In its decision in Peavine Metis Settlement v Whitehead, the
Alberta Court of Appeal provided guidance on when a non-party to a
proceeding can be granted leave to appeal the outcome of that
In this case members of the Gift Lake Metis Settlement were
given the opportunity to vote on the merits of bylaws granting
membership to two individuals, Lyle Whitehead and Brandon
Laboucane. Lester Calaheson, a member of the Gift Lake Metis
Settlement, objected to the validity of the voting list, which was
also the membership list. Mr. Calaheson contented that there were
individuals on the voting list who were not eligible for
membership. The members approved the membership applications and
bylaws were passed granting membership to Whitehead and
Laboucane. Mr. Calaheson appealed to the Metis Settlement
Appeal Tribunal asking it to set aside the approval of the
membership bylaws. However, the Appeal Tribunal upheld the position
adopted by the Gift Lake Metis Settlement as lawful.
Subsequently, three Metis settlements brought a motion for leave
to appeal the Metis Settlement Appeal Tribunal's decision.
However, none of the three settlements were parties to the
proceedings before the Appeal Tribunal. The issue before the Court
of Appeal was whether it had jurisdiction to permit a non-party to
the proceedings to file a leave to appeal application.
The Court held that whether a non-party may file a notice of
appeal is a question of law. The Court then stated that pursuant to
the Judicature Act (RSA 2000, c J 2), it has jurisdiction
to "hear and determine...all questions or issues of
The Alberta Court of Appeal stated that an appeal is a statutory
right; a person cannot appeal or seek leave to appeal without
statutory authorization. The general rule is that only parties to a
proceeding may seek leave to appeal. Where a statute confers a
right of appeal on a non-party, the general rule is displaced.
Additionally, the Court may grant permission to appeal to a
non-party if the decision sought to be appealed: orders the
non-party to do or refrain from doing something; or directly
affects important interests of the non-party; or if the non-party
could have been a party in the proceedings below.
In this case, neither the Metis Settlement Act (RSA
2000 c M 14) nor the Alberta Rules of Court (Alta. Reg.
124/2010) provides any specifications on who can seek permission to
Since there was no statutory provision that granted the
applicants the right to seek permission to appeal, the general rule
– that only parties can seek permission to appeal – was
applicable. The Court found that none of the extraordinary
circumstances that cause appeal courts to grant leave to appeal to
non-parties were present. As such, the Court of Appeal dismissed
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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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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