Criminal Law: Homicide

Sylvester v. R., 2021 ABCA 312 (40699)
The deceased, the Applicant, and a number of other individuals lived together in a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary. They were all regular users of drugs and alcohol. There was discord among them which included the deceased injuring two of the roommates. The main issue at trial was the identity of the person who struck and killed the deceased with a machete. The Applicant testified it was another person who did it, and another person testified it was the Applicant who did it. The Applicant was convicted of second degree murder, and his conviction appeal dismissed. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the application for leave to appeal is granted. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Criminal Law: Guilty by Default

Fang v. R., 2022 QCCA (40640)
Mr. Fang received a statement of offence under the Québec Act respecting the Réseau de transport métropolitain. He did not enter a plea and a court date was set, for which he was not present and was found guilty by default. The Court of Québec dismissed the application for a revocation of judgment. The Superior Court of Québec dismissed the appeal, ruling it had no merit and was devoid of any chance of success. The Qué. C.A. refused to grant leave to appeal, as it found there was no true question of law. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Criminal Law: Sexual Offences

K.C. v. R, 2022 QCCA 1611 (40572)
There is a publication ban in this case, in the context of sexual offences against adoptive daughters. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Labour Law: Grievance; Arbitration

Hydro-Québec v. Syndicat des employé-es de métiers d’Hydro-Québec, et al., 2022 QCCA 1714 (40626)
The Applicant, Hydro-Québec (“Employer”), unilaterally changed the working conditions of mobile operators working at the Outardes-3, Outardes-4 and Manic 3 hydroelectric plants and the Micoua substation in the Manicouagan region (collectively, “mid-complex plants”). Those conditions were set out in letters of agreement that had applied since the 1980s. The Respondent, the Syndicat des employé-es de métiers d’Hydro-Québec, section locale 1500 (SCFP-FTQ) (“Union”), filed a grievance to force the Employer to honour the rights and privileges attached to the collective agreement and the letters of agreement. It also sought financial compensation for loss of the benefits provided for in those documents as well as exemplary damages. The arbitrator, Pierre-Georges Roy, dismissed the Union’s grievance on the basis of the Employer’s right of management. The trial judge found the arbitrator’s conclusion was not a reasonable outcome. He allowed the J.R., set aside the arbitrator’s decision, allowed the grievance and ordered the Employer to comply in full with the letters of agreement. He referred the matter back to another arbitrator for a decision on the issue of damages and the monetary compensation to which the aggrieved employees were entitled. A majority of the Qué. C.A. dismissed the appeal on the ground the arbitration award was unreasonable. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Leases: Lease Modification Agreements

Amacon Alaska Development Partnership v. ARC Digital Canada Corp., 2023 BCCA 34 (40650)
When the Applicant purchased the premises in which the Respondent was leasing space, the two parties negotiated the terms of a lease modification agreement. In return for the Respondent agreeing to vacate the premises early and give up an option to renew, the Applicant was to pay $290K upon the execution of the agreement by the Respondent and another $290K when the premises were vacated. When the Respondent waited to execute the agreement until it had negotiated a new lease for alternative premises one month later, the Applicant refused to sign the agreement and did not pay the initial $290K. Without having budgeted money to make a phased move, the Respondent did not vacate by the earlier agreed dated. The Applicant then signed the agreement and paid the initial $290K but refused to pay the second amount on the basis the Respondent had not vacated the premises as agreed. It also sought to charge the Respondent double rent for the overholding period. The Respondent brought an action for a declaration the agreement was valid and binding and had been breached by the Applicant. Applying the principles of good faith set out in Bhasin v. Hrynew the court found the circumstances overwhelmingly established the Applicant acted dishonestly towards the Respondent. The court awarded damages to the Respondent in the amount of $369,260 and dismissed the Applicant’s counterclaim. The B.C.C.A. dismissed the Applicant’s appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Police: Harassment

Lewis v. Canada (Attorney General), 2023 FCA 15 (40658)
Mr. Lewis was an RCMP officer. Mr. Lewis’ commanding officer found his conduct towards another officer, during a traffic checkpoint, was harassment. The commanding officer imposed certain conduct measures. The Conduct Appeal Adjudicator confirmed the commanding officer’s finding of harassment. The Adjudicator rescinded the conduct measures imposed by the commanding officer due to a limitation period. The Federal Court dismissed the J.R. The Fed. C.A. dismissed the appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Professions: Complaints

Toutsaint v. Investigation Committee of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, 2023 SKCA 11 (40652)
The Applicant was an involuntary guest at the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary. The Applicant filed a complaint with The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association regarding a nurse’s conduct when she gave some medication to him. The investigation committee dismissed the complaint with reasons. The Applicant’s J.R. of the dismissal of his complaint was dismissed. His appeal was dismissed. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed without costs.”

Professions: Practice of Law

Maddock v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2023 BCCA 53 (40673)
Mr. Maddock was a self-employed legal consultant who provided legal research and other services to lawyers and members of the public. He obtained a law degree but is not, and never has been, a practising lawyer. The Respondent Law Society of British Columbia contacted Mr. Maddock over concerns he was engaging in activities restricted to practising lawyers. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Maddock filed a petition seeking declarations concerning the interpretation of two statutory provisions — s. 15(2) of the Legal Profession Act and s. 57(2) of the Offence Act — which concern the extent to which non-lawyers may perform work of a legal nature. The Law Society filed its own application, seeking an injunction under s. 85 of the Legal Profession Act to prevent Mr. Maddock from engaging in activities it considered to be restricted to practising lawyers. Both applications were heard together. The chambers judge found Mr. Maddock had breached ss. 15(1) and 15(5) of the Legal Professions Act by engaging in the practice of law for a fee, and by prosecuting a matter in the B.C.S.C. The chambers judge granted the injunction sought by the Law Society, and dismissed Mr. Maddock’s application for declaratory relief. The B.C.C.A. dismissed Mr. Maddock’s appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Torts: MVA; Damages

Blenus v. Fraser 2022 NSCA 73 (40603)
The Applicant, Mr. Blenus, suffered injuries in a M.V.A. He sued the Respondent, Mr. Fraser, for damages. Though liability was admitted, damages and their causation were at issue in the courts below. The trial judge denied Mr. Blenus’ claims for loss of income and diminished earning capacity. He rejected the premise the injuries caused Mr. Blenus to close his profitable construction business, resulting in financial loss, and found Mr. Blenus could have mitigated any financial loss but elected not to do so. On appeal, Mr. Blenus continued to contend the judge erred by failing to award any amount of damages for these claims. The N.S. C.A. dismissed his appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”

Trademarks: Cat Nip for a Cat Fight

Puma SE v. Caterpillar Inc., 2023 FCA 4 (40641)
Puma SE filed application number 1558723 for the trademark “procat” based upon proposed use in association with footwear (athletic, sports and casual shoes and boots) and headgear (hats and caps). It was advertised for opposition purposes in the Trademarks Journal. Caterpillar Inc. filed a statement of opposition, as it owned several registrations and applications for trademarks consisting of or incorporating the term “CAT”, including application No. 1,588,026 for “CAT”, and registration no. TMA382,234 for “CAT and triangle design”, both associated with work, sport and casual clothing (caps), headwear (stocking caps, ear muffs and head bands), and footwear (work boots and athletic shoes). Caterpillar raised four grounds of opposition under the Trademarks Act alleging the marks did not distinguish Puma’s goods from Caterpillar’s “CAT” and because “procat” was confusing with Caterpillar’s marks, which had been used in Canada before the date the application for “procat” was filed. In support of the grounds of opposition, Caterpillar relied on its licensees’ use of its marks in Canada to show use of the marks and the extent to which they had become known. The Trademarks Opposition Board rejected all of Caterpillar’s grounds of opposition and found there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks within the meaning of s. 6(5) of the Act. The registration of the mark “procat” was permitted. The Fed. Court allowed Caterpillar’s appeal under s. 56(1), set aside the Board’s decision and refused Puma’s application for “procat” under s. 38(12). The Fed. C.A. dismissed Puma’s “procat” appeal. “‘The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”