37534 Noor Khan v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.)

Criminal law – Evidence – Admissibility

Upon arrival at a police station after her arrest, the complainant was told that she would be searched. She told an officer, “I don’t understand what’s going on, this is like the fourth time I’ve been searched”. She alleged that the applicant, a police officer who transported her to the station, stopped his vehicle and searched her three times on route while she sat handcuffed in the rear seat. Based on her description of the third search, the applicant was charged with sexual assault. On a voir dire, Frazer J. admitted the complainant’s utterance at the police station as hearsay and as a prior consistent statement. At trial, the complainant testified that, on the third search, the applicant pulled her tank top from her chest and looked down into her top with a flashlight. Frazer J. of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice convicted the applicant of sexual assault. Justice Vallee quashed the conviction. The Court of Appeal for Ontario allowed the appeal and restored the conviction.

37540 Adrian Barber v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, carrying on business as Manulife Financial (Ont.)

Labour law – Jurisdiction – Collective agreements

Adrian Barber became disabled from her employment as a Port Hope police constable in July 2009. She applied for long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits under a group policy insured by the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (“Manulife”). Manulife paid these benefits until January 2013, then terminated the benefits effective February 1, 2013. The collective agreement between the Port Hope Police Services Board and the Port Hope Police Association, which governed Ms. Barber’s employment, requires the Board to offer disability insurance coverage to the Association’s members. Ms. Barber commenced an action against Manulife asserting that LTD benefits ought to have continued. Manulife brought a motion under r. 21.01(3)(a) of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure to have Ms. Barber’s claim dismissed because the Superior Court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action but, rather, jurisdiction over the dispute belonged to an arbitrator.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted Manulife’s motion to strike Ms. Barber’s action, finding the collective agreement granted exclusive jurisdiction over the matter to the labour arbitration process. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Ms. Barber’s appeal, concluding the decision of the motion judge was correct.