Interlocutory Motions – Temporary Stay
– Related Proceedings
The Attorney General moved for a temporary stay of the
plaintiffs' proceeding pending determination of the plaintiff
GRE's appeals at the Tax Court of Canada. The plaintiffs'
civil action challenged the conduct of the Minister of National
Revenue respecting assessment of excise duties against GRE,
particularly the requirement that GRE be incorporated as a
precondition to the issue of an excise licence, rather than
continue to operate as a partnership. It also challenged the
failure of the Government of Canada to combat the problem of
contraband and counterfeit tobacco products on the Grand River
Reserve, including its failure to properly implement or administer
an anti-smuggling initiative. The plaintiffs argued that the Tax
Court had no jurisdiction to decide the matters in the action and
that it would be unfair and prejudicial to grant the temporary
The motions judge agreed with the Attorney General that the
action should be temporarily stayed until final determination of
the tax appeals, pursuant to the court's jurisdiction to stay
any proceeding on such terms as it considered just. The court was
satisfied that determination by the Tax Court of the validity of
the assessments would have a major impact on the plaintiffs'
claim for damages in the action, and would have a bearing on the
forced incorporation issue. While the Attorney General did not
necessarily meet the test for obtaining a temporary stay set out in
recent case law, the Courts of Justice Act gives the court
broad discretion unfettered by any specific test to grant a
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