Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, 2017 SCC 61 (Wills and estates — Proprietary estoppel — Remedies)
On appeal from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (2016 BCCA 200), setting aside in part a decision of Brown J. (2015 BCSC 1170)
As early as 1992, E and A made it clear that after their deaths, their property would be divided equally among their three children, G, M and N. After A’s death however, E’s estate planning changed dramatically: she transferred title to the family home in Victoria and all of her investments into joint ownership with G, indicating in a trust declaration that G would be entitled absolutely to those assets upon her death. Despite the fact that the trust declaration and joint ownership, if valid, assured that the estate would be virtually devoid of assets, E also executed a new will that appointed G as executor and provided that the estate would be divided equally among the three children. In 2005, when E could no longer live on her own, M agreed to move back to Victoria to care for her, giving up his employment income, his cottage lease, his contacts with his children and his social life, but only after G agreed that M would be able to live in the family home permanently and eventually acquire G’s one‑third interest in the property. After E’s death, the trust declaration came to light and in 2011, G announced her plans to sell the family home, in which M was still living. M and N sought an order setting aside the trust declaration as the product of G’s undue influence over E and declaring that G held the property and investments in trust for E’s estate to be divided equally between the three children in accordance with E’s most recent will. They also claimed, on the basis of proprietary estoppel, that M was entitled to purchase G’s one‑third interest in the property. The brothers succeeded at trial, where the trial judge found that G had not rebutted the presumptions of undue influence and resulting trust, and declared that the property belonged to E’s estate. The Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the trial judge’s conclusions with respect to undue influence and resulting trust, but split on proprietary estoppel. The majority held that since G owned no interest in the property at the time that she made assurances to M, proprietary estoppel could not arise. M appealed on the issue of proprietary estoppel.
Held: The appeal should be allowed.
Per McLachlin C.J. and Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Wagner, Gascon and Rowe JJ.:
The trial judge did not err in concluding that proprietary estoppel operates to enforce G’s promise. Since ownership at the time the representation or assurance was relied on is not a requirement of a proprietary estoppel claim, the fact that G did not have an interest in the property at the time M relied on her promise does not negate G’s obligation to keep her promise.
To establish proprietary estoppel, one must first establish an equity of the kind that proprietary estoppel protects. An equity arises when (1) a representation or assurance is made to the claimant, on the basis of which the claimant expects that he will enjoy some right or benefit over property; (2) the claimant relies on that expectation by doing or refraining from doing something and his reliance is reasonable in in all of the circumstances; and (3) the claimant suffers a detriment as a result of his reasonable reliance, such that it would be unfair or unjust for the party responsible for the representation or assurance to go back on her word and insist on her strict legal rights. When the party responsible for the representation or assurance possesses an interest in the property sufficient to fulfill the claimant’s expectation, proprietary estoppel attaches to that interest and protects the equity by making the representation or assurance binding. It is not necessary that the party responsible for the expectation own an interest in the property at the time of the claimant’s reliance — when the party responsible for the expectation has or acquires sufficient interest in the property, proprietary estoppel will attach to that interest and protect the equity. Whether a claimant’s reliance was reasonable in the circumstances is a question of mixed law and fact. A trial judge’s determination of this point is, absent palpable and overriding error, entitled to deference.
Where a claimant has established proprietary estoppel, the court has considerable discretion in crafting a remedy that suits the circumstances, and an appellate court should not interfere unless the trial judge’s decision evinces an error in principle or is plainly wrong. However, a claimant who establishes the need for proprietary estoppel is entitled only to the minimum relief necessary to satisfy the equity in his favour, and cannot obtain more than he expected. Further, there must be a proportionality between the remedy and the detriment. Courts of equity must strike a balance between vindicating the claimant’s subjective expectations and correcting that detriment.
In the instant case, on the trial judge’s findings, both M and G had clearly understood for well over a decade that E’s estate, including the family home, would be divided equally between her three children upon her death. It was thus sufficiently certain that G would inherit a one‑third interest in the property for her assurance to be taken seriously as one on which M could rely. There is no basis on which to overturn the trial judge’s conclusion that M’s reliance was reasonable. An equity arose in M’s favour when he reasonably relied to his detriment on the expectation that he would be able to acquire G’s one‑third interest in the family home. That equity could not have been protected by proprietary estoppel at the time it arose, because G did not then own an interest in the property. However, proprietary estoppel will attach to G’s interest as soon as she obtains it from the estate. G, as executor, can be ordered to transfer a one‑third interest in the property to each of the estate beneficiaries so that her promise to M may be fulfilled. An in specie distribution of shares in the property is not contrary to E’s intent and this Court has the power to direct G to exercise her discretion as executor in a certain manner. With respect to remedy, the minimum necessary to satisfy the equity in M’s favour is an order entitling him to purchase G’s interest in the family home at its fair market value as of the approximate date on which he would reasonably have expected to be able to do so in the first place.
Per Brown J.: There is agreement with the majority that the trial judge did not err in allowing the proprietary estoppel claim, but disagreement regarding the appropriate remedy. An equity sufficient to ground a claim in proprietary estoppel may arise where the promisor does not in fact hold that right or benefit at the time of making the promise, but the equity arises only if and when the promisor obtains the right or benefit that was promised to the claimant, not at the moment of detrimental reliance. Where a promisor’s attainment of the promised right or benefit rests upon the satisfaction of a future contingency, no equity capable of being remedied through proprietary estoppel can arise until that contingency is satisfied. If the promisor does not hold the right or benefit at the time of the promise, an inchoate equity arises in favour of the claimant at the moment of the claimant’s detrimental reliance thereon, but before an equity capable of conferring a proprietary right can be shown to arise, the promisor must gain the promised right or benefit because the promisor cannot grant what he does not have. To qualify as an equity justifying the operation of proprietary estoppel, the equity must be proprietary, because it must be capable of compelling a promisor to relinquish a proprietary right which he or she actually holds.
In this case, the requisite equity will only arise from the moment that G holds the right or benefit that was the subject of her promise to M, that is, from the time this Court orders her to divide the property into equal one‑third interests and to deliver these to the beneficiaries of E’s estate. Therefore, the minimum necessary to satisfy the equity, once it arises, is to permit M to purchase G’s one‑third share of the property as of the date of this Court’s order.
Per Côté J.: There is agreement with the majority that a proprietary estoppel claim can arise even where a promisor had no ownership interest in the property at the time the promise was made and that a promisee’s reliance is not unreasonable, as a matter of law, solely because the promisor does not own the property at the time the promisee acts, to his or her detriment, in reliance on the promise. That said, a court cannot order an executor to distribute shares of an estate in a manner that disregards the testator’s express intent for the sole purpose of enabling a beneficiary to make good on her promise to a third party. This principle holds true even where that beneficiary also happens to serve as the estate’s executor.
In the instant case, this Court has no power to order G to exercise her executorial discretion in a particular manner. E’s last will was unambiguous in expressly vesting G with discretion in the administration of her estate and in entrusting her to decide the fate of the property in issue, including whether or not it should be sold. Compelling G to transfer shares of the property to the estate’s beneficiaries is to substitute the Court’s own judgment for that of G in determining how the property should be administered, effectively creating a specific bequest that E herself opted not to make. If G’s duties as executor are truly in conflict with her interests as a beneficiary such that there is a breach of fiduciary duty, the proper remedy is not to order an in specie distribution but to replace G as executor. However, if G is ordered to distribute the property in specie and compelled to sell her share to M, the sale price should be determined by the value of the property as of the date of this Court’s order.
Reasons for Judgment by McLachlin C.J. (Abella, Moldaver, Karakatsanis, Wagner, Gascon and Rowe JJ. concurring)
Partially Concurring Reasons by Brown J.
Additional Partially Concurring Reasons by Côté J.
Docket No. 37120
APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL GRANTED
Sean Patrick Mills v. Her Majesty the Queen (N.L.)
Charter of Rights — Criminal law — Search and seizure
Mr. Mills was charged with four counts of internet luring. Undercover police officers created two fictitious on-line identities of 14-year old females. The Crown’s evidence included emails sent to the on-line identities and fragments of emails found on Mr. Mills’ computer that match parts of the emails sent to the on-line identities. Some of the emails include sexual content and some made arrangements with one of the identities to meet at a park. Mr. Mills arrived at the park in circumstances matching the arrangements. Police officers linked some of the emails to Mr. Mill’s social media. The police officers used a screen shot program that captures the video display of personal computers to capture the email communications. Mr. Mills sought to exclude the screen shots and the emails from evidence. The Provincial Court dismissed the application to exclude the evidence and Mr. Mills was convicted on one count of communicating by means of a computer with person believed to be under age of sixteen years for a sexual purpose. The Court of Appeal granted the Crown’s appeal from sentence and extended Mr. Mills’ sentence by 2 months. The Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Mills’ cross-appeal against conviction.
Thomas Reeves v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.)
Charter of Rights – Criminal law – Search and seizure
Mr. Reeves had shared a home with N, his common-law spouse of 20 years and their two daughters. At some point in time there was an altercation involving Mr. Reeves, N and N’s sister and Mr. Reeves was charged with domestic assault. Mr. Reeves was subject to a “no contact” order which allowed Mr. Reeves to visit the home only if N provided her prior, written and revocable consent. N had consented to visits by Mr. Reeves for some time, but later, N contacted Mr. Reeves’ probation officer in order to withdraw her consent. N also reported that she and her sister had accessed the family’s computer and found multiple videos that she believed to contain child pornography. N allowed the police to enter the residence and signed a consent form authorizing the seizure of the computer. The police retained the computer without a warrant for more than four months but they did not search the computer during the intervening time. The police later sought and obtained a warrant to re-seize the computer and search it. The police discovered 140 images of child pornography and 22 videos of child pornography.
Mr. Reeves was charged with possessing child pornography and accessing child pornography. He, however succeeded on a pre-trial s. 8 Charter application. His application to exclude the evidence obtained as a result of the search and seizure of his home computer as well as any evidence derived from a forensic examination of the computer was granted. Mr. Reeves was acquitted. On appeal, the exclusionary order was set aside and a new trial ordered.
Her Majesty the Queen v. Douglas Morrison (Ont.)
Charter of Rights – Constitutional law – Criminal law
The respondent posted a personal advertisement on the website “Craigslist” in the section “casual encounters.” A person calling herself “Mia Andrews” responded to the ad, writing that she was 14 years old. Unbeknownst to Morrison, “Mia” was in fact a police officer. The respondent testified that he thought he was participating in a sexual role-playing exchange with an adult female.
The trial judge held that subsection 172.1(3) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. c. C-46 – the presumption of belief – infringed the respondent’s s. 11(d) of the Charter right. However, the trial judge held that the reasonable steps requirement in subsection 172.1 (4) of the Code is constitutionally valid. The trial judge concluded, however, that the Crown had proven the elements of the child luring offence even without the benefit of the presumption of belief. The trial judge was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the person he was communicating with over the internet as required by s. 172 (4) of the Code. The respondent was convicted of child luring by means of a computer contrary to s. 172.1(1)(b) of the Criminal Code. The designated offence referred to in s. 172.1(1)(b) that formed the basis of the respondent’s conviction was invitation to sexual touching at a person under 16 years of age, contrary to s. 152 of the Code. The sentencing judge went on to hold that the mandatory minimum sentence in subsection s. 172.1(2) of the Code was grossly disproportionate, contrary to s. 12 of the Charter. Refusing to apply it, he sentenced the respondent to 75 days’ intermittent incarceration (after credit for pre-sentence custody was deducted) and made a number of ancillary orders. The Court of Appeal dismissed both the applicant’s and the respondent’s appeals. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge’s conclusions regarding the constitutionality of each of the Code provisions. The Court of Appeal held that the mandatory minimum sentence of one year of imprisonment contained in section 172.1(2)(a) of the Code is therefore of no force or effect pursuant to s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982.
APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL DISMISSED
Michel Morin, Michel Montambeault v. Commission scolaire du Chemin-du-Roy, Complexe multidisciplinaire Les Estacades (Que.)
Civil procedure — Removal of counsel
In 2011, the respondents brought a civil action against the contractor and certain professionals in charge of the construction work on a multisport complex in Trois‑Rivières. In that first action, the applicants Michel Morin and Michel Montambeault served as representatives of the Commission scolaire. They worked with the respondents’ lawyers, attended various examinations, were themselves examined and were listed as witnesses for the upcoming trial.
In 2016, the respondents brought a second civil action, this time against former employees and consultants, including the applicants Michel Morin and Michel Montambeault.
The applicants filed a motion for disqualification of the respondents’ counsel because they were of the view that there was a lawyer‑client relationship between the respondents’ lawyer and them, which gave rise to a conflict of interest, at least in appearance. The Quebec Superior Court allowed the motion for disqualification of the respondents’ counsel. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.
Nathan John Hall v. Canada (Minister of Justice) (B.C.)
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Criminal law
On April 14, 2015, the United States sought Nathan Hall for prosecution of offences corresponding to trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Prior to the committal hearing, Mr. Hall sought to adduce exculpatory affidavit evidence deposing that he was not present at the material time and played no role in the events. The extradition judge dismissed the application, considering that the evidence did not bring into question the reliability of the evidence in the Record of the Case. Rather, he found it invited a weighing and comparison of the contents of the affidavits with the evidence of the investigating officers, which was beyond his function and should be left to the trier of fact.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia committed Mr. Hall for extradition, concluding the committal evidence was sufficient to establish a prima facie case of trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and that a reasonable jury properly instructed could convict Mr. Hall of the corresponding offences. The committal decision was not appealed. The Minister subsequently directed Mr. Hall to be surrendered to the United States for prosecution. The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Hall’s application for judicial review, finding the Minister’s surrender decision was reasonable.
Yvan Branconnier v. Her Majesty the Queen (Que.)
Criminal law — Evidence — Voir dire
The applicant Mr. Branconnier challenged the admissibility of statements he had given the police after being arrested for murder. It appeared that the statements had been made as a result of police trickery. The police had in fact concealed the death of Mr. Branconnier’s accomplice in order to make Mr. Branconnier believe that she might incriminate him at trial. When it came to determining the motive for the crime, the police officers had suggested that revealing it would help a future decision maker understand what he had done.
The courts below found that the police officers’ ploy and the things they had said had not affected the voluntariness of Mr. Branconnier’s statements. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
Stephen Parsons v. B. Komer (Ont.)
Administrative law – Boards and tribunals – Natural justice
Mr. Parsons was charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. He was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder and detained at a mental health institution. Dr. Komer found Mr. Parsons incapable of consenting to treatment. Mr. Parsons appealed the finding to the Consent and Capacity Board.
Mr. Parsons attended the hearing before the Board on his own behalf. The Board adjourned the hearing to give Mr. Parsons an opportunity to retain counsel. When the hearing resumed, Mr. Parsons appeared once again without a lawyer but indicated to the Board that he was prepared to represent himself. The Board explained the hearing process to Mr. Parsons, and the hearing proceeded. Dr. Komer gave evidence first. When invited by the Board to ask questions, Mr. Parsons made long and incoherent submissions. The Board upheld Dr. Komer’s finding that Mr. Parsons was incapable of consenting to treatment. Mr. Parsons appealed, arguing that the evidence in support of the finding was insufficient, and that the Board breached its duty of procedural fairness. Both the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed Mr. Parsons’ appeals.
V. Lorne Humphreys and Brodlor Foods Inc. v. Barry Trebilcock - and between - V. Lorne Humphreys and Brodlor Foods Inc. v. Sebastian Hanne, Juergen Hanne, Calgary Ventures Inc., Contura Consulting Ltd., Bauland Inc., Lux Real Investments Ltd. and Troyvest Estates Ltd. (Alta.)
Administrative law — Appeals — Standard of review
The applicants, V. Lorne Humphreys and Brodlor Foods Inc. commenced an action in the lower court against the respondent individuals and corporations claiming they were engaged in fraudulent business practices.
The action was commenced in December 2006. The Court of Appeal found that the action itself will probably not be tried until 2020. Roughly 9.5 years after the lawsuit was commenced, the respondents sought dismissal of the action under Rule 4.31 of the Alberta Rules of Court claiming litigation and nonlitigation prejudice.
The motion judge dismissed the two delay applications. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeals and dismissed the actions.
Pavol Forgac v. Bombardier Inc. (Que.)
Civil procedure — Security for costs — Default
The applicant is suing Bombardier Inc. for wrongful dismissal. As he resides outside of Canada, he was asked to provide security for costs. His action was dismissed by the Superior Court for failing to provide suretyship in the amount of $10,000. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
Colin Hugh Martin v. Canada (Minister of Justice) (B.C.)
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Criminal law – Extradition
The United States seeks to extradite Colin Martin to stand trial on charges in relation to an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy. The United States alleges that, between 2007 and 2009, Mr. Martin participated in a conspiracy with other members of a drug trafficking organization to transport drugs across the Canada-United States border. An order was issued for Mr. Martin’s committal to await surrender and, on February 15, 2016, the Minister of Justice ordered his surrender. Mr. Martin applied for judicial review of the Minister’s surrender order on the ground that her decision was unreasonable because in the indictment United States prosecuting authorities, for no valid purpose, placed his life at risk by identifying him as a would-be informant and by including statements about his control of the drug trade in and out of British Columbia. Mr. Martin denied making the statements and claimed that conduct by the U.S. was abusive and would shock the conscience of Canadians. He also contended that the Minister erred in finding the United States could adequately address his Métis heritage in sentencing and in imprisoning him. In the result, he sought an order setting aside the Minister’s decision to surrender him to the United States. The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Martin’s application for judicial review, finding the Minister’s surrender decision was reasonable.
Kyla Lee, Paul Doroshenko, Sarah Leamon, Sasha Roudette, Acumen Law Corporation, John Doe and Jane Doe v. Attorney General of British Columbia (B.C.)
Access to information — Solicitor-client privilege
The respondent, Attorney General of British Columbia, asserted privilege over 19 pages of email communications between a government lawyer and employees of a government agency, which were inadvertently disclosed to the applicants, Ms. Lee et al., in response to an access to information request. The chambers judge held that 15 of the 19 pages constituted privileged legal advice, that privilege over them had not been waived, but that the remaining four pages were not privileged. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and varied the chambers judge’s order to apply to all 19 pages.
Pierre Martel v. Loto-Québec, Société du jeu virtuel du Québec inc. (Que.)
Damages – Punitive damages – Defamation
Poker Trail Management, André Boyer and Pierre Martel were sued by Loto‑Québec and Société du jeu virtuel du Québec inc. (“Société”) for damages for defamation. Poker Trail, Mr. Boyer and Mr. Martel applied for the dismissal of the action on the basis that it was abusive. They also sought punitive damages against Loto‑Québec and its officers and directors.
The Superior Court allowed the action in defamation. It dismissed the motions brought against Loto‑Québec for abuse of procedure and for damages and declared the latter motion abusive. The Court of Appeal found that Poker Trail, Mr. Boyer and Mr. Martel had not shown any reviewable error warranting its intervention.
Paul Azeff, Korin Bobrow v. Ontario Securities Commission (Ont.)
Administrative law – Appeals – Procedural fairness
The applicants, among others, were found by the respondent to have passed along material non-public information other than in the necessary course of business, contrary to s. 76(2) of the Act. They were also found to have engaged in insider trading and acted contrary to the public interest. During the course of the hearing, the respondent denied a motion by the applicants for an adjournment to address the loss from a computer of expert evidence developed in support of their defence. In a separate decision, the respondent imposed administrative penalties of $150,000 per incidence of tipping and insider trading ($750,000 and $300,000 on Messrs. Azeff and Bobrow, respectively), ordered a disgorgement of their profits and awarded costs against them. The respondent also ordered a ten year ban on them acting as registrants or trading and acquiring securities (subject to exceptions), and a permanent prohibition on them acting as directors or officer of a reporting issuers.
The applicants appealed the decision on the merits alleging, inter alia, errors of law, insupportable inferences of fact drawn from circumstantial evidence, and a denial of procedural fairness and natural justice because of the denial of their request for adjournment. They also appealed the decision imposing sanctions as being drastically out of line with other case law. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court dismissed the appeals and the Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed the applicants’ motions for leave to appeal.
Diana Michelle Daniella Hordo v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (A United States of America Illinois Registered Mutual Insurer), Barbara Bellissimo and Edward B. Rust Jr. (Ont.)
Charter of Rights – Fundamental justice – Privacy
In 2009, Ms. Hordo was involved in an automobile accident. She brought an action against the driver of the other vehicle, seeking damages and an action against her insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) after some of her claims for benefits were denied. She claimed to have suffered catastrophic, permanent impairments as a result of the accident. She further claimed that confidential and private health-related information provided by her to State Farm in support of her claim for statutory accident benefits was wrongfully transmitted to persons outside of Ontario without her knowledge or consent. Ms. Hordo applied to the court for declarations that State Farm and its officers were in breach of the provisions of, inter alia, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5; the Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.8 and the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11 and the Charter. The applicant’s application for declaratory relief was dismissed. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
Veena Malhotra v. Paul Stunt (Ont.)
Property — Real property — Appeal — Application for leave to appeal
The respondent, Mr. Stunt brought an action against the applicant, Ms. Malhotra for cutting his trees without permission.
The Small Claims Court awarded Mr. Stunt $3,500 in damages. The court found that the trees that were cut did not have a trunk on the property line and were cut on Mr. Stunt’s property.
On July 16, 2013, Ms. Malhotra filed a notice of appeal at the Ontario Superior Court. On August 13, 2015, Ms. Malhotra’s appeal was dismissed for delay on the basis she failed to perfect the appeal. Ms. Malhotra brought a motion before three judges of the Ontario Superior Court to have the order dismissing her appeal set aside. That motion was dismissed.
A motion for leave to appeal to set aside this order was also dismissed by the Court of Appeal without reasons.
Tahar Amrane v. York University (Ont.)
Education law – Universities – Contracts
The applicant alleged that the respondent, an academic institution he had attended as a student, had committed a breach of their contract in relation to the process of assessing written work. The respondent opposed the applicant’s action in damages by filing a motion to strike his statement of claim on the ground that his action was statute‑barred and without merit. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the motion to strike the applicant’s statement of claim, but the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.
Apotex Inc. v. Her Majesty the Queen (FC)
Torts – Duty of care – Negligence
Apotex Inc. is a manufacturer of generic prescription drugs. On January 25, 1988, it filed a submission with the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada (“HPB”) in which it sought approval to sell a generic version of trazodone in Canada, using an American reference product for comparison purposes. Health Canada maintained that its policy was to base its approval on Canadian reference products. It advised that if Apotex continued to rely on a foreign reference product, Apotex would have to establish that the two drugs were identical, not bioequivalent, a less stringent standard. Eventually, in 1990, the parties entered into a settlement agreement whereby the Minister agreed to compare the two drug products on the basis of bioequivalence, not identicality. Apotex continued to submit data to the HPB to establish bioequivalence but still did not receive its Notice of Compliance for Apo-Trazodone until February 28, 1995. At the time, it generally took a year to two years from the date of filing for a drug manufacturer to receive Ministerial approval. Apotex commenced an action against the Minister of Health, alleging, inter alia, that in the course of considering its drug submission over the span of seven years, officials of the HPB committed misfeasance in a public office and also acted negligently. The Federal Court held that the Minister was liable for damages on the basis of misfeasance in public office and negligence. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in part.
Michel Ledoux v. Her Majesty the Queen (Que.)
Criminal law — Interception of private communications
The accused was the director of the police force for the city of Mont‑Tremblant. When the collective agreement expired, the work atmosphere became more acrimonious. The accused was repeatedly subjected to intimidation and acts of vandalism. In response, he installed recording devices at the police station and in the room where the negotiations with the union for the renewal of the collective agreement took place. He was charged with interception of private communications within the meaning of the Criminal Code.
The jury acquitted the accused. It was argued that he had made a mistake with respect to the facts that would entitle him to intercept the communications and that he had acted in self‑defence in response to the intimidation directed against him. The Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial.
V.C. v. A.F. (Que.)
Civil procedure — Conclusions amended on appeal
The parties obtained a divorce judgment dealing with child custody, support, corollary relief and other matters. V.C. appealed the decision and A.F. filed an incidental appeal. The appeal was dismissed. The incidental appeal was allowed in part, and the Court of Appeal amended some of the conclusions of the divorce judgment. V.C. applied for the revocation of the judgment, arguing that all of the conclusions of the incidental appeal should have been the subject of a request for correction in the Superior Court rather than an appeal.