This week at the SCC

It’s going to be a busy week at the Supreme Court of Canada with nine appeals scheduled to be heard.

May 13 — Federal Court — Eli Lilly Canada Inc. v. Novopharm Ltd.

Intellectual property law: This case relates to a patent dispute over the medicine olanzapine, which could potentially be used to treat central nervous system diseases like schizophrenia. Eli Lilly applied for the patent and then Novapharm sought to bring a generic version of olanzapine to market. The central question is whether the Federal Court of Appeal’s creation of a new non-statutory test for utility is a matter of public importance.

Read the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision.

Other related articles:
Federal Court of Appeal upholds invalidity of olanzapine selection patent, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

May 13 — Ontario — Attorney General of Canada v. Zajicek

Criminal law: The Czech Republic sought Bretislav Zajicek’s extradition to stand trial on charges of robbery and property offences from nine years prior. Zajicek had confessed to Czech authorities but he claims the confession was obtained through torture. The minister of Justice wasn’t convinced that his allegations of torture established an abuse of process and therefore issued a surrender order.

Read the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision.

Other related articles:
Ottawa: Bretislav Zajicek facing extradition over allegations of robbery and property damage in his native Czech Republic, CIReport

May 13 — Alberta — Mian v. R.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Mohammad Hassan Mian was charged with drug-related offences but the trial judge found his Charter rights had been breached and excluded the evidence pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter. Mian was acquitted. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial.

Read the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision.

May 14 — Ontario — Katz Group Canada Inc. v. Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Health law: Shoppers Drug Mart and the Katz Group, which own, franchise, and operate pharmacies in Ontario, applied to quash provincial regulations that prohibit private label generic drugs from being sold. Shoppers and the Katz Group wanted to use their own private label generic drugs instead of purchasing them from an arm’s-length third party, however amendments to the regulation of prescription drug sales in 2010 prevent them from doing so.

Other related articles:
Supreme Court to hear appeal of Ontario generic drug rules, The Globe & Mail 

May 14 — Ontario — Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. v. Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Health law: This case is related to the one above. The main question is whether the Ontario government can lawfully ban private label generic drugs by regulation or if it has to receive approval from the legislature.

Read the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision.

Other related articles:
What’s in a Name? Ontario Pharmacies Fight to Substitute Brand-Name Drugs with Private-Label Equivalents, Canadian Appeals Monitor

Will Ontario drug victory be a boost for Shoppers Drug Mart? Financial Post

May 15 — Quebec — Ibanescu v. R.

Criminal law: Mihai Ibanescu was charged with driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and impaired driving. The central issue is whether the Court of Appeal erred by not complying with the stare decisis rule.

Read the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision.

May 16 — Manitoba — Telecommunication Employees Association of Manitoba Inc. v. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.

Pensions: When the Manitoba Telephone System was no longer a Crown corporation, employees and retirees became members of a new pension plan. The pension assets and liabilities attributable to members under the old plan were transferred to the new plan. The difference in value was determined to be approximately $43.3 million. The employees and retirees launched an action for payment of the surplus and sought declarations relating to the governance of the new plan. The Court of Queen’s Bench allowed the action in part and ordered MTS to pay the surplus to the applicants. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.

Read the Manitoba Court of Appeal’s decision.

Other related articles:
MTS employees taking pension money case to Supreme Court, Metro News

May 16 — Alberta — Vuradin v. R.

Criminal law: Fabian Vuradin was convicted of the sexual interference of an 11-year-old girl along with the sexual assault of two others. Vuradin appealed to have his pretrial custody count towards his sentence. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in part. There is a publication ban on the victim’s name.

Read the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision.

May 17 — Ontario — Castonguay Blasting Ltd. v. R.

Environmental law: Castonguay Blasting was the subcontractor at a highway construction site when rock debris damaged a house and a vehicle on neighbouring private property. The property owners were compensated for the damage but Castonguay was charged one and a half years later for failing to report the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment contrary to the Environmental Protection Act. The Ontario Court of Justice acquitted Castonguay, but that decision was reversed by the Superior Court. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.

Read the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision.

Other related articles:
Castonguay Blasting Limited fined $25,000 for fly rock discharge, Ministry of the Environment

Castonguay Blasting — A Case Comment, Gowlings

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