v. Chan, the British Columbia Court of Appeal held that it
was inappropriate for the standard of review to be determined by
way of directions. The court ruled that determining the standard of
review to be applied to an appeal is an issue which goes to the
substance of that appeal, and which therefore must be determined
and applied by the judge hearing the appeal.
The appellant had brought an application to commence third party
proceedings, which was dismissed by a master. The appellant
subsequently appealed the master's decision to a B.C. Supreme
Court judge. In that appeal, the judge in chambers provided
directions that the standard of review to be applied was the
"clearly wrong" standard. The appellant – without
proceeding with the appeal – instead appealed the chambers
judge's directions regarding the appropriate standard of
The Court of Appeal quashed the chambers judge's directions,
noting that the standard of review should not be determined by way
 The standard of review on an appeal from a master is a
nuanced question, requiring an analysis of the importance of the
master's ruling to the final disposition of the case. That
analysis depends very much on the circumstances of an individual
case: see Kalafchi v. Yao, 2015 BCCA 524 (CanLII),
particularly at para. 16.
 The correct standard of review from the order of a master
will often be closely tied to the substantive issues on the appeal.
It is therefore appropriate that it be decided by the judge hearing
the appeal, as part of the appeal proceedings.
 It was, therefore, improper for the parties to seek to
resolve the issue of standard of review by way of directions rather
than in the appeal itself. The problem is compounded in this case,
because the judge who gave the directions is now retired, and will
not be hearing the substantive appeal. His ruling should not bind
the judge who hears the appeal, who may well take a different view
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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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