The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments this week in three cases of
interest to Canadian business and professions, and reserved
judgment in each.
The first involved two related appeals from Shoppers Drug
Mart Inc. v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care), 2011 ONCA 830.As we discussed in a
previous post, the appeals turn on whether Ontario can enact
regulations prohibiting pharmacies from selling private-label
generic drugs, or whether this may only be done by statute.The
Supreme Court's decision is likely to address several
interesting legal issues regarding the vires of
subordinate legislation, including whether a statutory power to
regulate includes a power to prohibit, the boundaries of the
administrative law discrimination doctrine, and the presumption
against interference with vested and commercial rights.The oral
arguments before the Court may be viewed here and here, and the written arguments may be viewed
here and here.
The second case was an appeal from Telecommunication
Employees Association of Manitoba Inc. v. Manitoba Telecom
Services Inc., 2012 MBCA 13.It involves a claim by the
employees and retirees of a former Crown corporation, who went from
being members of its statutory pension plan to members of its new
private plan.The plaintiffs allege the employer used an initial
pension surplus in a way contrary to the terms agreed upon by the
parties.The oral arguments before the Court may be viewed here, and the written arguments may be viewed
The third appeal heard by the Supreme Court this week was from
Ontario (Environment) v. Castonguay Blasting Ltd., 2012 ONCA 165, a case we also discussed in a
previous post.The Castonguay appeal involves whether
the discharge of contaminants into the natural environment must be
reported under s. 15(1) of the Ontario Environmental Protection
Act even if it does not cause a non-trivial adverse
environmental effect, but results only in property damage.The
Supreme Court's decision could have broad ramifications for
businesses whose operations involve a significant environmental
component.The oral arguments before the Court may be viewed here, and the written arguments may be viewed
Leave Applications Decided
The Court also denied leave to appeal this week from several
cases of interest, including the following:
(1) Fairview Donut Inc. v. The
TDL Group Corp., 2012 ONCA 867, where the Ontario Court of
Appeal affirmed Strathy J.'s decision to certify but grant
summary judgment dismissing a class action by Tim Hortons'
franchisees.The appeal issues proposed to the Supreme Court
included the scope and effect of the franchisor's statutory
duty of fair dealing, and whether special interpretive rules apply
to franchise agreements given the power imbalance in franchise
(2) Pluri Vox Media Corp. v.
Canada, 2012 FCA 295, where the Federal Court of
Appeal affirmed assessments under the Income Tax Act and
Canada Pension Plan which held the appellant failed to
withhold and remit employee taxes and make CPP contributions on
behalf of an employee who the applicant claimed was an independent
contractor.The applicant argued the Supreme Court should grant
leave to clarify the legal test for determining whether a worker is
an employee or anindependent contractor.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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