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Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII? – September 2023

At the beginning of each month, we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII in the previous month and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about. 

For this past month, the three most-consulted English-language decisions were:

  1. Singh et. al. v Braich, 2023 ONSC 5053

[1] This motion is about an examination for discovery gone wrong.

[…]

[3] The defendant brings this motion to compel the plaintiff to answer questions that plaintiff’s counsel objected to. The defendant relies on Rule 34.14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, RRO 1990, Reg 194. That rule allows a lawyer to adjourn the examination where continuing with it would be futile because of improper objections or interruptions, or where the person being examined is being evasive, non-responsive, or verbose. The defendant contends that the questions were relevant and that not being permitted to ask the questions about the plaintiff’s medical history disrupted the “flow” of counsel’s cross-examination.

[4] The plaintiff opposes the motion. The plaintiff argues that the defendant improperly adjourned the motion. The plaintiff says that she had a legitimate objection to the question, and that the examination could have continued with the refusal being dealt with at a later time. The plaintiff also argues that the court should find that the questions about the plaintiff’s medical history that she refused to answer were not relevant and that she should not be compelled to answer them.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. Kanthasamy v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 SCC 61

[1] Abella J. — The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act consists of a number of moving parts intended to work together to ensure a fair and humane immigration system for Canada. One of those parts is refugee policy. Under s. 25(1) of the Act, the Minister has a discretion to exempt foreign nationals from the Act’s requirements if the exemption is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations, including the best interests of any child directly affected. The issue in this appeal is whether a decision to deny relief under s. 25(1) to a 17-year-old applicant was a reasonable exercise of the humanitarian and compassionate discretion. In my respectful view, it was not.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. R. v. Yang, 2023 ONCA 526

[16] We do not agree. The question for us is not whether Mr. Xu’s evidence warrants disbelief, either based on the record as a whole, or based on the remaining problems identified by the trial judge. The focus must be on the role these errors played in the trial judge’s decision. The relevant inquiry for the misapprehension of evidence error is whether the material representation was essential to the trial judge’s reasoning: R. v. Alboukhari2013 ONCA 581, 310 O.A.C. 305, at paras. 36,39. The inquiry relating to illogical or irrational reasoning, such as the “failure to admit error”, is functionally identical, namely, whether the error is “essential to the verdict”, such that the verdict “rests on a mistake as to the substance of the evidence”: R. v. Sinclair2011 SCC 40, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 3, at paras. 19, per Fish J. (dissenting, but not on this point), and paras. 44,45, per Lebel J. (emphasis added); R. v. Beaudry2007 SCC 5, [2007] 1 S.C.R. 190, at paras. 97-98, per Fish J. (dissenting, but not on this point). In both cases we are inquiring whether the trial judge would have rejected Mr. Xu’s evidence beyond a reasonable doubt even had he not made either or both of these errors in his credibility assessment. In the circumstances, we can have no confidence that he would have done so. The “available half-ton truck misapprehension” played a prominent role in the trial judge’s explanations for his finding. Indeed, on its own, his belief that Mr. Xu had no reason to borrow or take Mr. Yang’s car completely undercuts Mr. Xu’s entire account. Even the “failure to admit error” was featured in the trial judge’s explanation. Although the trial judge’s reasons for judgment make clear that he rejected Mr. Xu’s account in its entirety, he explained this conclusion by particularizing several reasons, among which the two reasoning errors we have identified arguably received the greatest attention. In the circumstances, we find that these errors formed an essential part of the trial judge’s reasoning.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The three most-consulted French-language decisions were:

  1. Srougi c. Coopérative de solidarité en édition Les Boucaniers et Boucanières, 2008 QCCQ 7693

[56] En terminant, le Tribunal tient à exprimer les commentaires suivants. Pendant les trois jours du procès tenu en la présente instance, le Tribunal a pu constater qu’il existe un vif débat entre, d’un côté, les partisans(es) des droits des hommes ou des pères et, de l’autre, des droits des femmes sous tous leurs aspects, y compris celui d’atteindre un meilleur équilibre dans l’égalité des droits entre les hommes et les femmes. Le Tribunal déplore les excès de langage utilisés par certains ténors qui revendiquent de meilleurs droits pour les hommes et pour les pères et qu’il n’est pas utile de reproduire aux fins du présent jugement.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. R. c. Delisle, 2023 QCCA 1096

[11] Pour les motifs qui suivent, la Cour est d’avis que les cas où il est possible d’octroyer une telle réparation, et au surplus à ce stade préliminaire, sont rares. Certes, le juge n’a pas erré en concluant que la preuve était pertinente et importante et que sa perte résulte d’une négligence inacceptable de l’État. Cependant, avec égards, il a erré quant au caractère déterminant de cette preuve, un résultat irréconciliable avec sa propre conclusion sur la portée des expertises examinées. En effet, malgré les défaillances du dossier d’autopsie, les experts font la démonstration qu’il est possible de présenter, au sujet de la trajectoire du projectile, une preuve probante contraire à celle du pathologiste qui a procédé à l’autopsie initiale. Le préjudice n’est donc pas irrémédiable. La réparation appropriée ne peut être l’arrêt des procédures, car un préjudice qui n’est pas irrémédiable ne peut pas être un des cas rares considérés comme les plus manifestes pour justifier cette réparation. La Cour est d’avis qu’une directive au jury pourrait constituer une réparation juste et raisonnable.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. Pharmaciens (Ordre professionnel des) c. Boutin, 2023 QCCDPHA 19

[35] Le Conseil arrive à la conclusion que les recommandations conjointes sur sanction ne déconsidèrent pas l’administration de la justice et ne sont pas contraires à l’intérêt public selon les enseignements de la Cour suprême dans l’arrêt R. c. Anthony‑Cook repris récemment dans l’arrêt Nahanee, et y donne suite.

[36] Suivant les enseignements de la Cour suprême, la Cour d’appel, dans l’affaire Binet, et plus récemment dans l’arrêt Plourde, confirme l’importance des recommandations conjointes dans le système de justice pénale et rappelle que les juges ne peuvent les refuser que si elles sont contraires à l’intérêt public.

[37] Ainsi, les recommandations conjointes mènent le Conseil non pas à décider de la sévérité, de la clémence ou de la justesse de la sanction proposée, « mais à déterminer si elle s’avère déraisonnable au point d’être contraire à l’intérêt public ou de nature à déconsidérer l’administration de la justice ».

(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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