36841   Gerald Robert Ryan v. Her Majesty the Queen


Criminal law – Sentencing – Parole ineligibility

Mr. Ryan was a drug addict and a drug dealer. He employed Barry Head to sell drugs for him. Mr. Head took off with some of Mr. Ryan’s cocaine and his truck. Mr. Ryan confronted Mr. Head and fatally shot him when he smirked at him during the confrontation. Before his trial, Mr. Ryan offered to plead guilty to manslaughter. The Crown did not accept the offer. Graesser J. convicted Mr. Ryan of second degree murder. By the time he was sentenced to life imprisonment, Mr. Ryan had spent 44 months in custody. Graesser J. sentenced Mr. Ryan to life imprisonment and 13 years without eligibility for parole. A majority of the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and changed the period of parole ineligibility to 17 years.

36874   CPNI Inc. v. Paramjit Gill, Mahamud Nadeem Khazi and Ratan Chakraborty


Employment law – Employee protection

The respondents are all former employees of the applicant, CPNI Inc. CPNI carried on business in the technology sector but ran into financial difficulties as a result the 2008 mortgage lending crisis in the United States. In 2010 and 2011, CPNI was unable to pay its employees their wages on a regular basis. The respondents all continued to work for CPNI during this period and CPNI was able to meet some of its payroll obligations. Finally the respondents all left the company between December 2011 and January 2012. In March 2012, they commenced an action against CPNI for arrears of salary and vacation pay for their final six months of employment. Mr. Khazi, prior to his departure in January 2012, offered to make some changes to CPNI’s website and in order to do so, he borrowed the computer he had been using while employed by CPNI. He did not return it until May, 2012. CPNI disputed the amount of funds claimed by the respondents and counterclaimed seeking damages on the basis that the respondents had denied CPNI access to the sole operating version of a software product CPNI had been developing. It alleged that as a result of Mr. Khazi having kept the computer, CPNI lost the opportunity to demonstrate and sell the software to interested parties. The respondents brought a motion for summary judgment. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the Respondents’ motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed the Applicant’s appeal.

36799   Jeffrey Tuck v. Her Majesty the Queen


Criminal law – Charge to jury – Evidence

The applicant, Jeffrey Tuck, was convicted after trial by jury of second-degree murder in a stabbing death at a nightclub. He claimed in his defence that the victim was the aggressor, and that he had taken the victim’s knife from him and stabbed him in self-defence.

On appeal, Mr. Tuck argued that the trial judge erred in the course of the trial in revisiting a ruling that excluded prejudicial portions of his statements to the police, and in her instructions with respect to post-offence conduct and the exculpatory portions of his out-of-court statements. The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed his appeal.

36827   Uroy Shevon Trellis v. Her Majesty the Queen


Criminal law – Evidence – Failure to testify

The accused Mr. Trellis was arrested in an apartment as part of a tactical unit operation. The police also arrested five other individuals who were present in the apartment at the same time. While the police were attempting to enter the apartment, an officer watching the window outside testified that he saw a male make movements that appeared consistent with throwing an object out of the window. The police searched the yard and found a semi-automatic handgun. There was a coarse black hair wedged inside the safety of the gun. The police also found marijuana and crack cocaine around the apartment building.

Mr. Trellis was charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a firearm without license or registration and possession of a loaded restricted firearm. Mr. Trellis was tried by a judge and jury. He did not testify. The Crown’s evidence at trial included the fact that the officer saw an object being thrown from the window, that the other male who was in the room with Mr. Trellis had left the room by then, that the gun was found outside with a coarse black hair wedged inside it, and that the DNA analysis of the hair and of a sample obtained from Mr. Trellis indicated the possibility of a match with another person of at best one in 145. Mr. Trellis was convicted of possession of a loaded restricted firearm and acquitted of the remaining offences. He was sentenced to a prison term of 40 months. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice convicted the accused of possession of firearm. The Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed the appeal from conviction and allowed the appeal from sentence.

36831   Marie-Ève Éthier v. Canadian National Railway Company, Commission des lésions professionnelles, Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (anciennement Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail), Attorney General of Quebec


Constitutional law – Division of powers

The applicant, Marie-Ève Éthier, is a team leader for a federal undertaking, the respondent Canadian National Railway Company, at the Charny train station. As a result of a report from her physician, Ms. Éthier, then seven weeks pregnant, asked the respondent to modify her job functions or, if this was not possible, to grant her the leave of absence provided in the Canada Labour Code for employees who are pregnant or nursing. The respondent informed her that it was unable to reassign her. Consequently, Ms. Éthier chose to go on leave. TheCanada Labour Code is silent, however, on whether employees receive pay for the duration of this leave. Ms. Éthier therefore turned to the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (formerly the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail) in order to obtain the income replacement indemnity provided under the Act respecting occupational health and safety. The Commission informed her that she was not entitled to this indemnity since her employer is a federal undertaking.  The Quebec Superior Court dismissed the motion for judicial review. The Quebec Court of Appeal allowed the motion for leave to appeal and dismissed the appeal.

36826   Tricy Chun Ying Li v. MacNutt & Dumont, Matthew T. Walters


Torts – Territorial jurisdiction – Forum non conveniens

The Applicant alleges she was fired from her previous employment and as a result, claimed to be owed unpaid salary and commissions of less than $10,000.00. The Applicant had, after being dismissed, filed a complaint before the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Division (NSLSD). Subsequently, her former employer filed a claim against her in Prince-Edward-Island (PEI) alleging a breach of fiduciary duty. The Applicant retained the Respondents to defend against this action in PEI. The Respondents also filed a counter-claim for unpaid salary and commission. When this counter-claim was brought to its attention, the NSLSD discontinued its investigation in accordance with s. 83(3) (a) of the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code. This would have deprived the Applicant of a statutory lien. The Respondents subsequently removed themselves as solicitor of record. The Applicant commenced an action for negligence against the Respondents before the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia which was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Applicant commenced these proceedings in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on the same basis. The Respondents’ motion to stay action was granted and the action stayed. The Nova Scotia Court of appeal dismissed the appeal with costs.

36852   Jacqueline Lavigne v. Her Majesty the Queen


Criminal Law – Reasonable doubt – Evidence

Ms. Lavigne, a high school teacher, was charged with sexual exploitation of one of her students. The student was 17 years old at the time. The student testified at trial that they exchanged Blackberry Messages, including messages of a sexual nature, over an extended period of time and then they had sex at her residence on October 29, 2011. The trial judge accepted the student’s testimony and found that other evidence corroborated his testimony. He convicted Ms. Lavigne of sexual exploitation of a youth and sentenced her to 13 months of imprisonment. The Court of Appeal dismissed appeals from the conviction and sentence.

36730   Yacine Agnaou v. Attorney General of Canada


Administrative law – Standard of review – Employment equity

The applicant participated in a closed competition for two law director positions in the public service of Canada while he was a lawyer in the Department of Justice. After his application was screened out on the basis that it did not meet an essential criterion related to management experience, the applicant filed a complaint with the Public Service Staffing Tribunal of Canada for abuse of authority and discrimination against members of visible minorities. The Public Service Staffing Tribunal of Canada dismissed the complaint of abuse of authority. The Federal Court dismissed the application for judicial review. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

36884   Dean Leigh Bassett v. Erin Maureen Magee


Family law – Custody – Access

Mr. Bassett and Ms. Magee married in 2000 and have two children, a son aged fourteen and a daughter aged eight. Ms. Magee and the children have resided in the former matrimonial home in Cranbrook, British Columbia since the parties separated in January, 2012. Ms. Magee is employed as a nurse. Mr. Bassett is employed as a police officer in Calgary where he resides but he also maintains a home in Kimberly, British Columbia. Mr. Bassett has regularly made the three hour drive from Calgary to have parenting time with the children. At trial, each party sought primary care of the children. The daughter objected to staying overnight in the father’s house in Kimberley. The mother wished to move with the children to Vernon to join her partner there. Mr. Bassett opposed this move. The Supreme Court of British Columbia awarded the mother inter alia, primary care of children and permitted to relocate with them; child support, arrears of support and costs. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia allowed the appeal in part and the father was awarded special costs of previous contempt motion.

36832   The Federation of Ontario Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, a.k.a. the Committee of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, Ontario Acupuncture Examination Committee, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology Canada, Canadian Association of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Committee of Certified Acupuncturists of Ontario, James X.N. Yuan, Jia Li v. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario


Charter of Rights – Human Rights – Law of Professions

The individual and corporate Applicants are alleged to have engaged in various capacities in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (“TCM”) contrary to theRegulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (“RHPA”) and the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, 2006 (“TCMA”). The Respondent, College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (the “College”) is formally established as the regulator in Ontario of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists. The corporate Applicants are alleged to have breached the RHPA by falsely holding themselves out as bodies that regulate, under statutory authority, individuals who practice TCM and acupuncture in Ontario. They are also alleged to have started a registration process that purports to authorize individuals to practice TCM and acupuncture in Ontario. The individual Applicants are alleged to have breached the TCMA by engaging in the unauthorized practice of TCM and by using prohibited titles and designations, namely, the title “Doctor”. The College sought declarations that the Applicants breached the governing legislation and requested permanent injunctions enjoining them from further breaching the legislation.

The application judge in this case applied the principle of issue estoppel to preclude the Applicants from using this case to re-litigate the constitutionality of the Registration Regulation. The College was granted declarations that the Applicants breached provisions of the RHPA and the TCMA and the Applicants were permanently enjoined from holding themselves out as bodies that regulate, under statutory authority, individuals who practice traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Ontario or from holding themselves out as members. The Applicants’ appeal was dismissed.

36880  Ramesh Mehta v. Harbans Singh Sidhu


Civil procedure – Appeals – Costs

At a case management conference, the applicant was ordered to produce certain documents. He sought leave to appeal the production order but that was refused, with costs. His motion for an extension of time in which to appeal the previous order was dismissed with costs. The respondent was granted a stay of the action until the costs ordered were paid. The applicant appealed that order and sought to have the costs orders dismissed.

36820  John Thordarson, Thorco Contracting Limited v. Midwest Properties Ltd.


Environmental law

In 2007, the respondent Midwest Properties acquired property zoned “industrial”. The neighbouring property had been owned by the applicant Thorco Contracting Limited, which is owned and operated by the applicant John Thordarson, since 1973. Thorco used the property for servicing petroleum handling equipment and lining tanks. Various materials and wastes, including petroleum hydrocarbons (“PHCs”) were stored on Thorco’s property. Prior to the purchase, Thorco provided Midwest with environmental reports on the Thorco property. It also allowed Midwest to conduct environmental studies. PHC contamination was disclosed and Thorco was found to have been convicted of offences under theEnvironmental Protection Act in 2000. Thorco had not complied with the resulting orders and had continued to store waste improperly. Midwest then completed an environmental assessment of its own property and discovered PHC contamination of the soil and groundwater, along with a risk that PHCs could pose a health risk in its building. Experts indicated that remediation would cost $1,328,000. In 2012, the Ministry of the Environment ordered Thorco to take the steps necessary to restore the contaminated property, including Midwest’s property. When Thorco did not comply, Midwest sued Thorco and Mr. Thordarson for damages in negligence and nuisance, damages under s. 99(2) of the Act, and punitive damages. The action was dismissed at trial, but the respondents succeeded on appeal.