Young Persons: Protection

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. Directrice de la protection de la jeunesse du CISSS de la Montérégie-Est, et al., 2022 QCCA 1653 (40602)
There is a publication ban in this case, and a publication ban on the party; certain information is not available to the public, in the context of provincial youth protection. “The application for leave to appeal…is granted with costs in the cause.”


Criminal Law: Child Porn; Trafficking

S.V. v. R., 2022 QCCA 1574 (40538)
There is a publication ban in this case, and a publication ban on party, in the context of child porn and trafficking in persons. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the application for leave to appeal (2022 QCCA 1574) is granted. The applications for leave to appeal…are dismissed.”

Criminal Law: Contempt

R. v. Henderson, 2023 BCSC 201 (40682)
The Respondent Mr. Henderson was protesting the harvest of timber in an area of Vancouver Island known as Fairy Creek. They did so by positioning themselves in a roadway in such a way as to make the road impassable. The Respondent’s activities were prohibited by an injunction issued by the B.C.S.C. Police approached the Respondent and, in accordance with their practice, read a short-form script intended to summarize the material terms of the injunction (“Script”). Police asked the Respondent if they would leave the roadway; the Respondent declined. Police arrested them and the Crown assumed carriage of the criminal contempt prosecution. The trial judge held while the Injunction itself was not ambiguous, the Script did not convey sufficient information to fix the Respondent with actual knowledge of its material terms, and there was insufficient evidence to establish the Respondent was wilfully blind to those terms. In acquitting the Respondent, the trial judge noted an earlier case in which he held the Script was sufficient to fix an accused with actual knowledge was distinguishable because the accused in the earlier case did not argue the Script was deficient. “The motion to expedite the application for leave to appeal and the appeal is dismissed. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Family Law: Income Accounting

Bouvier v Bouvier, 2023 SKCA 17 (40670)
The Respondent Ms. Bouvier was granted an unequal distribution of the family property, and the marriage dissolved. Ms. Bouvier brought an application requesting the Applicant Mr. Bouvier provide an accounting of all rental and other income received from the farm land. The chambers judge held Ms. Bouvier’s action should be struck on the basis the issue of post-order income was res judicata. The Sask. C.A. concluded the chambers judge erred in his application of the doctrine of res judicata and allowed Ms. Bouvier’s appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Labour Law: Grievances

Bergeron v. Canada (Attorney General), 2022 FCA 209 (40606)
The Applicant Ms. Bergeron worked as a lawyer with the Department of Justice until May 2001 when she took a medical leave for a chronic illness. She attempted to return to work several years later, but Ms. Bergeron and the department were unable to reach an agreement on a suitable return to work plan. The department advised Ms. Bergeron it intended to vacate her position. In July 2008, Ms. Bergeron filed her first grievance alleging a failure to accommodate on the part of her employer. She filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission on the same grounds. Ms. Bergeron filed a second grievance, this time alleging retaliation by her employer because she had filed a complaint with the Commission. Ms. Bergeron filed another complaint with the Commission on the same ground as the second grievance. The Commission refused to deal with the complaints. Ms. Bergeron’s challenge of the Commission’s decision relating to the retaliation complaint was successful on J.R. and the complaint was sent back to the Commission for redetermination. Following a number of reconsideration decisions, the Commission decided not to deal with the retaliation complaint because it had already been dealt with through the grievance process. Ms. Bergeron’s application for J.R. of that decision and the subsequent appeal were dismissed. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Religion Freedom: Church Gatherings

Smith, et al. v. British Columbia (Attorney General), et al., 2022 BCCA 427 (40622)
After determining the COVID-19 virus was an immediate and significant risk to public health in the province, the Provincial Health Officer of British Columbia (PHO) made numerous orders prohibiting or regulating specific kinds of gatherings and events based upon the risk of transmission known to be associated with the types of settings and activities involved. After receiving tickets for violating some of the orders, three churches and their spiritual leaders challenged the constitutionality of some of the restrictions imposed. Among other relief, they petitioned for a declaration the time-limited orders imposed by the PHO in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic prohibiting in-person gatherings for religious worship infringed their rights under ss. 2, 7 and 15 of the Charter, and were of no force and effect. After filing their petition, the Applicants sought a reconsideration of the orders and the PHO varied her previous orders to permit gathering for weekly, outdoor, in-person religious services subject to certain conditions. The B.C.S.C. held the Applicants were not entitled to J.R. of pre-reconsideration decision orders. However, the court went on to determine their reasonableness under the framework of Doré v. Barreau du Québec, 2012 SCC 12, [2012] 1 SCR 395. The court found there had been an infringement of s. 2 rights and declined to make findings with respect to the ss. 7 and 15 claims. The court found that, given the nature and extent of the threat of COVID-19, the orders temporarily prohibiting gatherings for in-person religious worship were a reasonable and proportionate balancing of the Charter rights and the underlying objectives and were justified under s. 1. The B.C.C.A. dismissed an application to adduce fresh evidence and dismissed the appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Religious Freedom: Church Gatherings

Trinity Bible Chapel, et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2023 ONCA 134 (40711)
The Applicant churches and individuals were charged with contravening COVID-19 regulations put in place by the government of Ontario during the pandemic. The regulations applied to organized public events, social gatherings, and gatherings for the purpose of conducting religious services, rites and ceremonies. The Applicants challenged portions of the regulations which imposed numerical or percentage capacity restrictions on indoor and outdoor religious gatherings between December 2020 and July 2021. While the regulations have either expired or been repealed, the charges against the Applicants remain outstanding. The Applicants brought motions to set aside court orders made against them, arguing that the regulations to which they related infringed s. 2 of the Charter and should be declared of no force and effect under s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice found it unnecessary to consider separate infringement of ss. 2(b), (c) and (d) and held the restrictions infringed s. 2(a) rights and freedoms. However, after determining the restrictions were justified under s. 1, the court dismissed the motion to set aside the judicial orders. The Ont. C.A. dismissed the appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Wills & Estates: Sole Estate Trustee Appointments

Bitaxis v. Dimakarakos, 2023 ONCA 66 (40661)
The Applicant sought to challenge the validity of the most recent iteration of the deceased’s will. The Applicant filed a Notice of Objection to the Respondent’s application to be named sole trustee of the estate pursuant to the most recent version of the will. The Respondent sought an order to vacate the objection filed by the Applicant. The application judge ruled in favour of the Respondent, granted his request to vacate the Applicant’s objection to the will, and issued an order declaring the Respondent to be the sole estate trustee. This decision was upheld by the Ont. C.A. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”