36304   ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp. v. Minister of National Revenue

Income tax – Courts – Jurisdiction

The applicant, “Conoco”, is one of several oil and gas companies participating in the Syncrude Project in Alberta. On April 14, 2010, members of Conoco’s tax group were notified by the Minister of National Revenue that a Notice of Reassessment with respect to Conoco’s taxation year ending November 30, 2000 was purportedly mailed by the Minister to Conoco on November 7, 2008. On May 3, 2010, the Minister supplied Conoco with a copy of the assessment that bore a “date of mailing” notation of November 7, 2008. By way of letter dated June 7, 2010, Conoco served the Minister with a notice of objection. By letters dated September 15, 2010 and October 12, 2010, the Minister informed Conoco that, because the objection was not served within 90 days of the mailing of the reassessment, and because no request for an extension of time to do so was made within the following year, the objection was rejected. The Minister maintained that the notice of reassessment was mailed while Conoco took the position that the Minister had failed to prove the mailing. Three statutory time-line provisions of theIncome Tax Act, R.S.C., 1985, c.1, (5th Supp.) were engaged. Conoco brought an application to have the Minister’s rejection set aside so that its objection could be considered. The key issue was whether the Minister’s finding that the assessment was mailed on November 7, 2008 was substantiated on the evidence. The Minister argued that the court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the application because its subject matter was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tax Court of Canada.

The Federal Court granted the application for judicial review. The Federal Court of Appeal granted the appeal, held that the Federal Court lacked jurisdiction and that the application was properly in the jurisdiction of the Tax Court of Canada.

36433    Kai Guo Huang a.k.a. Yu Chen v. Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the United States of America

Extradition – Evidence – Foreign Law

The United States of America seeks Mr. Huang’s extradition to stand trial on charges of murder and interfering with the victim’s body. The Record of the Case sets out in part that the prosecution, to prove identity, intends to rely on statements allegedly made to the police by two witnesses a few days after the murder. The witnesses have since sworn affidavits denying that they made the statements. They reside permanently in China and swear that they will not travel to the United States to testify. The United States asserts that the statements to the police can be introduced at trial for the truth of their contents if the witnesses recant the statements at trial and it can rely on a mutual legal assistance treaty with China to obtain testimony from the witnesses at trial through Chinese authorities. At his committal hearing, Mr. Huang sought to rebut the presumption of the availability of the witnesses by introducing the opinion of an expert in Chinese domestic law contradicting the opinion of the United States. The extraditions judge relied on the Record of the Case and the American authorities’ submissions. She committed Mr. Huang for extradition. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the committal order.

36485   Jacqueline Reid v. Paul Gillingham

Family law – Support – Spousal support

The parties married in Newfoundland in 1985 and divorced in 2006. There are four children of the marriage. Ms. Reid was awarded indefinite spousal support and child support, based on the incomes of the parties at the time of the order. In 2013, she applied to vary the amount of spousal support. By that time, Mr. Gillingham had moved to New Brunswick to pursue employment opportunities. At the hearing for a provisional order, the court found that there had been a material change in circumstances since the original order, warranting a variation, based on changes in the parties’ incomes and because there was no longer any child support payable. The court attributed new incomes for both parties and increased the amount of spousal support payable by Mr. Gillingham. This provisional order was sent to the Court of Queen’s Bench, Family Division in New Brunswick for confirmation. That court transmitted the matter back to the Newfoundland court to determine the appropriate standard of living on which the spousal support should be based. The presiding judge on the continued provisional hearing received additional evidence from Ms. Reid but declined to revisit the provisional order. The matter, including the new sworn evidence, was sent back to New Brunswick for a continuation of the confirmation hearing. There, Mr. Gillingham was represented by counsel and he gave additional evidence on the circumstances surrounding his increase in salary since the date of separation. The court decided that Ms. Reid was not entitled to an equitable sharing of Mr. Gillingham’s post-separation income and decreased the amount of spousal support payable from the amount awarded under the provisional order. Ms. Reid appealed this decision and her appeal was dismissed.

36543   Katherine Lin v. William Rock, William Rock Medical Professional Corporation

Civil procedure – Appeals – Pleadings

Ms. Lin brought an action against her former employer for alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Before the respondents’ notice of intent to defend was filed in court, Ms. Lin noted the respondents in default and filed a requisition for default judgment. Master Dash of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck out portions of Ms. Lin’s amended statement of claim, concluding that much of what was pled was frequently scandalous to the extent that it was irrelevant, pled evidence, and/or would have prejudiced a fair trial of the action. Master Dash also set aside Ms. Lin’s noting in default of the respondents, expressing disapproval of her undertaking such an action without warning. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Ms. Lin’s appeal, and subsequent decisions of the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed Ms. Lin’s additional motions seeking leave to appeal.

36476   Best Theratronics Ltd. v. Clifford Douglas Beatty

Employment law — Wrongful dismissal — Mitigation of damages

The respondent, Mr. Beatty commenced a wrongful dismissal suit against his former employer when he was terminated from his employment without cause. He sought a motion for summary judgment.

The Superior Court found that the issues of reasonable notice and alleged failure to mitigate did not present a genuine issue requiring a trial and disposed of these issues by way of summary judgment. It awarded damages of $87,295. The third issue of entitlement to aggravated or punitive damages and to certain special damages was ordered to be dealt with by summary trial.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.