SCC No. Case Name Province of Origin Keywords
38467 Jesse Norman Imeson v. Maryvale (also known as Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services) ON Civil Procedure — Appeals — Evidence
38519 Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec c. Procureure générale du Québec QC Labour relations — Anti-strikebreaking provisions
38492 Aikhon Beahon v. Hal Steinfeld ON Property — Personal property — Leases
38493 Juanita Wood v. Director, Occupational Health and Safety Branch Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board YT Civil procedure — Abuse of process
Jesse Norman Imeson v. Maryvale (also known as Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services) (Ont.)
Civil Procedure — Appeals — Evidence — Expert evidence
In 1996‑97, Mr. Imeson spent a few months at Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services, a residential institution devoted to the care and education of troubled youth. He later alleged that he had been sexually assaulted by a former child and youth worker at Maryvale, and, later, by another person. At trial before a judge and jury, Mr. Imeson sought to call Dr. Kerry Smith, a mental health clinician employed in the British Columbia prison system who had seen, assessed and counselled Mr. Imeson over a long series of therapeutic sessions. After a voir dire, Dr. Smith was permitted to testify as a participant expert under the principles set out in Westerhof v. Gee Estate, 2015 ONCA 206. During Dr. Smith’s testimony, the trial judge cautioned that Dr. Smith could speak to his observations and assessments, but not to causation, and that Dr. Smith’s evidence related to what Mr. Imeson had said, not to whether those statements were true. In her charge to the jury, the trial judge described Dr. Smith as an expert witness entitled to give opinion evidence, and repeated the hearsay caution. She told that jury that what Mr. Imeson told Dr. Smith was only meant to show what Dr. Smith’s opinion had been based on. She did not refer to Dr. Smith’s evidence or opinions when reviewing the evidence or in her instructions as to damages.
The jury found Maryvale vicariously liable for sexual assaults alleged committed against Mr. Imeson by Tony “Doe”. The jury did not accept Mr. Imeson’s claim that he was also sexually abused by a deceased Roman Catholic priest, Father Howarth, and the action as against The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Archdiocese of London and Father Howarth was dismissed. An appeal was allowed and a new trial was directed based on a holding that Dr. Smith’s evidence exceeded the limits applicable to the evidence of participant experts.
Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec v. Attorney General of Quebec ‑ and ‑ Association professionnelle des ingénieurs du gouvernement du Québec and Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec inc. (Que.) (Civil) (By Leave)
Labour relations — Anti-strikebreaking provisions
The applicant, the Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du Gouvernement du Québec, which was certified following a special process provided for in the Public Service Act, represents some 17,000 professional employees in various departments and agencies. These employees are included in a single bargaining unit for the purpose of negotiating with a single negotiator, the Conseil du trésor, which acts on behalf of the Quebec government. The collective agreement of the employees in question expired on March 31, 2015. On May 24, 2016, the applicant gave notice of a targeted strike, for an indeterminate period that was to begin on June 3, 2016, to the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie. The strike notice concerned 151 professional employees. On May 30, 2016, the Quebec government applied to the Administrative Labour Tribunal for an order declaring the strike to be illegal on the basis that it did not include all the employees of the bargaining unit and, moreover, that it was inconsistent with the negotiated essential services agreement. On June 2, 2016, the Administrative Labour Tribunal rendered a decision in which it declared the strike to be illegal. The applicant applied to the Superior Court for judicial review of that decision. The Superior Court dismissed the application, and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
Aikhon Beahon v. Hal Steinfeld (Ont.)
Property — Personal property — Leases
Mr. Beahon applied to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order determining that the Mr. Steinfeld (senior property manager for W.J. Holdings Limited) and W.J. Holdings Limited (landlord) altered the locking system on a door giving entry to a rental unit without giving the tenant replacement keys. The rental unit in question was rented by two tenants from 1976 until they vacated the premises in August 2015. When Mr. Steinfeld went to the unit to inspect it on September 1, 2015, he found it in poor condition, infested with vermin and cockroaches and filled with garbage. He also found Mr. Beahon in the unit. As Mr. Beahon had no tenancy agreement with W.J. Holdings, he was escorted from the premises and was told that he could come back in two days to collect his belongings. When Mr. Beahon returned in October 2015, he found that his personal belongings had been disposed of. The Board concluded that as Mr. Beahon had never been a tenant, it was without jurisdiction to issue the order requested and dismissed the application. Mr. Beahon’s application for a review of that order was denied. Mr. Beahon then made an application for the return of his personal property. The court held that without a legal tenancy, Mr. Beahon was not entitled to the protections afforded to tenants and the application was dismissed. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision.
Chad Laverick v. Attorney General of Alberta, Registrar of Motor Vehicle Services and Alberta (Transportation Safety Board) (Alta.)
Mr. Laverick’s operator’s licence was suspended in April 2017, pursuant to the administrative licence suspension (ALS) regime under s. 88.1 of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act. The month after, the Court of Appeal declared the ALS regime unconstitutional but it stayed its declaration of invalidity for one year and refused to vary its order to for allow individual exemptions during the period of suspended invalidity. Mr. Laverick initiated judicial review of his licence suspension, on Charter grounds. He also filed an application for an interim stay of the suspension of his license. The respondents filed a cross‑application to have a question of law answered, asking whether Mr. Laverick could rely on the declaration of the ALS regime’s invalidity to seek relief while that declaration was suspended. The chambers judge granted Mr. Laverick’s application for an interim stay and answered the question of law by ruling that while Mr. Laverick could not rely on the declaration of invalidity during the period of suspension, there was nothing that prevented him from using the reasoning of the Court of Appeal, so long as he confined his argument to his objective of seeking a remedy under s. 24(1) of the Charter. The respondents appealed on their question of law. When the appeal was heard, the matter had become moot and the Court of Appeal declined to answer the general question. It answered a narrower question and held that it had already determined that Mr. Laverick, or anyone claiming to be similarly situated, could not seek a constitutional exemption pending the expiry of the suspended declaration.
Juanita Wood v. Director, Occupational Health and Safety Branch Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (Y.T.)
Civil procedure — Abuse of process
Ms. Woods commenced employment on a probationary basis with the Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works (“DHPW”) in February, 2014 as a heavy equipment operator. In February 2015, her employment was terminated on the basis that she was unsuitable for continued employment. Ms. Woods believed that she was terminated because she questioned the handling of two safety concerns at her place of work in violation of s. 18 of the Occupational and Safety Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 159. Thereafter, Ms. Wood commenced numerous proceedings, all of which have been dismissed or withdrawn. She filed a petition, seeking an order setting aside the respondent Director’s decision, an order prohibiting the Director from dealing with claims under s. 18 of the Act, and various declarations relating to the jurisdiction of the Director and the Board and the alleged bad faith of the Director. The Director applied to dismiss the action. His application was granted and that decision was upheld on appeal.