This week at the SCC

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear six appeals, including the highly anticipated trilogy on limitation periods for securities class actions, as well as a language-rights case emanating from Alberta that will determine whether the province is obligated to enact legislation in both official languages.

Feb. 9-10 – Ontario – CIBC v. Green and IMAX v. Silver and Celestica v. Millwright Regional Council of Ontario Pension Trust Fund

Securities law: This trilogy of cases involves the limitation period for securities class actions in Ontario. In 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal, in Sharma v. Timminco, determined that securities class action plaintiffs were required to obtain leave to proceed within three years of the alleged misrepresentation. In 2014, the court reversed itself, applying a new interpretation of Ontario’s Securities Act and ruling that a class of plaintiffs need not obtain leave within the limitation period; rather, they need only plead their cause of action as well as their intent to seek leave within the three-year period. Ontario has since amended securities legislation in an effort to clarify these matters. The SCC will review the appeal court’s decision in context of recent legislative changes.

Read the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision

Related news story:
Supreme Court to hear trilogy of securities class action appeals, National Post

Feb. 11 – British Columbia – Goleski v. R.

Criminal law: Grant Goleski was pulled over by police for allegedly failing to obey two stop signs. Detecting alcohol on Goleski’s breath, the officer asked him to go to a police station to conduct a breath test. Goleski refused. At trial, Goleski presented witness testimony that he had obeyed the stop signs. Goleski felt he was being treated unfairly, and his suspicion of the police officer led him to refuse the breath test. The SCC will review whether the appeal court erred in finding that Goleski had not met the burden of proof for “reasonable excuse.”

Read the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision

Feb. 12 – Quebec – R. v. Simpson

Tenant rights: The case involves tenants in a building who faced forceful eviction. The building owner’s son, Jean-Marc Arcand, who had been given legal mandate over the building after his father was incapacitated, worked with police, who determined that an inspection was required of the building. During the inspection, a scuffle broke out and the respondent was charged with mischief and assault on a police officer. At trial, the respondents were acquitted and the acquittal upheld on appeal. The SCC will review whether an inspection in such context is valid.

Read the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision

Feb. 13 – Alberta – Caron v. R.

Language rights: Gilles Caron challenged a traffic ticket. He argued that the underlying legislation was unconstitutional because it had not been enacted in French as well as English. Alberta’s Provincial Court originally ruled in the applicants’ favour, declaring that the Royal Proclamation of 1869 and the Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory Order imposed an obligation on the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to enact legislation in both official languages. But the Court of Queen’s Bench struck down the ruling, and the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the QB decision.

Read the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision

Related news stories:
Edmonton Francophone loses Court of Appeal ruling, Edmonton Sun

Franco-Albertan wants to take language battle to top Canada’s top court, Global News

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