Charter: Freedom of Religion

Webber Academy Foundation v. Alberta Human Rights Commission (Director), et al., 2023 ABCA 194 (40907)
The Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta found that the Applicant, Webber Academy Foundation had unlawfully discriminated against two students by prohibiting them from performing prayers on campus. The Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the appeal of that decision. The Alta. C.A. also dismissed the appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs to the respondent, Alberta Human Rights Commission (Director). Martin J. took no part in the judgment.”
 

Civil Litigation: Dismissal

Collins v. R., 2023 ONCA 646 (40994)
Ms. Collins filed a Statement of Claim seeking damages pursuant to s. 24(1) of the Charter. The Ont. Superior Court of Justice granted a motion filed by the Crown to dismiss the action pursuant to Rule 2.1.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, on the basis it is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of process. The Ont. C.A. dismissed an appeal. “Pursuant to Rule 6(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, an extension of time to file the printed copies of the application for leave to appeal as required by Rule 19(5) is granted to the Applicant. The motion to the Registrar for directions is dismissed. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”
 

Civil Litigation: Motions to Strike

Morriss v. R., 2023 BCCA (41024)
The Applicant, Sean Morriss brought a Statement of Claim in the Federal Court. The Federal Court struck the Statement of Claim. The Fed. C.A. dismissed the appeal. “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 with costs.”
 

Civil Litigation: Vexatious Litigation

Martineau v. Municipalité de Sainte-Christine-D’Auvergne, et al., 2023 QCCA 620 (40848)
The plaintiff, Mr. Martineau, is seeking several million dollars alleging that the respondents perjured themselves in the context of an investigation conducted by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and which resulted in the loss of his pension disability. This investigation would also have led to the filing of criminal charges for which Mr. Martineau was found guilty and received a detention sentence. The Qué. Superior Court rejected Mr. Martineau’s appeal against each of the Respondents, declared the appeal abusive, and declared Mr. Martineau a contentious litigant. The Qué. C.A. rejected Mr. Martineau’s request for permission to appeal out of time since, in its opinion, the proposed appeal has no reasonable chance of success. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the application for leave to appeal is granted. The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the replies is granted. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”
 

Civil Litigation: Vexatious Litigation

Morriss v. R., 2023 BCCA (41023)
The Applicant, Sean Morriss has a long-standing grievance against the Respondent Crown in relation to rights he alleges he had with respect to certain mineral claims in or near the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park in British Columbia. His grievance dates back to the 1970s. Mr. Morriss was declared a vexatious litigant in respect of these claims; was prohibited from commencing any legal proceedings in any court in respect of the dismissed claims without leave of the court; and the enforcement of the costs order was stayed so long as Mr. Morriss complied with the prohibition. Mr. Morriss filed a notice of claim in relation to the dismissed claims and subsequently obtained a default judgment. The Respondent Crown filed an application seeking a declaration that Mr. Morriss had violated the vexatious litigant order and requested the default judgment be set aside. The application was allowed and the claim dismissed. The B.C.C.A. dismissed the appeal. “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: Forfeiture

L.G. v. Attorney General of Canada, 2023 ONCA 495 (41057)
Ms. Georgiou’s son was convicted of offences in the U.S. and ordered to forfeit $26M. American authorities invoked Canada’s assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to enforce the forfeiture order in respect of $9.3M in a bank account in Canada. Ms. Georgiou applied for a declaration that she holds a one hundred percent interest in the funds, the funds are unaffected by the forfeiture order, and the funds should be paid to her with accrued interest. The Ont. Superior Court of Justice dismissed the application. The Ont. C.A. denied leave to appeal. “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: Homicide

Atienza v. R., 2023 ONCA 537 (41033)
Mr. Williams was shot three times, by two gunmen, a short distance down the street from his home. He died shortly afterwards. The Applicant and Mr. Williams knew each other as a result of their involvement in the drug subculture. They shared a circle of acquaintances, a number of whom were involved in the events surrounding the shooting and gave evidence at the trial. The Applicant admitted in an agreed statement of facts that he attended at the scene of the shooting in a light grey/silver BMW SUV. However, his position was that, although the evidence placed him at the scene of the shooting, it was not sufficient to prove that he was involved in the shooting. At trial, the Applicant argued that the shooting was done by two other individuals who had arrived at the scene in a second vehicle. The Applicant was convicted of first degree murder after a trial by judge and jury. The 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: Homicide

Harty v. R., 2023 ONCA 340 (40963)
A chance encounter between the occupants of two cars at a gas station occurred. Following this encounter, the participants went back to their cars and left the station. One car, however, quickly followed the other. Once alongside each other, a passenger in one of the cars, Nicholas Gidden, was shot and killed by an occupant of the other car. The trial concerned whether the passenger of that other car, Walid Zakaria, or the driver, the Applicant Simeon Harty, fired the shot that killed Nicholas Gidden. After a trial by judge and jury, the Applicant was convicted of second degree murder, and discharge of a firearm with intent. The Ont. C.A. dismissed the appeal. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the application for leave to appeal is granted. The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the response is granted. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”
 

Criminal Law: Possession For the Purposes

F.S.D. v. R., 2023 ONCA 572 (40971)
The Ontario Provincial Police executed a search warrant at a farm property. Charges arose from the discovery of $880,000 worth of drugs, including fentanyl, cocaine, morphine and oxycodone, and cash buried in a shed on the property where the Applicant lived with his wife and ran a farm. More containers were found in the house, along with substantial quantities of packaging, digital scales, and more cash. A farm labourer with a criminal record for drug-related offences also lived on the property in a separate shed during weekdays. The trial judge rejected the Applicant’s alternative suspect theory that the farm labourer was the culprit. The Applicant and his wife were jointly convicted on different counts for possession of drugs and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking contrary to ss. 4(1) and 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and one count for possession of proceeds of crime exceeding $5000 contrary to s. 354(1) of the Criminal Code. The Applicant’s conviction appeal was dismissed. The wife’s conviction appeal was allowed. “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. Jamal J. took no part in the judgment.”
 

Expropriation: Noise Disturbance

R. v. Milne, 2023 FCA (40895)
In 2012, the Crown expropriated a narrow strip of land at the edge of the Respondent’s property to allow the expansion of a busy rail corridor. The expansion caused an increase in rail traffic and noise on the Respondent’s remaining property. The value of the expropriated land was no longer controversial, but the Respondent also claimed that the increased noise forced him to give up occupation of his remaining property. He claimed compensation in addition to the value of the expropriated land under the Expropriations Act. This claim is for “disturbance damages”, being the costs associated with giving up occupation of the land and rendering it suitable for his return or, in the alternative, for “injurious affection”, being the decrease in the value of the remaining property as a result of the increased noise. Both parties engaged experts who measured and modelled relevant noise levels and offered industrial guidelines for determining how much noise is considered acceptable. The Federal Court determined that the increase in noise from the expanded railway was imperceptible; cannot have disturbed the Respondent to a degree that justified giving up occupation of his land; and cannot have impacted the value of that land. The claim for additional compensation was dismissed. The Fed. C.A. allowed the appeal. The trial judge made two palpable and overriding errors of fact. The first was the selection of an incorrect pre-expansion noise level, which caused her to underestimate the increase in noise arising from the expansion. The second was the misapplication of one of the relevant industrial guidelines, causing her to fail to recognize the severe impact of the increased noise. These erroneous findings were critical to the dismissal of the claim for compensation. The matter was remitted to the Federal Court to determine the amount of the Respondent’s compensation. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs on a solicitor-client basis.”
 

Family Law: Jurisdiction

Gueye v. Anna DiNino, 2023 ONCA 342 (40938)
The Applicant and the Respondent had a child together in September 2009, and in July 2011 an order pertaining to child support and custody was issued. In June 2017, the Applicant filed a motion for contempt against the Respondent, alleging that she was in contempt of the July 2011 order. The Ont. Superior Court of Justice dismissed the Applicant’s motion, and ordered the parties and the child to attend therapy and counselling. The Ont. C.A. held that it did not have jurisdiction over the appeal from the dismissal of the motion for contempt as it was an interlocutory order, and that it also lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal from the order to attend therapy and counselling. The appeal was transferred to the Divisional Court. “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.”
 

Family Law: Settlement Agreement Recission

Esteghamat-Ardakani also known as Estegahamat-Ardakani, et al. v. Mehran Taherkhani, et al., 2023 BCCA 290 (40928)
In the context of family law proceedings, a consent order was made by Skolrood J. It was founded on a settlement agreement between the Respondents Mr. Taherkhani and Ms. Este. Some time after the consent order was granted in a civil proceeding, Ms. Este said that on the day Mr. Taherkhani filed the family law proceedings, she transferred $3.4 million from one of her bank accounts to an account she held with HSBC. Shortly thereafter, she said that her mother, the Applicant Ms. Esteghamat-Ardakani, was added as a joint holder of the account, and, later, Ms. Este was removed as a holder of the account, leaving it solely in Ms. Esteghamat-Ardakani’s name. In her financial disclosures in the family law action, Ms. Este did not declare the HSBC account. She also declared that three properties she owned in West Vancouver were held in trust for Ms. Esteghamat-Ardakani. Later, in a civil action between Ms. Este, her mother, her brother (Francis Este), and others, Ms. Este claimed that she had always been the only beneficial owner of the West Vancouver properties and the money in the HSBC bank account. She claimed that she had produced fake, back-dated trust declarations to hide the true ownership of the assets in the family law action. The civil action was dismissed by Funt J. In dismissing the action, Funt J. stated that Ms. Este had deceived Mr. Taherkhani, counsel, and the court, and had used the court and its processes to perpetrate a fraud to gain financial advantage in the divorce proceedings. Pearlman J. granted the divorce requested by Mr. Taherkhani and Ms. Este. In addition, he rescinded the settlement agreement in the family law proceeding, and set aside paras. 1-3 of the consent order relating to the settlement agreement. He also ordered that the family law claim was to proceed as if no settlement had been reached and no court order for corollary relief had been made. Mr. Taherkhani was added as a Respondent in the appeal of Funt J.’s order. When the appeal of Funt J.’s order was heard, Mr. Taherkhani and Ms. Este both supported the appeal, but it was dismissed. An application to add Ms. Esteghamat-Ardakani and Mr. Este as Respondents in the family law action and to amend the Notice of Family Claim was granted. An application to set aside portions of Pearlman J.’s order was dismissed, and an application to stay the family law action or to set aside the order adding the parties in the family law action were both dismissed, and Mr. Taherkhani’s action in fraud was stayed with leave to apply to have the stay lifted on certain conditions. The appeal of all of the above orders was dismissed. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”
 

Labour Law: Collective Agreements

Maritime Employers Association, et al. v. Syndicat des débardeurs, section locale 375 du syndicat canadien de la fonction publique, et al., 2023 FCA 93 (40828)
Publication ban and Sealing order in this case, certain information not available to the public, in the context of renewal of an expiring collective agreement. “The applications for leave to appeal…are dismissed with costs.”
 

Non-Profits: Director Removal

Lorenzana-Bilodeau, et al. v. Pierre-Antoine Rivard, et al., 2023 QCCA 689 (40860)
The Qué. Superior Court rendered a judgment that, among other things, removed Joanne Bilodeau, one of the Applicants, from the non-profit organization of which she was a director. The Qué. C.A. allowed in part the Applicants’ appeal. It was of the opinion that the Superior Court could prohibit the Applicant from holding office as director pursuant to art. 329 of the Civil Code of Québec, but that the prohibition could not be for more than five years pursuant to art. 330. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”
 

Professions: Discipline

Lafond v. Elnemr, en sa qualité de syndic adjoint du Barreau du Québec, 2023 QCCA 1135 (40953)
On March 22, 2019, the Barreau du Québec’s Disciplinary Council convicted the Applicant, Diane Lafond, of three counts: (1) failing to declare to her client, who was claiming amounts of money for an assault, that she had collected $80,000 from a third party as extrajudicial fees when the case was settled out of court; (2) collecting without entitlement, as professional fees, $95,000, which represented 50% of the amount of the out-of-court settlement despite the fact that the fee agreement reached with the client set out a percentage of 30%; and (3) participating in a scheme by giving the third party payer two invoices for services never rendered to that company. On August 30, 2019, at a second hearing where only two of the three committee members were present, the Disciplinary Council fined the Applicant $4,000 on the first count and disbarred her for 12 months and for 6 months on the second and third counts, respectively. The Applicant appealed those decisions to the Professions Tribunal of Québec. The Professions Tribunal allowed in part the Applicant’s appeal and acquitted her of count 2, finding that the Disciplinary Council had failed to assess relevant evidence relating to the offence of appropriation. It upheld the other convictions and penalties. The Superior Court dismissed the application for judicial review as it was of the view that the Applicant had not discharged her burden of demonstrating that the Professions Tribunal’s decision was unreasonable. The Qué. C.A. dismissed the application for leave to appeal. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs to the respondent.”