Civil Litigation: Workplace Safety; Due Diligence Defence

Sudbury (City) v. Ontario (Labour), 2021 ONCA 252 (39754)
Following a fatal accident at a work site where a contractor was conducting road repairs for the City of Greater Sudbury, the Ministry of Labour charged the City as an employer and a constructor with violations of the Construction Projects, pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The City was acquitted and an appeal to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was dismissed. The Ont. C.A. allowed an appeal and remitted the matter to the Superior Court of Justice to determine an appeal from a finding the City had proven due diligence. “The application for leave to appeal…is granted with costs.”


Civil Litigation: Res Judicata Defence

Beazley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2021 ONCA 117 (39744)
The Applicant began having flu-like symptoms and rashes after being bitten by two ticks in November, 2015. He consulted many physicians as his condition worsened, and in January 2017 he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The Applicant commenced an action in 2018 against the federal and Ontario Crowns alleging government representatives understated the prevalence of Lyme disease and the problems with available diagnostic tests. Due to this, he claims his infection with Lyme disease was not diagnosed in a timely way and he has suffered as a result. The Attorney General of Ontario requisitioned the dismissal of the action on the basis it was frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process. A judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the action without seeking written submissions by the parties. She found since the statement of claim in the action was substantially identical to the pleadings in a previous action, the issues raised were res judicata. She had granted the Respondents’ motions to strike in the previous action because it was plain and obvious the Applicant’s claims against the Crown could not succeed. He had not pled a statutory scheme or facts from which a duty of care could be supported, nor would granting leave to amend have served any purpose. The Ont. C.A. dismissed a motion for an extension of time in the first action, and dismissed the Applicant’s appeal in the more recent action. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Criminal Law: Breach of Trust

Petrolo v. R., 2021 ONCA 498 (39737)
The Applicant was convicted of one count of breach of trust of a public official, and one count of attempt to obstruct justice for using her position as a paralegal prosecutor to improperly influence the outcome of provincial offences matters. A conviction appeal was dismissed. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Criminal Law: Section 7

R. v. K.D.S., 2021 SKCA 84 (39780)
The Respondent was committed to stand trial on charges of manslaughter, and criminal negligence causing death with respect to the death of his infant daughter. A voir dire was held primarily to determine, among other evidentiary issues, whether the failure of police to preserve videotape evidence of the Respondent at the police station over the course of many hours constituted a breach of his s. 7 Charter rights. The trial judge concluded the Respondent’s s. 7 Charter rights were breached, and a stay of proceedings was ordered. The Sask. C.A. dismissed the Crown’s appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Family Law: Permanent Guardianship

D.S., et al. v. New Brunswick (Minister of Social Development), 2021 NBCA 25 (39783)
The Minister of Social Development sought an order for permanent guardianship of the Applicants’ four children due to an alleged lack of parenting capacity on the part of the Applicants. The children have been in the care of the Minister since January 2018, under a series of supervisory and custodial orders. The Applicants had supervised parenting time with the children. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Municipal Law: Bylaw Validity

1193652 B.C. Ltd. v. New Westminster (City), 2020 BCSC 163 (39773)
The Applicant was the owner of a four-storey, multi-family residential rental building with 21 suites located in the Respondent city. The building was built in approximately 1959 and had not had major renovations by the time the Applicant purchased it in May, 2019. The same month, the City passed a bylaw amendment to its Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Bylaw through Bylaw No. 8130, 2019. The amendment restricted the ability of landlords to evict tenants in order to accommodate renovation work, by requiring the landlord to either enter into a new tenancy agreement with the tenant for a comparable unit in the same building on the same or better terms, or make arrangements for temporary accommodation for the tenant and subsequent return to the renovated unit for the same rent. The Applicant challenged the bylaw as ultra vires and beyond the legislative jurisdiction of the City. The petition was dismissed by the B.C.S.C., as was an appeal to the B.C.C.A. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs. Brown J. took no part in the judgment.”