The Ontario Court of Appeal's March 13, 2015 decision in Parsons v. Ontario has added another
layer of complexity to the procedure surrounding
multijurisdictional class actions. A sharply divided Ontario Court
of Appeal held that it was an error of law to hold a sitting of the
Ontario Superior Court outside of Ontario in the
absence of a video link to a courtroom in Ontario. A
majority of the Court of Appeal held that such a video link was
necessary to ensure that the Ontario public has access to the
proceedings. The Court of Appeal's decision serves a useful
reminder of the territorial and jurisdictional limits of the
Ontario Superior Court in an era of global commerce, but will
likely create an additional obstacle to efforts to improve the
coordination and efficient management of multijurisdictional class
The decision was extremely complex and lengthy, and each of the
three judges sitting on the panel wrote a separate set of reasons.
It would appear that the major points emerging from the case
In Ontario, an appeal from an order permitting a sitting of a
Court outside of the province is likely to be considered a
"final" order rather than an interlocutory order, at
least in the context of supervising a settlement, meaning an appeal
of that order is taken to the Court of Appeal rather than the
In principle, the Ontario Superior Court may sit outside
Ontario, but a video link to a courtroom in Ontario will be
There will always be discretion to decline to hold a sitting of
a provincial superior court outside of its home province.
There remains a need for comprehensive guidance from the
provincial legislatures about practice in the area of
multijurisdictional class proceedings.
Given the dissents on various issues in Parsons, and
the different results achieved at different levels of Court in
cases in Ontario, Québec and British Columbia in this
respect, it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court of
Canada will grant leave to appeal the decision in Parsons
and/or a similar B.C. case, Endean v. British Columbia. (The Supreme Court
granted an extension of time to seek leave to appeal
Endean until 60 days after the release of the reasons in
We will be publishing a more detailed analysis of the case
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).