36142 Toure, et al. v. Brault & Martineau Inc., et al. (Contracts – Consumer protection – Class actions)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Québec pronounced August 26, 2014. This case concerns two appeals. In the first appeal, the appellant purchased from the respondent, in this instance Brault & Martineau Inc., a stove, a range hood, a refrigerator, a moulding, a cleaning kit and an extra protection plan for the price of $3,785.95. The purchase was made at a time when the respondent was offering clients a rebate amounting to the sales taxes if they paid cash or the option of paying their purchase in 50 equal monthly instalments, without fees or interest. Rather than paying cash and benefiting from the tax-equivalent rebate, the appellant chose the Visa Desjardins (“Desjardins”) financing plan and paid the equivalent of the taxes, $528.14, on the spot. Arguing that the tax-equivalent rebate offered to clients paying cash constitutes a non-disclosed credit charge that had to be paid upon purchase in violation of the Consumer Protection Act, the Civil Code of Québec and the Interest Act, the appellant filed an application for authorization to institute a class action against the respondent. In the second appeal, the appellant purchased from the respondent, in this instance Ameublements Tanguay Inc., a laptop computer and an extended two-year guarantee for the price of $924.90, plus tax. The purchase was also made at a time when the respondent was offering clients its [translation] “we’ll pay both taxes, or opt for our 50-instalment payment plan”. Since she was already a Visa Desjardins card holder, the appellant chose to finance her purchase through Desjardins’s Accord D plan. She understood that because of her choice, she would not receive the rebate amounting to the value of the GST and PST, but not having read the note on the terms and conditions of the promotion, she expected that the amount corresponding to the taxes would be spread over the 50 consecutive monthly instalments; however, she was asked to pay the taxes of $119.08 immediately, and she did so using her Visa Desjardins credit card. The price of the laptop computer, $924.90, was also charged to her credit card account and became payable in 50 equal monthly instalments at an annual interest rate of 0% under the Accord D financing plan. Finding that the tax-equivalent rebate granted when paying cash constituted an undisclosed credit charge that should not have been payable immediately, the appellant filed an application for authorization to institute a class action against the respondent. In both cases, the claim was for the reimbursement of the alleged credit charges or, in the alternative, a reduction in credit charges, in addition to punitive damages. The Québec Superior Court dismissed the application for authorization to institute a class and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
36121 Muckle v. The Queen (Criminal law – Extension of time)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Alberta pronounced April 25, 2013. The applicant was charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault, and pleaded guilty. On July 27, 2006, the applicant was declared a dangerous offender and he is now incarcerated indefinitely. In 2012, he filed a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal, and in 2013, he brought a motion for an extension of time. This motion was dismissed.
36104 D. P. v. A. F. (Family law – Divorce – Accessory measures)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Québec pronounced August 26, 2014. On August 21, 1993, the applicant, D.P., and the respondent, A.F., were married without a marriage contract. Two children were born during their union, in 1996 and 1998. On March 6, 2009, the applicant left the family home and instituted divorce proceedings on May 21, 2009. Before the Superior Court, Picard J. granted the parties’ divorce and ruled on the accessory measures. She concluded, among other things, that the applicant owed the respondent $46,646.64 pursuant to the partition of the family patrimony; $429,846.77 pursuant to the partition of acquests; $3,500 a month for two years in spousal support; a lump sum of $155,968.02; and $ 85,000 as a provision for costs. On appeal, the Court of Appeal set aside in part the decision on the issues relating to the partition of acquests and the awarding of a provision for costs. The applicant now owed $1,118,642.77 to the respondent for the partition of the partnership of acquests. Even though it found that the trial judge did not exercise her discretion unreasonably or arbitrarily in awarding a provision for costs to the respondent, the Court of Appeal concluded that, given the conclusion concerning the acquests, there was no longer any reason to award such a provision, given that balance between the parties had been achieved. Regarding costs, the Court of Appeal found that each party had to bear its own costs.
36219 Klippenstein v. The Queen (Charter of Rights – Freedom of religion – Right to equality)
On appeal from the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal pronounced September 30, 2014. In 2012, the applicant applied for judicial review of a decision of the Canadian Human Rights Commission not to hear his complaint. He attempted to file unsworn affidavits and refused to swear his affidavits on the Bible provided by the court’s registry because it was not undefiled. An order issued from the court that he either access an undefiled Bible or solemnly affirm his affidavits. In 2013, an order issued dismissing his application for judicial review for delay. He subsequently filed a statement of claim against the Crown, seeking an order that the Federal Court Registry was in contempt of court, an order that a court with jurisdiction hear his application and an order providing a means for him to affirm or swear his affidavits in a manner that did not offend his conscience. The Crown brought a motion seeking to strike his statement of claim. The Federal Court of Canada granted this motion and the applicant’s appeal was dismissed.
36168 Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (Administrative law – Standard of review)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia pronounced September 15, 2014. The respondent contracted with a company to replace cut-outs on the respondent’s overhead electrical distribution system near Fernie B.C. One of the contractor’s employees was seriously injured while working on a power line. A Hydro crew that responded to a radioed call for assistance rescued the worker and restored power but did not report the accident to the applicant. The contractor reported the accident more than five hours after it occurred. The applicant’s officers investigated the site the next day and issued orders citing the respondent in violation of the Workers Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 492 (the “Act”). One order was for a violation under s. 172(1)(a), which requires an employer to immediately notify the applicant of the occurrence of any accident that resulted in serious injury to or the death of a worker. The respondent asked for a review, arguing that it had no duty to report the accident as it is not the worker’s employer. When the applicant’s Review Division issued a decision confirming the Order, the respondent brought a petition for judicial review. The Supreme Court of British Columbia quashed the Review Division’s decision as unreasonable and remitted the matter to it for reconsideration. The Court found it unreasonable to impose a reporting requirement on an employer other than that of the injured worker, on the basis of a “significant connection” as the owner of the system, when the Act did not impose that obligation on owners. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
36214 Vachon v. A.G. Canada, et al. (Canadian Charter – Criminal law – Extradition)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Québec pronounced November 6, 2014. The applicant filed an application for judicial review of a decision of the Minister of Justice of Canada ordering his surrender to the United States of America to answer charges of conspiracy to traffic in marijuana and conspiracy to possess property obtained by crime. He submitted to the Minister that his surrender should be refused because, among other grounds, his case should be prosecuted in Canada, not the United States, particularly since he states that he is prepared to plead guilty if he is prosecuted here. He also raised his state of health; the distance from his family and his need for their support, in light of his medical condition; his inability to speak English; and the time it would take to have him transferred to Canada to serve out his sentence here. The applicant submits that the Minister erred in refusing to recognize that his surrender violates ss. 6(1) and 7 of the Charter and is unjust and oppressive. The Québec Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s application for judicial review of the Minister’s order.
36169 White v. The Queen (Criminal Law – Sentencing – Constructive first degree murder)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced January 24, 2014. The accused and three friends decided to rob a teenage boy. Crown counsel argued at trial that they caught up to the victim in a catwalk connecting a residential street to a busy intersection, they attempted to rob their victim at knifepoint, the accused cut the victim’s fingertip with a knife, the victim fled, and the assailants pursued the victim. A witness in the intersection saw the victim being chased out of the catwalk. A co-accused caught up to victim, grabbed him from behind, and held him in a bear hug while he struggled to break free. Two or three seconds later, the accused caught up and made two jabbing motions to the victim’s chest. A few seconds later, the other two assailants caught up. All four assailants then fled. The victim died from a single stab wound to his chest. The Crown alleged constructive first-degree murder under s. 231(5)(e) of the Criminal Code based on unlawful confinement and attempted unlawful confinement. A jury convicted the accused of first degree murder and the applicant’s appeal was dismissed.