In November, 2012, Julie-Anne Cardinal wrote about the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate. In that case, the Court of Appeal held that a common law spouse was not entitled to the pre-retirement pension death benefit from her deceased partner’s pension. In a departure from previous interpretations of the Pension Benefits Act, the court found that as the pre-retirement death benefit provision of the Act specifically excludes spouses living “separate and apart” from each other,  the legislature must not have intended for common law spouses to be entitled to the benefit, because common law spouses cannot, by definition, live “separate and apart”.

In that article, we noted that leave to appeal the case to the Supreme Court was being sought. We can now confirm that the Supreme Court has denied the application for leave to appeal.