36435  Her Majesty the Queen v. Oswald Oliver Villaroman

Criminal law – Evidence – Circumstantial evidence

On appeal from the Court of Appeal of Alberta. The respondent, Mr. Villaroman, was having mechanical problems with his laptop computer, so he took it to a repair shop. The computer was not password-protected. The repair technician found some child pornography on the laptop computer in a music-sharing folder. He called the police, who got a search warrant and used it to find the child pornography. On the voir dire, the judge concluded that the respondent’s s. 8 Charter rights were not infringed. The trial judge convicted the respondent of possession of child pornography. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against conviction. The conviction was quashed, and an acquittal was entered.

36403  City of Edmonton v. Edmonton East (Capilano) Shopping Centres Limited (as represented by AEC International Inc.) and Assessment Review Board for the City of Edmonton

Administrative law — Appeals — Standard of review

On appeal from the Court of Appeal of Alberta. The respondent shopping centre was assessed for tax purposes at $31,328,500. It brought a complaint against the assessment to the Assessment Review Board for the City of Edmonton. A new city assessor took responsibility for the file and disagreed with the categorization of the mall and applied to the Review board proceeding to have the assessment increased.

The Review Board accepted the assessor’s argument in part and increased the assessment to $40,795,500. The shopping centre sought leave to appeal this decision and it was granted. The Court of Queen’s Bench allowed the appeal and remitted it back to the Review Board. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal and ordered that the Assessment Review Board for the City of Edmonton may participate in the appeal as an intervener and may present arguments limited to the issue of its jurisdiction.