Does an appellant’s deceit preclude her from obtaining the Court’s indulgence in granting an extension of time to file appeal books and factum? And, more generally, are the materials filed in relation to an application for indigent status relevant to a party’s request for an extension of time? In M.A. Concrete Ltd. v. Truter, 2015 BCCA 356, the British Columbia Court of Appeal answered both questions in the negative.
Upon filing her appeal, Ms. Truter applied to the Court of Appeal requesting to be granted indigent status. In her affidavit in support of that application, the appellant failed to disclose an $8,000 per month consulting fee she was earning, and her application was dismissed. Subsequently, the appellant applied for an extension of time to file appeal books and a factum.
The respondent refused to consent, and opposed the appellant’s request, on the basis of, among other things, the appellant’s prior “deceit in failing to fully disclose her income on her application for indigent status.” The respondent also sought to rely on the affidavit it filed in opposition to the appellant’s application for indigent status in support of the respondent’s contention that the appellant’s appeal lacked merit.
The Court rejected the respondent’s submissions. Justice Neilson held that she was not persuaded that “the record of the earlier application for indigent status is of any real assistance on this application.” She went on to reaffirm that the “threshold to establish that there is merit to an appeal on an application of this nature is not high” and that the “appellant need only show that the appeal is not doomed to fail.”