37906 Michel Guay v. Ville de Brownsburg-Chatham, Municipalité Régionale de Comté d’Argenteuil, Josée Davidson (Que.)

Contracts – Formation – Municipal law

The applicant Mr. Guay is a farmer who leased two parcels of land situated on a lot owned by Ville de Brownsburg-Chatham, which in 2012 granted an 80‑year lease of the lot to the Municipalité Régionale de Comté d’Argenteuil. Alleging that he had a right of first refusal, Mr. Guay brought an action against the respondent municipalities to compel transfer of title. In the course of the trial, negotiations were conducted and a settlement agreement was prepared by the parties’ lawyers. The respondent municipalities believed that a transaction had been entered into, and they submitted the agreement to their respective municipal councils for approval during the days that followed. Mr. Guay contended that there was no agreement. The municipalities applied to the Superior Court for the homologation of the transaction. Mr. Guay made an incidental application for disavowal and repudiation of certain acts performed by his former lawyer, the respondent Ms. Davidson, during the resolution process. The Superior Court allowed the municipalities’ joint application for homologation and found that the parties had entered into a transaction. It also dismissed Mr. Guay’s application for disavowal and repudiation and declared it abusive under art. 51 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Guay’s appeal, finding that his grounds of appeal had no reasonable chance of success.

37916 Hanna Engel, in her quality of liquidator of the succession of Fanny Kogan v. Curateur public du Québec, Groupe Boudreau Richard Inc. and Réjean Boudreau (Que.)

Bankruptcy and insolvency – Civil procedure

The Superior Court of Québec dismissed Ms. Engel’s request to postpone the hearing of her Application of the Plaintiff to be relieved of Default to Inscribe and Extension of Delays for Proof and Hearing. The court proceeded on hearing the application with regards to the defendants other than Réjean Boudreau, in light of the concurrent bankruptcy proceedings involving the latter. The main application was also dismissed, inter alia for lack of evidence.

The Court of Appeal unanimously granted the Curateur public du Québec’s and Groupe Boudreau Richard Inc.’s applications for the dismissal of Ms. Engel’s appeal, and dismissed her appeal, as no error was shown with the first instance judgment.

37958 Dan Bailey v. Milo-Food & Agricultural Infrastructure & Services Inc., o/a Milo-FAIS, and Geetu Pathak (Ont.)

Employment – Limitation of actions – Commencement of limitation period – Whether plaintiff discovers claim for wrongful dismissal when given notice of termination or at the end of the employment relationship.

In his statement of claim, Mr. Bailey indicates that he was advised on March 7, 2013, by the President and CEO of Milo-Food & Agricultural Infrastructure & Services Inc. that his employment was to be terminated. On March 18, 2013, he was advised that his final day at Milo would be March 22, 2015. On December 21, 2015, having worked until March 22, 2015, as planned, Mr. Bailey commenced an action against Milo and Ms. Pathak for wrongful dismissal; severance pay pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41; emotional upset and mental distress; breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19; and breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1. Milo and Ms. Pathak moved to strike the statement of claim pursuant to r. 21.01(1)(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194, on the ground that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action and was statute barred.

Based on Jones v. Friedman, 2006 CanLII 580 (Ont. C.A.), Munroe J. found that the limitations period for the wrongful dismissal and severance pay claims had begun to run when Mr. Bailey was given notice that his position was to be terminated. As such, those claims had been filed out of time and they were struck pursuant to r. 21.01(1)(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The motion to strike remaining claims was dismissed. The Court of Appeal set aside the order striking the claim for severance pay, holding that Mr. Bailey had made a novel and credible argument based on ss. 11(5), 63(1)(a), 64(1) and 65(1) of the Employment Standards Act that the claim for severance pay does not crystalize until the employment has come to completion. It otherwise dismissed the appeal and the cross-appeal.

37924 Produits de l'érable Philippe Jacques inc. and Philippe Jacques v. Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (Que.)

Legislation – Retroactivity – Agriculture

The Superior Court found that the order of the Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec should not be given retroactive effect. On the other hand, it was of the view that s. 5 of the Act to amend the Act respecting the marketing of agricultural, food and fish products retroactively validated the damages clauses in the maple syrup marketing agreement in effect in 2005 and 2006. The Superior Court also found that the evidence showed that Philippe Jacques had breached the rules applicable to trading in maple syrup. It therefore ordered Produits de l'érable Philippe Jacques inc. and Philippe Jacques solidarily to pay $626,240.80 to the Fédération.

The Court of Appeal endorsed the trial judge’s analysis of ss. 5 and 6 of the amending Act. It also found that it had not been shown that the trial judge had erred in assessing the evidence. The appeal was therefore dismissed.

37933 Woodstock Police Services Board, Police Constable Dopf, Police Constable Campbell, Police Constable John Doe(s) and Constable Jane Doe(s) v. Robert Winmill (Ont.)

Limitation of actions

On June 1, 2014, police attended at Mr. Winmill’s home to investigate a report of an altercation. They entered the home and became embroiled in a physical struggle with Mr. Winmill. Mr. Winmill was arrested. Mr. Winmill was charged at the police station with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. No other charges were laid. On February 17, 2016, he was acquitted of both charges. On June 2, 2016, he issued a notice of action claiming negligent investigation and battery. The defendants pleaded in part that the claim in battery was statute-barred because it was made after a two-year statutory limitation period. A motions judge agreed and dismissed the claim in battery. A majority of the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal, holding that the limitations period commenced on the date of the acquittals.

38061 The Woodstock Police Services Board, Detective Sergeant Becks, Officer Wright, Officer Sylvester, Officer Westlake v. Everton Brown (Ont.)

Limitation of actions

Mr. Brown was arrested on February 13, 2013 and charged with criminal offences including assault. There was a struggle during his arrest and he sustained injuries. At trial, Crown counsel withdrew the charges in exchange for a peace bond. On May 13, 2016, three years and three months after the arrest, Mr. Brown commenced a civil action against the Woodstock Police Services Board and officers alleging battery, illegal search, wrongful arrest and detention, various related Charter breaches and malicious prosecution. The defendants brought a motion to have the claims dismissed on the basis they were not commenced within applicable statutory limitation periods. A motions judge dismissed the action. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal.

37959 Gordon Lipka, Stacey Gaebel v. Bradley Gaebel (B.C.)

Torts – Negligence – Motor vehicle accident

Mr. Gaebel was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Mr. Lipka on a gravel logging road. As the vehicle approached an intersection, Mr. Lipka lost control. The vehicle crossed the road, travelled onto an embankment, launched in the air, and rolled three times.  Mr. Gaebel claimed negligent driving caused injury. The trial judge found Mr. Lipka was not negligent and that Mr. Gaebel failed to prove that the accident caused him any injury. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal. It held that Mr. Lipka caused the vehicle to encroach onto the shoulder of the road and the trial judge made a palpable and overriding error by concluding otherwise. It found Mr. Lipka liable and ordered a trial on damages.