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. Milne Estate (Re), 2018 ONSC 4174

[26] The fundamental problem with the Estate Trustee’s position is that the Primary and Secondary Wills overlap entirely. Each Secondary Will applies to virtually all property of the testator. There are no exclusions. These could be but have not been probated. The Primary Wills seek to carve out a variable subset of the property that is and remains subject to the Secondary Will without subtracting such property from the secondary estate and to do so based upon the subsequent, subjective determinations of the Estate Trustees as to what is desirable. In my view, this cannot be done.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Zheng v Your New Car Calgary Inc, 2015 ABQB 121

[17] The Plaintiff refers to Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (CanLII), 2014 Carswell Alta 2046 (S.C.C.), Spartek Systems Inc. v. Brown, 2014 Carswell Alta 1496, (Q.B.), and Tirecraft ( supra). Bhasin deals with the duty of good faith in contractual dealings. The latter two cases provide some guidelines as to when the courts may consider it appropriate to lift the corporate veil. Some examples are where the corporation is used as a shield for fraudulent or improper conduct, where the shareholder treats itself and the corporation interchangeably, where the corporation is created to deflect monies from their proper use, and where the company is a sham, cloak or alter ego.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), 2018 SCC 40

[1] Since this Court’s landmark decision in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), 2004 SCC 73 (CanLII), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 511, the duty to consult has played a critical role in ensuring that Aboriginal and treaty rights receive meaningful protection. Grounded in the honour of the Crown, this duty requires the Crown to consult (and if appropriate, accommodate) Aboriginal peoples before taking action that may adversely affect their asserted or established rights under s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The appellant Mikisew Cree First Nation argues that the Crown had a duty to consult them on the development of environmental legislation that had the potential to adversely affect their treaty rights to hunt, trap, and fish. This Court must therefore answer a vexing question it has left open in the past: Does the duty to consult apply to the law-making process?

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Mikisew Cree First Nation c. Canada (Gouverneur général en conseil), 2018 CSC 40

[1] Depuis l’arrêt de principe Nation haïda c. Colombie‑Britannique (Ministre des Forêts), 2004 CSC 73 (CanLII), [2004] 3 R.C.S. 511, l’obligation de consulter a joué un rôle central pour garantir une véritable protection aux droits ancestraux et issus de traités. Ancrée dans le principe de l’honneur de la Couronne, l’obligation en question exige que cette dernière consulte les peuples autochtones (et, s’il y a lieu, trouve des accommodements) avant de prendre des mesures susceptibles d’avoir un effet préjudiciable sur les droits protégés par l’art. 35 de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1982 faisant l’objet d’une revendication ou dont l’existence a été établie. L’appelante, la Mikisew Cree First Nation, soutient que la Couronne avait l’obligation de la consulter en ce qui concerne l’élaboration d’une loi de protection environnementale susceptible d’avoir un effet préjudiciable sur les droits de ses membres de chasser, de piéger et de pêcher garantis par traité. La Cour doit donc répondre à une question épineuse laissée à ce jour sans réponse : L’obligation de consulter s’applique‑t‑elle au processus législatif?

(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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