A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP
This was a busy week at the Court, with the release of one oral decision, and eight leave-to-appeal rulings, all likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professionals.
The Court granted an oral decision in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, 2014 SCC 70. The SCC reversed the ruling of the BCCA on the grounds that the lower court had failed to give adequate deference to an arbitrator’s interpretation of a collective agreement, and had failed to recognize the differences between the purposes underlying pregnancy benefits and parental benefits.
The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal from the well-publicized decision of the Federal Court of Appeal, in Canada v. Daniels, 2014 FCA 101, which had ruled that Métis (but not non-status Indians) were “Indians” for purposes of s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
The Supreme Court refused leave in eight additional rulings likely to be of interest:
- Leave to appeal was refused from a Federal Court of Appeal ruling, Malcolm v. Canada, 2014 FCA 130, which had dismissed an appeal from an unsuccessful judicial review of a ministerial fishery licence allocation (based, inter alia, on promissory estoppel and legitimate expectations).
- Leave was likewise refused from the Ontario ruling, Sietzema v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company, 2014 ONCA 111, which had dismissed as statute-barred an insured’s claim for benefits (despite an intervening change in the law).
- Leave was refused from a second Ontario limitations decision, Rajmohan v. Norman H. Solmon Family Trust, 2014 ONCA 352, which had dismissed as statute-barred a third-party claim alleging solicitor’s negligence, on the grounds that the limitation period under s. 38(3) of the Trustee Act had expired.
- Leave was refused in a third appeal from an Ontario decision, 457351 Ontario Inc. v. Golfnorth Properties Inc., 2014 ONCA 382, which had interpreted the parties’ rights under a real property re-purchase agreement.
- Leave was refused from a Manitoba decision, Briones v. National Money Mart Co., 2014 MBCA 57,in which a motion to stay a proposed “pay-day loans” class action had been refused, based on the conclusion that borrowers were not required to mediate or arbitrate disputes with pay-day lenders.
- Leave was refused on appeal from a British Columbia decision, Niedermeyer v. Charlton, 2014 BCCA 165, which had addressed the enforceability and interpretation of a waiver of liability document signed by a participant at a zip-lining facility.
- Lastly, leave was refused from the Québec ruling in Marcheterre c. Fédération (La), compagnie d’assurances du Canada, 2014 QCCA 1026, which had dismissed a claim against a solicitor alleging negligence in a matrimonial matter.