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. C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, 2020 SCC 45 (CanLII)

[197] The requirement that parties not lie is straightforward. But what kind of conduct is covered by the requirement that they not otherwise knowingly mislead each other? Absent a duty to disclose, it is far from obvious when exactly one’s silence will “knowingly mislead” the other contracting party. Are we to draw sophisticated distinctions between “mere silence” and other types of silence, as Brown J. suggests? If that be so, I wonder how a contracting party — on whom, I note, the law imposes neither “a duty of loyalty or of disclosure” nor a requirement “to forego advantages flowing from the contract” (Bhasin, at para. 73) — is supposed to know at what point a permissible silence turns into a non-permissible silence that may constitute a breach of contract. With the greatest respect, I do not believe such casuistry is compatible with the “simple requirement” Cromwell J. meant to set out in Bhasin.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Hudson’s Bay Company ULC v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2020 ONSC 8046 (CanLII)

[4] Absent a Charter challenge, the focus of judicial review of a regulation is narrow. It is not the role of the Court to decide whether s. 2(1)3, Schedule 2, of O. Reg. 82/20 is effective, overly broad or unduly restrictive. These are policy choices made by the Ontario government during extraordinary times. The Court’s role is limited to determining whether the provision at issue is authorized by the ROA, which it clearly is. The purpose of the ROA is to balance public health and safety measures with economic concerns during the current pandemic.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Rebecca Marie Ingram et al v Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta et al, 2020 ABQB 806 (CanLII)

[80] The Applicants themselves acknowledge that it is in the public interest to have measures in place to address the transmission of COVID-19 and to protect those vulnerable to the illness (paragraph 69 of the Memorandum of Argument of the Applicants Heights Baptist Church, Northside Baptist Church, Erin Blacklaws, and Torry Tanner). Their concern from a constitutional perspective is that the measures taken are not the right ones; that the Private Residence and Indoor and Outdoor Gathering Restrictions, and the Mandatory Mask and Business Closure Requirements, do not impair Charter rights as little as possible or “within a range of reasonably supportable alternatives.” They are concerned that the impact of measures on Charter rights is too high a price to pay for the advantage it provides in advancing the purpose of the Restrictions. But, that is the section 1 analysis that is yet to be undertaken.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Procureur général du Québec c. Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec, 2020 QCCA 1770 (CanLII)

[26] Je note que, même si la Loi sur l’accès à l’information ne s’applique pas directement en l’espèce, il reste qu’elle est pertinente sur un point, ne serait-ce qu’à titre indicatif : selon son article 33, les communications, les mémoires et les échanges au sein du Conseil exécutif (Conseil des ministres) ne sont pas publics et ne peuvent être communiqués avant 25 ans, à moins que le Conseil exécutif n’en décide autrement. L’on comprend pourquoi. En démocratie parlementaire, de tels échanges doivent être francs et libres, et pouvoir se tenir sans la crainte que d’autres y aient accès, au risque que les participants censurent leurs propos. Le principe du secret est essentiel au bon fonctionnement de l’institution pour qu’elle puisse atteindre ses fins politiques : Babcock c. Canada (Procureur général), 2002 CSC 57, [2002] 2 R.C.S. 3, paragr. 18.

(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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