interpretation of the right guaranteed by s. 2(d) of the Charter, and to clarify the scope of the constitutional protection of collective bargaining recognized in Health Services and Support — Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn. v. British Columbia, 2007 SCC 27 (CanLII), [2007] 2 S.C.R. 391, and Ontario (Attorney General) v. Fraser, 2011 SCC 20 (CanLII), [2011] 2 S.C.R. 3.

[2] RCMP members are not permitted to unionize or engage in collective bargaining. They have been excluded from the PSLRA and its predecessor statute since collective bargaining was first introduced in the federal public service in the late 1960s. Instead, there exists a non-unionized labour relations regime with three core components. First, members can advance their workplace concerns through the Staff Relations Representative Program (“SRRP”). Second, members’ concerns regarding pay and benefits are communicated to management through the RCMP Pay Council process. Third, RCMP members have created the Mounted Police Members’ Legal Fund, a not-for-profit corporation funded through membership dues, which provides legal assistance to RCMP members for employment-related issues.

3. Meady v. Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp., 2015 ONCA 6

[68] Again, the trial judge considered every aspect of the content of the standard of care put forward by the appellants, based on the evidence adduced by the parties. He concluded there had been no breach of the standard of care by the OPP respondents.

[69] The onus was on the appellants to adduce evidence of the content of the standard of care. They did so. The trial judge correctly identified the standard of care applicable to each defendant and applied it to the circumstances of the case. He was not required to make broad pronouncements on the content of the duty of care of police officers or bus drivers. He was entitled to find, as he did, that the respondents’ conduct did not fall below the standards identified by the appellants.

The most-consulted French-language decision was Charland c. Lessard, 2015 QCCA 14

[200] Le pourvoi de Monique Charland soulevait essentiellement, pour ne pas dire exclusivement, des questions de faits. Elle a voulu refaire l’ensemble du procès, sans pointer ni alléguer de façon précise les erreurs manifestes et déterminantes qu’aurait pu commettre la juge. Ce faisant, elle a invité la Cour à réévaluer l’ensemble de la preuve et à substituer sa propre opinion à celle de la juge, en faisant valoir qu’elle n’avait pas pris en considération certaines contradictions, sans prendre soin de les identifier. Or, considérant les principes applicables en appel, il s’agissait là d’un pari audacieux.

[201] En effet, il n’appartenait pas à la Cour de réévaluer l’ensemble de la preuve, d’apprécier la crédibilité des témoins et de tirer ses propres inférences. Il ne lui incombait également pas de déceler elle-même les erreurs que la juge a pu commettre pour justifier une intervention et substituer sa propre opinion. Placés devant la même preuve, certains auraient peut-être pu conclure autrement, sur quelques rares aspects du litige. Mais, dans le contexte global de l’affaire, les conclusions de la juge apparaissent justifiées.

* 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

Comments are closed.