Granted (1)

Criminal Law: Constitutionality Re Parole Ineligibility 

Attorney General of Québec and Her Majesty the Queen v. Bisonette, 2020 QCCA 1585 (39544)
On the evening of January 29, 2017, the Respondent, Mr. Bissonnette, who was 27 years old at the time, left home with two firearms and ammunition and headed to the Great Mosque of Québec. On arriving there, he fired on the worshippers who were present. He pleaded guilty on 12 counts, including six of first degree murder. Before the sentencing judge, the Respondent challenged the constitutional validity of section 745.51  of the Criminal Code , a provision under which, in the event of multiple murders, a judge may, in addition to imposing a life sentence, order parole ineligibility periods, to be served consecutively, of 25 years for each murder. The sentencing judge concluded the section in question infringes sections 12 and 7 of the Charter, and the limits on the protected rights had not been shown to be justified in a free and democratic society. He found the appropriate remedy would be to read in a new wording that would allow a court to impose consecutive periods of less than 25 years. The Qué. C.A. reached the same conclusions as regards the constitutionality of the provision, but it was of the view the constitutional incompatibility identified by the sentencing judge goes to the very heart of the provision and reading in is therefore not appropriate. It accordingly declared section 745.51  of the Criminal Code  is invalid and of no force or effect. As a consequence, it ordered a total period of parole ineligibility of 25 years in this case. “The application for leave to appeal…is granted. The request of the Attorney General of Quebec and Her Majesty the Queen to each file a factum is granted. The Attorney General of Quebec may serve and file a factum not to exceed forty (40) pages in length on the constitutional questions. Her Majesty the Queen may serve and file a factum not to exceed twenty (20) pages in length on the determination of a just and appropriate ineligibility period for the respondent. The respondent may serve and file a factum not to exceed twenty (20) pages in length in response to the factum of Her Majesty the Queen.”

Dismissed (6)

Corporations: Derivative Actions 

2538520 Ontario Ltd. v. Eastern Platinum Limited, 2020 BCCA 313 (39532)
2538520 Ontario Ltd. was a shareholder in Eastern Platinum Limited (“EPL”), a British Columbia company. 2538520 applied under s. 232 of the Business Corporations Act for leave to commence a derivative action on behalf of EPL against some of EPL’s past and present directors and officers. The chambers judge dismissed the petition for failure to meet the good faith requirement. The B.C.C.A. dismissed 2538520’s appeal. “The motion to adduce new evidence is dismissed. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Corporations: Plans of Arrangement 

Wilks Brothers LLC v. 12178711 Canada Inc., et al., 2020 ABCA 430 (39560)
Pursuant to s. 192  of the Canada Business Corporations Act 12178711 Canada Inc. applied for a judicial order approving a plan of arrangement that would reduce a group of related companies’ debt and interest payments and improve their liquidity. Wilks Brothers LLC opposed the arrangement. Most other stakeholders supported the plan. The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta approved the plan of arrangement. The C.A. dismissed an appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Criminal Law: Delay 

Jeha v. R., 2020 ABCA 453 (39565)
Mr. Jeha’s trial was scheduled to conclude more than 30 months after the date he was charged. He applied to stay proceedings for breach of his right to be tried within a reasonable time. The motions judge deducted time from the total delay for periods when the court and Crown counsel were available but defence counsel was not and dismissed the motion because the net delay was not presumptively unreasonable. The C.A. dismissed an appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed. Justice Martin took no part in the judgment.”

Criminal Law: Delay

R. v. Ellis, 2020 NSCA 78 (39564)

Mr. Ellis was charged on May 30, 2017 with sexual assault. After trial proceedings concluded, Mr. Ellis applied for a stay of proceedings for unreasonable delay. After deducting time taken by Mr. Ellis during trial to retain a new lawyer, the trial judge calculated a net delay of 20.52 months, exceeding the 18‑month applicable presumptive ceiling for time for trial. The trial judge stayed the proceedings for unreasonable delay. The C.A. dismissed an appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed without costs.”

Criminal Law: Driving Offences 

Bégin v. R., 2020 QCCA 1712 (39561)
The Applicant, Karl Bégin, was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit and of bringing about an accident that caused death. The Court of Québec sentenced him to imprisonment for 6 years and 6 months and made an order prohibiting him from driving a motor vehicle for 10 years, with no possibility of being registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program for 5 years. Mr. Bégin appealed the sentence, but solely as regards the 10‑year overall driving prohibition and the 5‑year absolute prohibition. He raised two grounds of appeal: insufficient reasons had been given concerning the length of the driving prohibition orders, and the length of the driving prohibitions was demonstrably unfit. The Qué. C.A. found these grounds were without merit. It granted the motion for leave to appeal the sentence and dismissed the appeal. “The application for leave…is dismissed.”

Elections: Early Election Calls 

Engel, et al. v. Prentice, 2020 ABCA 462 (39566)
On April 7, 2015, the Premier of Alberta advised the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the Alberta Legislature and to set a polling date of May 5, 2015. The Lieutenant Governor exercised his power to dissolve the Legislature and set the polling date as requested. The Applicants applied for several declarations confirming the Premier’s actions contravened the Election Act and the election of May 5, 2015, was contrary to s. 3  of the Charter . The Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the Applicants’ application, and the C.A. dismissed their appeal, on the basis an early election was a political decision based on prerogative powers that are not justiciable. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”