APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL GRANTED
37551 S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation
(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)
Trusts — Contracts — Interpretation — Breach
The applicant is a 56 year old woman with disabilities and cannot work. She receives benefits pursuant to the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act, S.B.C. 2002, c. 41. She is the sole beneficiary of a discretionary trust set up through a variation of her deceased father’s will by court order dated 2012 (the “Trust”), of which she and her sister are co-trustees. The respondent (“MVHC”) operates non-profit subsidized housing facilities in Vancouver, including the place where the applicant has resided since 1992. In addition to providing affordable housing, MVHC has an additional rental assistance program. Due to its policy of precluding subsidized rent to persons with assets greater than $25,000, MVHC demanded the applicant provide information about the Trust, including the amount held in trust. When she refused, she was informed that her subsidized rent would end. She has paid the rent differential under protest.
The applicant brought a petition for a declaration that the Trust is not an asset for the purposes of determining her subsidized rent, and for reimbursement of the additional amount she has paid. MVHC brought a petition seeking declarations that the disclosure of financial information to qualify for subsidized rent requires the disclosure of beneficial interests in assets, including the Trust, and that MVHC is contractually entitled to that financial information. The British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the applicant’s petition and allowed MVHC’s petition. The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals.
37566 Yves Brunette, in his capacity as trustee of Fiducie Maynard 2004, Jean M. Maynard, in his capacity as trustee of Fiducie Maynard 2004 v. Legault Joly Thiffault LLP, LJT Fiscalité Inc., LJT Corporatif Inc., LJT Conseil Inc., LJT Litige Inc., LJT Immobilier Inc., Lehoux Boivin Comptables Agréés, s.e.n.c., Marcel Chaput and Fiscaliste M.C. Inc.
(Que.) (Civil) (By Leave)
Civil liability — Commercial law — Corporate veil
Between 2004 and 2008, the Melior Group, which was made up of a large number of corporations whose share capital was held in whole or in part by 9143‑1304 Québec inc., developed projects to build, renovate and manage seniors’ residences. In 2009, Revenu Québec issued notices of assessment against several corporations in the Group. The issuance of the notices, which was accompanied by collection action, resulted in the bankruptcy of several of those corporations and of 9143‑1304 Québec inc. The applicants, Yves Brunette and Jean M. Maynard, trustees of Fiducie Maynard 2004, the sole shareholder of 9143‑1304 Québec inc., then instituted a civil liability action for the loss in the value of the trust patrimony against the respondents, Legault Joly Thiffault LLP, LJT Fiscalité inc., LJT Corporatif inc., LJT Conseil inc., LJT Litige inc., LJT Immobilier inc., Lehoux Boivin Comptables Agréés, s.e.n.c., Marcel Chaput and Fiscaliste M.C. inc. The respondents were alleged to have committed professional misconduct in setting up a tax structure that was supposed to manage the corporations’ consumption taxes and that turned out to be non‑compliant with legislation. The Quebec Superior Court dismissed the motion to institute proceedings and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
37594 David Barer v. Knight Brothers LLC
(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)
Private international law — Foreign judgments, Enforcement
The Applicant is a Canadian businessman residing and domiciled in Québec, who was operating a company based in Vermont (Barer Engineering Company of America, or “BEC”). The Respondent initiated legal proceedings before the United States District Court for the District of Utah (the “Utah Court”) against BEC and the Applicant personally, as well as a company based in Québec and run by the Applicant, for amounts claimed to be due under a contract. The Applicant made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction with respect to himself personally. The motion was dismissed and subsequently, on January 18, 2013, a default judgment was rendered against the Applicant. The Respondent thereafter sought recognition and enforcement against the Applicant of the judgment rendered by the Utah Court (the “Utah Judgment”). The Superior Court of Quebec allowed the motion seeking recognition and enforcement against the applicant of the Utah Judgment and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL DISMISSED
37587 Her Majesty the Queen v. Christian Bertrand
(Que.) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Criminal law — Charge to jury — Defence — Automatism
The respondent, who had severe personality disorders, did not deny that he had killed his victim by hitting him several times in the head with an iron bar. The trial judge instructed the jury on the defence of insanity, including mental disorder automatism. The jury convicted the respondent of first degree murder.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal on the grounds that the trial judge had not instructed the jury on the defence of non‑mental disorder automatism and that prejudicial evidence, which had ultimately been excluded by the trial judge, might have unduly influenced the members of the jury.
37598 Damion Sinclair v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Criminal law — Defences, Self-defence
On the day of the shooting, Mr. Barton was with some friends outside an apartment building. The applicant, Mr. Sinclair, passed by the group and one of Mr. Barton’s friends made a comment to Mr. Sinclair which he said he perceived as a threat. Mr. Sinclair offered no response, except to put his hand in his pocket indicating that he was armed. Mr. Barton became angry and was heard to say “what’s wrong with the nigga. The nigga is dead”. Later that same day, Mr. Barton approached Mr. Sinclair. Their meeting was brief. Mr. Sinclair shot Mr. Barton once, the bullet hitting him in the heart. Mr. Barton died. Mr. Sinclair said he shot Mr. Barton in self-defence. Mr. Sinclair testified that Mr. Barton unlawfully assaulted him by grabbing his shoulder with his left hand and had his right hand in his pants pocket as if he was trying to pull something out of his pocket. Mr. Sinclair was convicted of second degree murder after a trial by judge and jury. The jury rejected Mr. Sinclair’s argument that he acted in self-defence. Leave to appeal sentence was granted. The sentence and conviction appeals were dismissed.
37669 I.J. v. J.A.M., et al.
(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)
Judgments and orders — Reasons
Following the termination of her employment with S.C.M.I. as chief information officer in 2009, I.J. entered into a settlement agreement that provided her with a severance package. She executed a general release in favour of S.C.M.I. and J.A.M., its president and chief executive officer, regarding any liability arising from her employment. I.J. later filed an action in the Supreme Court
of British Columbia making claims relating to her employment at S.C.M.I including allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, breach of contract and breach of the terms of the settlement agreement. The Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the applicant’s action against the respondents and the appeal was also dismissed.
37572 Wayne Mikkelsen, et al. v. Truman Development Corporation
(Alberta) (Civil) (By Leave)
Contracts — Commercial contracts — Unconscionability
Mr. Mikkelsen, owned a section of land near Langdon, Alberta that his family had farmed for many years. He and the principal of Truman Development Corporation (“Truman”), Mr. Trutina, met at the Mikkelsen farm in January, 2007, and signed the joint venture agreement that allegedly permitted Truman to develop the lands at a future date. Due to some deficiencies in that agreement, Mr. and Ms. Mikkelsen attended before a lawyer to re-sign the agreement a couple of weeks later. Truman filed caveats against the land. There were further discussions between the parties about Mr. Mikkelsen’s desire to roll the land over to himself and his three children. On December 10, 2007, the parties met again and signed a Termination Agreement which stated: “. . . the Joint Venture Agreement . . . will be terminated as of this date and that the caveat in favor of Truman Development Corporation will be removed.” Not all of the caveats were removed by Truman. Mr. Mikkelsen did roll the lands over to himself and his three children. Mr. Trutina continued work on the potential planning, development, and subdivision of the Langdon and neighbouring lands. In 2011, Mr. Mikkelsen discovered that the caveats had not all been removed from his land and commenced an action. At trial, Mr. and Ms. Mikkelsen alleged that they did not understand the nature of the joint venture agreement, and that they signed the agreement thinking it was only a “working arrangement”. Mr. Trutina disclaimed the validity of the Termination Agreement on several ground, asserting that it was only executed to permit the rollover to the children, after which time the joint venture would remain in effect. Truman had spent $438,368.06 on the planning and pre-development of the Langdon and adjacent lands. The Mikkelsens sought to have the caveats removed from their property, to have the joint venture agreement declared invalid and the termination agreement enforced and damages. Truman counterclaimed for specific performance of the joint venture agreement, damages and to recover pre-development costs from the Mikkelsens it had incurred. The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta issued a declaration that no binding contract was formed between the parties. The Court also ordered that the caveats registered against the land be discharged. The Court granted the respondent’s counterclaim to recover a proportionate share of the pre-development costs from the applicant. The Court of Appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal in part and increased the award of pre-development costs to $264,750.89. The Court of Appeal held the joint venture agreement to be valid and binding, but terminated.