The Supreme Court of Canada will hear four appeals this week, including an aboriginal law case concerning the duty of consult, two criminal cases and the B.C. Crown’s appeal of a decision ordering it to turn over data to a major tobacco company in response to the province’s bid to recover health-care costs.
Jan. 15 – Federal – Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Governor General in Council
Aboriginal law: In 2012, the minister of Finance introduced two omnibus bills that amended Canada’s environmental protection and regulatory legislative scheme. Canada did not consult the applicant Mikisew Cree First Nation on these changes. The Mikisew filed a judicial review application seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, and the Federal Court allowed the judicial review application in part, issuing a declaration on the duty to consult, namely that the Crown was under a duty to consult the Mikisew when the bills were introduced in Parliament. The Federal Court of Appeal set aside the declaration, and it dismissed the application for judicial review, finding that legislative action was not a proper subject for it.
Read the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision here.
Related law firm bulletins:
Legislative action not subject to judicial review, Stockwoods LLP, on CanLII Connects
Jan. 16 – British Columbia – Seipp v. R.
Criminal law: Following a break-and-enter into a home and a theft of a vehicle, one of the homeowners in another car saw Seipp driving the stolen car. He tried to overtake him and a collision resulted. A passenger in the vehicle driven by the homeowner was injured. Seipp fled the scene of the accident. At trial, he denied stealing the car. He admitted that he had been driving the car, but he claimed he fled the scene because he suspected it was stolen. At the end of the defence’s case, defence counsel admitted that failing to stop and remain at the scene of an accident had been proven.
Read the British Columbia appellate court decision here.
Jan. 16 – Quebec – Ledoux v. R.
Criminal law: The accused was the director of the police force for the city of Mont Tremblant. When the collective agreement expired, the accused was subjected to intimidation and acts of vandalism. In response, he installed recording devices at the police station and in the room where the negotiations with the union took place. He was charged with interception of private communications within the meaning of the Criminal Code. The jury acquitted the accused, finding that he had made a mistake with respect to the facts that would entitle him to intercept the communications and that he had acted in self-defence. The Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial.
Read the Quebec appellate court decision here.
Related news stories:
Quebec town settles with police chief who was harassed by his own officers, National Post
Mont-Tremblant ordered to reinstate police chief Michel Ledoux, CBC News
Jan. 17 – British Columbia – R. v. Philip Morris International
Legislation: The applicant brought an action under the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act to recover tobacco-related health-care costs from tobacco defendants. The applicant offered to provide access to anonymized health information databases to the tobacco defendants, provided they agreed to the terms of an agreement whereby the experts of all signatories would have the same access and would be subject to the same restrictions. While some tobacco defendants entered into the agreement, the respondent brought an application for an order that the applicant produce anonymized individual-level data from provincial health databases, which the Crown resisted, citing privacy concerns. The Supreme Court of British Columbia granted the respondent’s application, and the appellate court dismissed the Crown’s appeal.
Read the British Columbia appellate court decisions here and here.
Related news stories:
Canada's high court to hear B.C. appeal in battle against big tobacco, CBC News
B.C. Appeal Court orders province to give up data in smoking lawsuit, The Globe and Mail