Canada: Alberta Court Of Queen's Bench Clarifies That Leave Is Not Required To Cross-Examine On An Affidavit Of Records

It was previously unclear under the Alberta Rules of Court, Alta Reg 124/2010 (the Rules) whether leave of the Court was required to question on an affidavit of records (an AOR). In a recent decision from Justice Macleod (2017 ABQB 26), which upheld a decision of Master Prowse, it was confirmed that leave is not required and that questioning on an AOR is a right under the Rules. This decision provides an important procedural clarification and also sets out certain limitations on the scope of such a cross-examination.


In this case, counsel for the plaintiff Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (Penn West) attempted to arrange for the cross-examination of the deponent of the AOR of one of the defendants, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL). Counsel for CNRL objected to the cross-examination on the basis that the Rules do not expressly provide for such a right. 

The Old Rules expressly provided that "a person who has made an affidavit, including an affidavit of documents, filed in any action or proceedings, may be cross-examined on the affidavit without order" (rule 414(1)). 

However, the current Rules do not expressly deal with whether cross-examination on an AOR is available without court order. Rule 6.7 deals with cross examination on an affidavit. However, that rule only deals with affidavits in support of an application or in reply to an application and does not deal with cross-examination on an AOR. 

Rule 5.11 provides that a Court can order cross-examination on an AOR to assist the Court in making a determination about whether a record should be provided. It states: 

5.11(1) On application, the Court may order a record to be produced if the Court is satisfied that

(a) a relevant and material record under the control of a party has been omitted from an affidavit of records, or

(b) a claim of privilege has been incorrectly or improperly made in respect of a record.

(2) For the purpose of making a decision on the application, the Court may

(a) inspect a record, and

(b) permit cross-examination on the original and on any subsequent affidavit of records. [Emphasis Added]

However, this section only deals with when the Court is considering whether to order the production of a specific record and did not comment on any general right to cross-examine on an AOR. 

There was previously no case law resolving this issue in Alberta with the sole comment on the general right to cross-examine on an AOR being the decision Manson Insulation Products Ltd. v Crossroads C&I Distributors, 2014 ABQB 442 where the Court stated: 

The parties have proceeded on the assumption that leave is required to cross examine on an affidavit of records.

...the application does not technically fall under rule 5.11(2)... Furthermore, while the question is not before me for consideration, it has yet to be determined that the rules prohibit cross-examination on affidavits of records on more general grounds, as a matter of right. [Emphasis Added]


In Master Prowse's decision, he held that a party does not need leave of the court to cross-examine a deponent of an AOR. He acknowledged that the Rules are silent on the issue but commented there are strong general policy considerations that support allowing parties to cross-examine on AORs as a right, as it would assist parties in resolving issues before the court in a timely and cost-effective way in line with the purpose and intention of the Rules. 

Master Prowse also commented on the limitations of the right to cross-examine on an AOR. He stated that cross-examination on an AOR is not meant to give a party two chances at examination for discovery of adverse parties and that a cross-examination "does not open up the scope of a cross-examination on an AOR to the extent of an examination for discovery". Further, he stated that if a party "believes, in the particular circumstances of the case, that the cross-examination is unnecessary or abusive they can move to set aside the appointment."

CNRL appealed the decision of Master Prowse. In reviewing the decision, Justice Macleod agreed with Master Prowse's analysis, finding that a deponent of an AOR can be cross examined as of right. Justice Macleod stressed that cross examination on an AOR is an important tool to "test the methodology or the adequacy of document production" but also stated that if a party believes that cross examination is unnecessary or abusive it can make a motion to set aside the appointment. Justice Macleod also noted that restricting the right to cross examine on an AOR does not accomplish the stated goal in the Rules to "provide a means by which claims can be fairly and justly resolved in or by a court process in a timely and cost effective" and that there is nothing to be gained in terms of expediting litigating by requiring a party to obtain leave of the Court to cross examine on an AOR.


This decision provides an important procedural clarification. Parties should be prepared for the possibility of the cross examination of their deponent on an AOR and should also be mindful of the limited scope of such an examination.

About BLG

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

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.