This week, the Supreme Court of Canada’s winter session ends. The court will hear three appeals regarding international tariffs, insurance contracts, and an interesting case in which the judge rejected a plea deal submitted jointly by the defence and prosecution.
March 29 – Federal – Canada v. Igloo Vikski
Taxation: The respondent, Igloo Vikski, is an importer of hockey gloves. The company was forced to pay a tariff determined by the Canada Border Services Agency, based on the classification of its imports. Igloo Vikski appealed to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal that the gloves should be taxed under a different classification, but the appeal was dismissed. The respondent then appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, where the appeal was allowed. The SCC will review whether the appeal court decision significantly modifies how a significant number of goods are classified for taxation purposes.
Read the Federal Court of Appeal decision
March 30 – Alberta – Ledcor Construction v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance
Insurance: Ledcor was developing a building in Edmonton. As construction came to a close, the company contracted debris removal out to a third party, which damaged the exterior of the building. Ledcor claimed the damages against its insurance policy, but was declined on the basis of a clause excluding coverage for “the cost of making good faulty workmanship, construction materials or design. . . .” Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench ruled that reasonable expectations of the parties weighed in favour of the applicants’ interpretation of the insurance contract, but was overruled on appeal.
Read the Alberta Court of Appeal decision
‘All-risks’ insurance policies don’t cover all the risks, Stikeman Elliott LLP
March 31 – British Columbia – Anthony-Cook v. R.
Criminal law: Charged with manslaughter, Matthew John Anthony-Cook was detained in both a jail and a mental health facility. He pled guilty mid-trial, after which the Crown and defence counsel made a joint submission that the appropriate sentence was an additional 18 months with no probation. The sentencing judge rejected the joint submission and imposed a sentence of 24 months with three years probation. The SCC will review the test that should be applied when deciding whether to accept a joint sentencing submission.
Read the British Columbia appeal court decision
Appeal dismissed for man who killed volunteer, 24 Hours Vancouver