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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. Lu v Shen, 2020 BCSC 490 (CanLII)

[42] It is the role of pleadings to serve as the frame for an action. Properly drawn, they precisely define the issues the court will be asked to decide, they advise the other party of the case to be met, they determine the extent of pre-trial procedures, and they guide the trial process. The provisions of the Rules governing pleadings exist to support and facilitate those ends. When pleadings are disorganized, prolix, or confusing, or when they raise irrelevancies, pleadings impede litigation in contradiction to their mandate. See The Owners, Strata Plan LMS3259 v. Sze Hang Holding Inc., 2012 BCCA 196, at para. 1; Atlantic Waste Systems Ltd. v. Attorney General of Canada, 2015 BCSC 1324, at para. 25.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada St. Mary Cathedral v. Aga, 2021 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[3] Jurisdiction to intervene in the affairs of a voluntary association depends on the existence of a legal right which the court is asked to vindicate. Here, the only viable candidate for a legal right justifying judicial intervention is contract. The finding of a contract between members of a voluntary association does not automatically follow from the existence of a written constitution and bylaws. Voluntary associations with constitutions and bylaws may be constituted by contract, but this is a determination that must be made on the basis of general contract principles, and objective intention to enter into legal relations is required. In this case, evidence of an objective intention to enter into legal relations is missing. As such, there is no contract, there is no jurisdiction, and there is no genuine issue requiring a trial. I would therefore allow the appeal and restore the order of the motion judge granting summary judgment and dismissing the action.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Kent v MacDonald, 2021 ABCA 196 (CanLII)

[45] Patent defects are defects readily discoverable upon an ordinary inspection by a purchaser, and latent defects are defects of quality not readily apparent to an ordinary purchaser during an ordinary inspection prior to entering into a contract to purchase. The vendor is under no obligation to disclose a patent defect that is visible or discoverable through a reasonable inspection: Halsbury’s Laws of Canada – Real Property (2021 Reissue) (Jeffrey W Lem, Rosemary Bocska), paras HRP-180, 181. See the detailed analysis in Belzil v Bain, 2001 ABQB 890, paras 56-62, 300 AR 72, in which the court found that a bulge in a wall was a patent defect when combined with evidence of a crack, spalling, water on the wall, and the age of the house.

[46] The question here is whether the concrete deterioration, spalling, and horizontal crack along the west wall onto the north and south walls, were readily apparent, visible or discoverable through a reasonable inspection. Were these obvious defects?

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Bissonnette c. R., 2020 QCCA 1585 (CanLII)

[184] Bref, tant le texte de la disposition que la preuve des débats parlementaires démontrent que le choix du législateur de limiter l’exercice à des périodes fixes de 25 ans était délibéré, au cœur de la disposition, de sorte que la mesure choisie par le juge empiétait sur le domaine législatif alors que le résultat aurait plutôt dû être la déclaration d’invalidité, laissant au législateur le soin d’adopter une nouvelle loi s’il le voulait.

(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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