35835 Jamal v. The Queen (Limitation of actions)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced January 15, 2014. The applicant was a Crown employee and a member of the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (“OPSEU”) from 1977 to 2001. She filed grievances in 2000 and 2001 under her collective agreement, which were resolved prior to the hearing at the Grievance Settlement Board (“GSB”). Pursuant to a Memorandum of Settlement she resigned, received $110,000, and signed a full and final release in favour of the Crown. Since the settlement the applicant has sought to set it aside on the basis that she was not properly informed of her rights of pension buy-back. She has engaged unsuccessfully in proceedings against the OPSEU for its alleged breach of the duty of fair representation, against the respondent for alleged fraud and negligent misrepresentation, and to require the GSB to reopen her file and set aside the 2001 settlement. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the action on the basis that: (a) the claims were statute barred by the Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 24, Sched. B; (b) the claims disclosed no reasonable cause of action; (c) the claims were an abuse of process, vexatious, or frivolous; and (d) the claims were outside the jurisdiction of the court and within the exclusive jurisdiction of the GSB. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
35894 Groupe Hexagone, S.E.C. v. The Queen (Taxation — goods and services tax)
On appeal from the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal pronounced March 20, 2014. The applicant Groupe Hexagone applied for an extension of the time for filing a notice of objection against two goods and services tax assessments. After Revenu Québec refused the application, the applicant applied to the Tax Court of Canada, arguing that it had met all the requirements of s. 304(5) of the Excise Tax Act for obtaining an extension. In particular, it alleged that it had been “unable to act or to give a mandate to act in [its] name” (s. 304(5)(b)(i)(A)) for the purpose of objecting to the assessments within the time allowed, since it had never received the notices of assessment. The respondent submitted that she had proved that the notices of assessment had been mailed, so the applicant was deemed to have received them on the day they were mailed under s. 334(1). The applicant was therefore not unable to act or to give a mandate to act. The respondent alleged that the testimony of a single representative of the applicant to the effect that he had not personally received the notices of assessment was insufficient to establish an inability to act. The Tax Court of Canada allowed an application for extension of time. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and dismissed the application for extension of time.
36005 Goldman v. Houle, et al. (Law of professions – lawyers – discipline)
On appeal from the judgment of the Professions Tribunal for Quebec pronounced May 13, 2014. On February 15, 2006, further to a decision of the applications committee of the Barreau du Québec, the respondent, then the executive director of the Barreau du Québec, published a notice of disbarment against the applicant. The notice wrongly stated that the disbarment was enforceable notwithstanding an appeal. The applicant appealed the decision to the Professions Tribunal and then, after realizing his mistake, the respondent corrected the notice of disbarment on March 9, 2006. In 2007, the Professions Tribunal dismissed the applicant’s appeal. The applicant subsequently brought proceedings against the Barreau du Québec seeking damages for the publication of the notice, but he was unsuccessful. In 2012, he filed a disciplinary complaint against the respondent with the disciplinary committee of the Barreau du Québec. The disciplinary committee dismissed the complaint. It found that the respondent was acting in the exercise of his functions when he published the notice of disbarment and that he therefore enjoyed the immunity recognized both by s. 116, para. 4 of the Professional Code and by the case law. As well, in the committee’s opinion, the respondent’s mistake did not give rise to any breach of professional ethics. The Professions Tribunal dismissed the appeal from that decision.