Followers of Canadian class actions law will have longer to wait for a decision in the much anticipated appeal from the Manitoba Court of Appeal’s decision in Meeking v. Cash Store Inc. et al., 2013 MBCA 81. The appeal, which was scheduled to be heard on January 12, 2015 and expected to bring clarity on the issue of “national” class actions in Canada, was recently adjourned sine die.
The significance of the Meeking decision is described in two earlier posts, which can be found here and here. In summary, the Manitoba Court of Appeal recognized a new presumptive connecting factor, namely the presence of common issues across the class, by which a provincial superior court could assume jurisdiction over non-residents in class proceedings, with the result that a class settlement entered into in Ontario could be binding on extra-provincial class members. However, the Court went on to deny enforcement against some plaintiffs in that case on procedural fairness grounds, because the notice of settlement was deficient with respect to those plaintiffs’ claims.
Both the representative plaintiff, Scott Meeking, and the defendant, the Cash Store Inc., sought and were granted leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. Since that time, the Cash Store and related companies have commenced reorganization proceedings in Ontario under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, RSC 1985, c C-36 and obtained an order staying proceedings against them.
In its decision released August 27, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the representative plaintiff’s motion to adjourn the appeal hearing sine die until the stay granted in the CCAA proceedings was no longer in effect, or unless leave was granted in the CCAA proceedings lifting the stay for the purpose of hearing the appeal to the Supreme Court. As at the date of this post, no motion seeking to lift the stay appears to have been brought.
Meeking v. Cash Store Inc. et al, 2013 MBCA 81
Docket: AI 12-30-07812
Date of Decision: September 15, 2014