A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group
of McCarthy Tétrault LLP
The Supreme Court of Canada rendered judgment in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell'Aniello, 2014
SCC 1, a case of great interest to Canadian businesses.
Vivendi involved the "commonality" of issues test for
authorizing class actions in Quebec. The Supreme Court of
Canada ruled that the Quebec test for "commonality" was
broader and more flexible than its common law counterparts. A
similar question of fact or law is, the Court ruled,
"common" if it resolves a "not insignificant portion
of the dispute". Common issues need not lead to common
answers. Moreover, the Court ruled that the multitude of
legal schemes potentially applicable to the class (comprised of
employees who worked in six different provinces) was not a bar to
authorization. The Court also pronounced that the
proportionality principle – a general rule of Quebec's
Code of Civil Procedure – cannot serve as a basis to
deny authorization of a class action if the other conditions of
authorization are met. Finally, the Court ruled that the
existence of subgroups is not fatal to authorization as a class
proceeding as long as the members of the groups do not have
The Supreme Court of Canada also denied leave to appeal in three
cases of interest to Canadian businesses.
The Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appeal the Alberta
Court of Appeal's decision in 321665 Alberta Ltd. v. Husky Oil Operations
Ltd., a case which affirmed that companies in an industry could
rationalize their operations by ceasing to do business with a
service provider, without violating the provisions of the
The Supreme Court of Canada also heard arguments in two cases of
interest to Canadian businesses.
The arguments in Canadian National Railway Company v. Attorney
General of Canada centered on whether the standard of
review framework set out in Dunsmuir applies to decisions of the
Governor in Council (the "GIC"), and whether the GIC has
authority to vary or rescind an administrative tribunal decision on
questions of law or jurisdiction.
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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