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. Spirito v. Spirito, 2022 ONSC 1839

[19] The leading case with respect to varying spousal support is L.M.P. v. L.S., [2011] 3. S.C.R. 775. The Supreme Court of Canada sets out the two-step process. First, the threshold in s. 17(4.1) of the Divorce Act regarding the change of circumstance must be met. The change must be a “material one, meaning a change that, if known at the time, would likely have resulted in different terms.” Second, any variation to be made must consider the four objectives of spousal support enumerated in s. 17(7) of the Divorce Act: see paras. 29, 32 and 50.

[20] The term “indefinite support” does not mean permanent support. It is subject to the normal process of variation and review on a material change in circumstance: see Reisman v. Reisman, 2014 ONCA 109, at paras. 30 and 31.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Kastner v. Chitiz Pathak LLP, 2022 ONSC 1967 

[29] These issues are more pronounced given that this action is still in the early stages before examinations for discovery. While there is case law in support of granting punitive damages as a result of litigation conduct, it largely addresses damages awarded at the conclusion of the litigation. There appears to be little or no guidance with respect to pleading counsel’s conduct during ongoing litigation, including at the early pre-discovery stage, where the substance of the Proposed Amendments are also the subject of other motions and judicial case management. The nature and timing of this motion also raises the possibility of future amendments as the litigation progresses requiring consideration of whether amendments at this stage would be the most efficient and cost-effective approach when the alleged litigation conduct complained of may still be subject to adjudication and case management by the court prior to trial.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Toronto District School Board v CUPE, Local 4400, 2022 CanLII 22110 (ON LA)

The law is settled: Section 7 does not insulate a person who has chosen not to be vaccinated from the economic consequences of that decision. Simply put, and as the union acknowledged in its FAQs made available to its members, Section 7 does not protect economic interests. Individuals have no Charter right to pursue or maintain a chosen profession. Nothing about the Policy interferes with anyone’s right to make a decision of fundamental importance: to be vaccinated or not. The St, Peters case, relied on by the union and the only arguably comparable case where a Section 7 violation was found, is of no assistance whatsoever in resolving any issue present here. The best that can be said about that award is (i) it predates the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) the facts present there are completely distinguishable from those present here, (iii) it is inconsistent with governing principles and settled authorities and (iv) no attention whatsoever was given to Section 1. Understandably, St. Peters has not been adopted or followed in any other case, including this one.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Personne désignée c. R., 2022 QCCA 406

[83] Le recours aux informateurs est répandu, mais il confère un statut exceptionnel. L’informateur entretient une relation particulière avec les autorités. Aux yeux de la jurisprudence, la source gagne en importance lorsque le service de police lui accorde un « code » après un processus de validation, attestant ainsi une certaine reconnaissance qui le distingue d’un autre informateur, plus ponctuel ou anonyme : voir R. c. Greffe, 1990 CanLII 143 (CSC), [1990] 1 R.C.S. 755, p. 776, rappelant R. c. Debot (1986), 1986 CanLII 113 (ON CA), 30 C.C.C. (3d) 207, 219 (C.A.O.) conf. par 1989 CanLII 13 (CSC), [1989] 2 R.C.S. 1140 ; R. c. Brûlé, 2021 QCCA 1334, par. 174.

[84] Cette relation et l’entente qui la sous-tend doivent être exemptes d’ambiguïtés. Cela encourage les individus à collaborer avec la police en lui fournissant des renseignements. Il s’agit d’un motif de nature systémique qui favorise les ententes claires. Des ententes approximatives ne peuvent que décourager les personnes de collaborer.

(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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