The Supreme Court of Canada released judgments in two cases,
granted leave to appeal in one case and denied leave to appeal in
three cases of interest to Canadian business and professions.
In Castonguay Blastings Ltd. v. Ontario (Minister
of Environment), 2013 SCC 52, the Court adopted a
purposive and expansive interpretation of the reporting obligations
under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act in
upholding the conviction of a corporation which had failed to
report the damage-causing propulsion of rock debris into the air.
The Court stated that "the Ministry of the Environment must be
notified when there has been a discharge of a contaminant out of
the normal course of events without waiting for proof that the
natural environment has, in fact, been impaired. In other words:
when in doubt, report" (at para. 2).
In Cuthbertson v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53,
the majority of the Court ruled that the withdrawal of life support
is governed by the consent regime set out in Ontario's
Health Care Consent Act.
The Court granted leave to appeal in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v.
Saskatchewan, in which the question of whether the
constitutional right to freedom of association extends to the right
to the strike is going to be reconsidered by the Court.
The Court denied leave to appeal from the Ontario Court of
Appeal's decision in Boyce v. Co-operators General Insurance
Company, which as I addressed in an earlier
post, deals with contracting out of the limitation period for
initiating a legal proceeding in Ontario.
Leave to appeal was also denied in Jetha v. Chancery Estate Holdings
Corp., a case involving the circumstances in which a
business transaction between a lawyer and a client can give rise to
a conflict of interest.
The Alberta Court of Appeal provided useful guidance on the application of the organizing principle of good faith in contractual performance, established by the Supreme Court of Canada in its landmark decision Bhasin v Hrynew.
In a recent decision in E.T. v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Superior Court of Justice upheld the decision of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (the "Board") denying a request to accommodate two students pursuant to its Equity Policy.
Recently in Alberta, there have been a number of cases where a municipality has been sued in a civil action concerning a development while there is an ongoing subdivision application being considered by the municipality.
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