In his November 20, 2014 decision in CanaSea PetroGas Group Holdings Limited
(Re), Sharpe J.A. of the Ontario Court of Appeal did not
accept the respondents' submissions that he should decline to
hear an application for leave to appeal a CCAA decision because
only a three-judge panel should hear such an application. He
accepted that it was usual practice to have a three-judge panel
hear the application, and there are advantages to this practice,
but that he nonetheless had jurisdiction and should exercise it. In
the result, however, he declined to grant leave.
In the proceeding, the moving parties originally obtained an
ex parte order (Sharpe J.A. noted he was not satisfied
that there was any need to obtain the order ex parte).
This order was later set aside by the respondents. The moving
parties sought leave to appeal the order setting aside the ex
parte order, arguing they had been denied procedural
The first issue Sharpe J.A. had to decide was whether he should
decline to hear the motion:
 The respondents
submit that as a single judge, I should decline to hear this motion
for leave to appeal and defer the matter to be dealt with in
writing by a panel of the court.
 The CCAA, s. 13,
Except in Yukon, any person
dissatisfied with an order or a decision made under this Act may
appeal from the order or decision on obtaining leave of the judge
appealed from or of the court or a judge of the court to which the
appeal lies and on such terms as to security and in other respects
as the judge or court directs.
is clear from the wording of s. 13 that a motion for leave to
appeal in a CCAA proceeding may be heard either by a judge of the
court or by the court: see Re 1078385 Ontario Ltd. (2004),
16 C.B.R. (5th) 152; 206 O.A.C. 17, at para. 2: "Section 13 of
the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, R.S.C. 1985,
c. C-36, provides the moving party with the procedural option of
bringing a leave motion to a single judge"; Re Country
Style Food Services Inc.  O.J. No. 1377, 158
O.A.C. 30 (Ont. C.A.). While the usual practice is to bring CCAA
leave motions before a panel in writing (see Re Air Canada
(2003), 173 O.A.C. 154) and while there are no doubt advantages to
proceeding before a full panel in writing, both to the party
seeking leave and to the court, I am not persuaded that there is
any proper basis shown upon which I should decline to hear this
Leave to appeal was nonetheless denied:
is firmly established that the test for leave to appeal in
insolvency proceedings is stringent where it involves the exercise
of discretion as to the assessment of competing interests and the
availability of the special protection afforded by the CCAA: see
Re Country Style Food Services Inc., at para. 16;
Regal Constellation Hotel Ltd., (2004) 71 O.R. (3d) 355;
242 D.L.R. (4th) 689;  O.J. No. 2744 at para. 22.
my view, this case falls squarely within the category in which
deference is owed to the CCAA judge and where leave to appeal will
be refused. It was for the CCAA judge to assess the evidence as to
the nature of the debts from which the moving parties seek relief,
the nature of the financial relationship between the various
components of the CanaSea Group and the degree of connection
between the alleged insolvency and Canada. There was ample evidence
in the record to support the findings he made and I am far from
persuaded that he made any error in principle or that he
misapprehended the evidence.
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