35888 R.V. v. R.P. (Family law – custody)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Alberta pronounced March 18, 2014. A consent order directing, in part, shared custody of the child was granted in 2003. In 2012, the mother obtained a restraining order against the father preventing him from seeing the child. As part of that order, the parenting order was stayed. The father appealed the restraining order but by the time the appeal was heard the issue was moot as the restraining order and stay had expired. The panel declined to address the merits of the appeal because it was moot, but suggested that in subsequent applications, the Court of Queen’s Bench should decide the matter based on fresh evidence. Following this, the father requested that the shared parenting plan be reinstated. The mother was granted sole custody and no contact between the father and the son unless initiated by the son and at his discretion. The mother was also granted child support and arrears. The father’s appeal was dismissed.
35915 Ryan v. The Queen (Criminal law – Mr. Big evidence)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Alberta pronounced February 28, 2014. The applicant was charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but the Crown rejected the plea and a trial proceeded to determine whether the applicant had the mens rea required for second degree murder. The Crown’s case included evidence obtained in a Mr. Big operation and testimony from the applicant’s friend, Mr. Sheppard. Mr. Sheppard testified that he witnessed the shooting and the gun discharged accidentally. The applicant did not testify. He led Mr. Big undercover officers to the remains of the body and described the killing to the undercover officers. Mr. Sheppard’s testimony supports the applicant’s version of events to the Mr. Big officers up to the moment of the shooting and after the shooting. Defence counsel agreed that the Mr. Big evidence was admissible, nothing in the officers’ conduct would shock the community, and there was no evidence of coercion or threats by undercover officers. The trial judge rejected Mr. Sheppard’s accidental discharge scenario and, relying in part of some of the Mr. Big evidence, convicted the applicant of second-degree murder. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35949 Gladuhov v. Swider (Summary judgment)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced April 2, 2014. The applicant sued the respondent police officer, alleging that he had suffered damages as a result of the constable’s alleged false testimony at a criminal trial in which the applicant was the defendant. The respondent brought a motion under Rules 21 and 20 to strike the applicant’s claim and to dismiss the action against her, which motion was granted. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35953 Moss v. Keith G. Collins Ltd., et al. (Civil procedure – security for costs)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Manitoba pronounced May 5, 2014. In 1996, the applicant made an assignment in bankruptcy in which the respondent was appointed as his trustee. The administration of his estate involved substantial litigation over the course of many years. During this time he remained an undischarged bankrupt. Throughout, he did not pay costs awards made against him nor did he comply with a 2005 order requiring him to post security for costs. Finally, the applicant, his wife and his daughter entered into comprehensive minutes of settlement with the trustee in which the outstanding costs awards were resolved. These minutes of settlement received court approval and in accordance with its terms, the applicant applied for and received his discharge in 2011 and the Moss family released the trustee and its counsel from all causes of action that had accrued to the date the settlement. The applicant subsequently moved for leave to commence an action against the trustee in bankruptcy, alleging, inter alia, fraud, misrepresentation, coercion, duress and malicious intent on the part of the trustee. The Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the motion and subsequently ordered the applicant ot pay security for costs. The Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s application for leave to appeal the order requiring him to pay security for costs.
35936 Abi-Mansour v. Public Service Commission (Civil procedure – adding parties)
On appeal from the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal pronounced March 5, 2014. The applicant applied for an employment opportunity advertised by the Public Service Commission in late 2010, but was screened out of the selection process. He filed a complaint under the Public Service Employment Act, making certain allegations that involved Treasury Board. His request that the Public Service Staffing Tribunal add Treasury Board as a party to the proceeding was refused. The application for judicial review of decision by Public Service Staffing Tribunal was dismissed. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35905 Blais v. The Queen (Criminal law)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Quebec pronounced March 13, 2014. The applicant was charged with producing cannabis (marijuana) contrary to s. 7(1) and (2)(b) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The applicant was a researcher and was familiar with plants. The issue was essentially the nature of the substances seized at his home. The applicant argued that the court had to distinguish the various species of cannabis because, according to him, some species were not unlawful or covered by the statute in question. The trial judge rejected the applicant’s defence based on the botanical classification. She found that the prosecution had discharged its burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, the two elements of the offence of producing cannabis, that is, the actus reus, which involved cultivating, propagating or harvesting the substance, and the mens rea or guilty mind, which was established by knowledge of the nature of the substance produced. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35965 Ayangma v. Prince Edward Island Teachers' Federation (Summary judgment)
On appeal from the judgment of the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal pronounced May 15, 2014. In February 2012, the applicant settled proceedings that he had commenced against his employer, the Eastern School District (“ESD”). In accordance with the terms of settlement, he was paid the sum of approximately $370,000 in consideration for his releasing and discharging the ESD from all liability arising from his past and future actions and grievances. He provided the Teachers’ Federation, his union and bargaining agent, with a copy of the release. He then sought to have the Teachers’ Federation file two grievances against ESD on his behalf. The Teachers’ Federation conducted an investigation, and after obtaining legal advice, determined that the grievances pertained to matters that were discharged by the release. The Teachers’ Federation declined to file the grievances. The applicant commenced an action against the Teacher’s Federation, alleging that it had breached its duty of fair representation by failing to file the two grievances on his behalf against his employer. Both parties then moved for summary judgment. The Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island, Trial Division, granted the respondent’s motion for summary judgment, dismissed the applicant’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the applicant’s action. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35909 Chrétien v. The Queen (Criminal law — right to counsel)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Quebec pronounced April 30, 2014. The applicant was charged with operating a motor vehicle while his ability to do so was impaired by alcohol and thereby causing bodily harm, and with subsequently refusing to comply with a demand made by a peace officer for the purpose of taking blood samples under s. 254(3)(b) of the Criminal Code. The charges and resulting convictions arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred in October 2008 when the car driven by the applicant collided with a truck in which there were two individuals, one of whom was injured in the accident. At the scene of the accident, the applicant was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while impaired. He was later taken to the hospital. The police then requested a blood sample from the applicant several times, but he refused. The evidence given by the defence and the prosecution at trial differed on whether the applicant had cooperated with the police, whether he had sought to exercise his right to counsel and whether the police had given him an opportunity to contact counsel. At his trial, the applicant alleged by motion that his arrest had been unlawful and that his constitutional right to counsel had been breached. He argued that he had refused to provide a blood sample because of those violations of his rights. The applicant was convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusal to comply with demand made by peace officer to provide blood sample. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35922 Rooke v. University of Waterloo (Charter of Rights – aboriginal peoples)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced August 23, 2013. The applicant brought an application to have a University of Waterloo policy requiring all students to purchase its supplementary health and dental coverage, declared a violation of his rights as a status Indian under the Charter, which application was dismissed. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35928 S.H., M.D. v. Minister of Social Development (Family law – guardianship)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick pronounced April 9, 2014. In 2010, the respondent Minister sought guardianship of three of the applicant parents’ children, now aged 9, 8 and 6. A guardianship order was granted but later overturned by the Court of Appeal (see 2013 NBCA 35). At re-trial in 2013, guardianship was once again awarded to the Minister. The trial judge characterized the parents’ neglect of the children as “outrageous”, and found that the children were “developmentally delayed”, had suffered “untold stress”, and were “scared, angry, defiant, aggressive, anxious, frustrated and absolutely starved and craving for love, affection, attention and just simple understanding”. In his view, it was in the children’s best interests that a guardianship order be granted. The trial judge did not award the parents access rights. However, the children’s siblings and half-siblings were reserved access on the basis that the children would need them in the future to “come to grips with where they have been”, for “understanding” and for “mutual support”. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35943 Doncaster v. Field (Family law – custody)
On appeal from the judgment of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal pronounced April 15, 2014. After the applicant and respondent separated in 2011, they commenced shared custody of their children. In March 2012, based on events in early 2012, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) granted interim sole custody to the respondent and denied access to the applicant. In March, 2013, the applicant unsuccessfully sought to re-gain access and shared custody. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35870 Direk, et al. v. A.G. Ontario, et al. (Civil procedure)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced March 7, 2014. In 2009, the A.G. Ontario filed an application brought under the Civil Remedies Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 28 seeking the forfeiture of some of the applicants’ property as proceeds or instruments of crime. The property in question had been seized by police in connection with an investigation of an alleged illegal drug distribution operation. In response, the applicants filed a counter-application against the A.G. and the Toronto Police Services Board. Among the remedies sought by the applicants was an order quashing the A.G.’s application and an order granting the applicants’ $4 billion dollars in compensation. The respondents filed motions pursuant to Rule 21 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194 for an order staying or dismissing the counter-application on the grounds that it is frivolous, vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court. The Superior Court of Justice permanently stayed the counter-application filed by the applicants, and the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.