There are several key jurisdictional questions raised by this
case relating to the enforceability of class action judgments
issued in one province that purport to bind class members from
other provinces. The case is now before the Supreme Court of
Canada which will be considering such issues as (a) what are the
territorial limits under the Canadian Constitution on a provincial
court's assertion of jurisdiction in a class proceeding over
residents of other provinces and (b) whether a provincial court has
a more expansive jurisdiction in a class proceeding than in an
ordinary proceeding to determine the rights of residents of another
province concerning transactions occurring wholly within that
province. The answers to these questions could have a
significant impact on the future of national class actions in
The story begins in Ontario where The Cash Store and its
affiliated company, InstaLoans, settled a class action
against them and obtained a judgment that purported to be binding
on all their customers across Canada (other than those in B.C. and
Alberta), including customers in Manitoba (the "Ontario
Judgment"). Mr. Meeking was a Manitoba customer who
claimed he did not receive notice of the Ontario settlement and who
brought a class action in Manitoba against the Cash Store and
InstaLoans in respect of some of the matters covered by the Ontario
settlement that had occurred in Manitoba.
The Cash Store and InstaLoans responded by bringing a motion in
Manitoba for an order recognizing and enforcing the Ontario
Judgment. Mr. Meeking argued that the Ontario court did
not have jurisdiction over Manitoba residents such as himself who
dealt with The Cash Store in Manitoba.
The court held that the Ontario Judgment should be enforced in
Manitoba "if (a) jurisdiction was properly assumed by the
court in Ontario; (b) the principles of order and fairness were met
insofar as Manitoba class members were concerned; and (c) there is
no statutory provision in Manitoba or common law rule precluding
enforcement of the judgment" (para. 47). The court held
that all three conditions were satisfied.
However, the court held that the notice that was distributed to
customers under the terms of the Ontario Judgment was only
sufficient to bind The Cash Store's customers and only with
respect to payday loans. The notice was not sufficient to
bind Manitoba customers with respect to other types of loans
offered by The Cash Store in Manitoba, or to bind InstaLoans
customers in respect of any loans.
Mr. Meeking appealed the court's refusal to let him proceed
with his action against The Cash Store in respect of payday loans,
and The Cash Store and InstaLoans appealed the court's
order that Manitoba customers were not bound by the Ontario
Judgment in respect of any loans offered by InstaLoans or the other
loans offered by The Cash Store. The Court of Appeal upheld
the original decision and so all parties appealed to the Supreme
Court of Canada which will consider the appeals in November.
The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada will hopefully bring
some clarity (and finality) to the issues involved with
national classes. This will be particularly important for
defendants who need to know whether a judgment or a settlement on a
national basis will absolve them of liability right across the
country or whether they could still end up paying for the same
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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