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Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII? – January 2024

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. R. v. Zacharias, 2023 SCC 30

[55] The impact on the Charter-protected interests of the accused is distinct from the seriousness of the Charter-infringing conduct. As this Court stated in Grant 2009, in order to assess this factor, the court must “look to the interests engaged by the infringed right and examine the degree to which the violation impacted on those interests” (para. 77).

[56] When additional rights and breaches of those rights are factored into the s. 24(2) analysis, there will necessarily be a more significant impact on the accused that is therefore relevant to the analysis of the second Grant factor. Consideration of all breaches as found is necessary to get an “accurate picture of the effects of the breaches” (C.A. reasons, at para. 51). Section 24(2) of the Charter requires “regard to all the circumstances”. To fail to have regard to the impact of an arrest on an accused where it occurred as a consequence of a preceding Charter breach would fail to take into account “all the circumstances”. The arrest here was unlawful and, therefore, must form part of the s. 24(2) analysis.

[57] Accordingly, we reject the Crown and interveners’ view that we should adopt the approach set out by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in R. v. Jennings, 2018 ONCA 260, 45 C.R. (7th) 224. In Jennings, the court in obiter reasoned that, for s. 8 breaches in breath sample cases, it would be incorrect in the s. 24(2) analysis “to consider not just the impact of the administration of the breath sample procedure, which is itself minimally intrusive, but the entirety of the procedure faced by the accused after arrest” because that would create a categorical rule of exclusion (paras. 27 and 32). Thus, we would not adopt the approach suggested in Jennings in this case. Rather, where a court finds that an arrest is made in breach of the Charter, it will be necessary to consider such a breach in the s. 24(2) analysis, including the impacts on the accused’s Charter-protected interests (see R. v. Reilly, 2021 SCC 38, at para. 3; see also R. v. Au-Yeung, 2010 ONSC 2292, 209 C.R.R. (2d) 140, at paras. 41, 50 and 59). This will be the case whether or not the unlawful arrest can be considered to be a “consequential” breach.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571

[1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following descriptions: Detaxers; Freemen or Freemen-on-the-Land; Sovereign Men or Sovereign Citizens; Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International (CERI); Moorish Law; and other labels – there is no closed list. In the absence of a better moniker, I have collectively labelled them as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument litigants [“OPCA litigants”], to functionally define them collectively for what they literally are. These persons employ a collection of techniques and arguments promoted and sold by ‘gurus’ (as hereafter defined) to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. R. v Villeneuve, 2023 NLCA 14

[1] This appeal addresses two questions: when an encounter between a police officer and the respondent, Nicholas Villeneuve, became a psychological detention for the purposes of triggering Mr. Villeneuve’s Charter rights and whether evidence was properly excluded from trial under section 24(2) of the Charter.

[…]

[7] In relation to section 8, Mr. Villeneuve argued that two judicial authorizations obtained by the police to seize blood drawn for medical purposes and the related medical records, violated his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. He argued that the Informations to Obtain (ITOs) relied in part on evidence he sought to have excluded under section 24(2): the observations of the attending officer at the hospital and the statements of Mr. Villeneuve. Mr. Villeneuve argued this evidence should be excised from the ITOs and that its excision was fatal to the judicial authorizations. This would result in a warrantless and presumptively unreasonable seizure of his blood and medical records.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The three most-consulted French-language decisions were:

  1. Gestion George Kyritsis inc. c. Balabanian, 2024 QCCS 64

[1] En 2018, s’amorce une saga judiciaire dans un litige opposant le copropriétaire, Maher Balabanian, à d’autres copropriétaires d’une copropriété indivise de six étages, constituée de 119 unités d’habitation, située au 10355 avenue Bois-de-Boulogne à Montréal (« Immeuble »).

[2] Le Défendeur, Maher Balabanian, est propriétaire de 79,6595 % des parts de l’indivision. La demanderesse et les intervenants disposent de 16,7698 % des parts. Les autres copropriétaires mis en cause détiennent 3,5707 % des parts.

[3] Le codéfendeur, Jean Balabanian, habite dans l’Immeuble. Il est le frère de Maher Balabanian et l’assiste dans la gestion de l’Immeuble.

[4] La demanderesse et les intervenants formulent plusieurs reproches contre Maher Balabanian, dont : la mise en place d’un stratagème de concentration des pouvoirs qui lui permet d’agir à titre de copropriétaire majoritaire, d’administrateur unique, de créancier hypothécaire de plusieurs des copropriétaires et de mandataire de certains des intervenants; la signature en 2016 d’une nouvelle convention d’indivision lui conférant des pouvoirs exorbitants, lui assurant un contrôle total de la gestion de la copropriété et lui permettant d’entraver la libre jouissance de leurs biens.

[5] Ils plaident que Maher Balabanian utilise ses multiples rôles de manière abusive dans le but de minimiser ses propres contributions à l’administration de la copropriété et de racheter au rabais les unités des autres copropriétaires. Cet abus se manifeste de diverses façons : détermination des frais de copropriété, imposition de pénalités et de frais arbitraires, résiliation et non-renouvellement de prêts hypothécaires, harcèlement, entraves à la libre jouissance des biens et défaut d’assumer son rôle d’administrateur.

[6] Ils demandent de prononcer diverses ordonnances afin de remédier au comportement du défendeur.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. Pharmaciens (Ordre professionnel des) c. Veilleux, 2023 QCCDPHA 60 

[1] Le 20 décembre 2021, l’Hôpital Fleurimont transmet deux ordonnances à la pharmacie où travaille l’intimée. Ces documents concernent un patient de 74 ans, connu pour un cancer, ayant reçu son congé pour des douleurs rétrosternales. Le premier document ainsi envoyé par fac-similé est une ordonnance du 20 décembre 2021 du docteur Couture, cardiologue. Le second document transmis simultanément est une ordonnance portant la date du 17 décembre 2021, cette fois du docteur Bérubé, un autre cardiologue du même hôpital. L’intimée effectue le service le même jour.

[2] Elle omet d’effectuer les vérifications qui s’imposent alors qu’il n’existe aucune recommandation pour dupliquer les antiplaquettaires ainsi prescrits par ces deux cardiologues. Le 25 décembre 2021, quelques jours après avoir débuté cette nouvelle pharmacothérapie antithrombotique, le patient se présente à l’urgence en raison de présence de sang dans les urines.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

  1. Hak c. Procureur général du Québec, 2021 QCCS 1466

[983] Sans nier ni diminuer le fait que la reconnaissance de la diversité culturelle et religieuse existe et se trouve valorisée dans le système d’éducation public francophone, le Tribunal doit constater que la preuve non contredite permet de conclure que les commissions scolaires anglophones et leurs enseignants.es ou directeurs.trices accordent une importance particulière à la reconnaissance et célébration de la diversité ethnique et religieuse.

[984] Ainsi, on doit constater l’existence de ce que l’on peut appeler, à défaut de meilleurs termes, divers accommodements quant à des pratiques ou fêtes religieuses dans ce milieu.

(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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