This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear five appeals this week in its final week of hearings for the year.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear five appeals this week in its final week of hearings for the year. Canada Post has appealed a ruling that says letter carrier routes constitute a workplace; a proposed class action alleges global price-fixing of optical disc drives by major electronics manufacturers; a seizure of a blood sample is appealed in a woman’s conviction on two counts of bodily harm in a boating accident; and mistaken belief in consent has been raised in a sexual assault case from Alberta.

December 10 – Federal – Canada Post Corporation v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Administrative law, judicial review: An employee member of CUPW’s local joint health and safety committee complained that only the Canada Post building in Burlington was being inspected, whereas the letter carrier routes should also be inspected. A Health and Safety Officer later issued a directive citing four contraventions of the Canada Labour Code, including that, by restricting its inspections to the building in Burlington, Canada Post had failed to ensure that the workplace health and safety committee had inspected the entirety of the work place annually. Later, the Federal Court of Appeal allowed CUPW’s appeal.

Read the appellate court decision here.

Related bulletin:
Federal Court Limits Definition of "Workplace" Under Part II of the Canada Labour Code to Workplaces Controlled by Employer; Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

December 11 – British Columbia – Pioneer Corporation et al. v. Godfrey

Civil procedure, class actions: Neil Godfrey, a representative plaintiff, commenced a proposed class action alleging that the Sony and Pioneer defendants participated in a global, criminal price-fixing cartel that overcharged British Columbians for optical disc drives and related products. He alleged a breach of the Competition Act, the tort of civil conspiracy, the unlawful means tort, unjust enrichment and waiver of tort. The proposed class was a hybrid class consisting of “direct purchasers,” “indirect purchasers,” and “umbrella purchasers.”

Read the appellate court decision here.

December 11 – British Columbia – Toshiba Corporation et al. v. Godfrey

Civil procedure, class actions: Companion case to the above.

Read the appellate court decision here.

December 13 – Ontario – Culotta v. R.

Criminal law, Charter of Rights: The appellant was convicted of two counts of impaired operation of a vessel causing bodily harm after the boat she was operating on Lake Muskoka collided head on with a rocky island. The four passengers were injured, two of them seriously. The appellant appealed her conviction, arguing among other things that the hospital records derived from her blood samples should have been excluded from the evidence, and that the trial judge failed to give adequate reasons for his s. 24(2) Charter analysis. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Read the appellate court decision here.

Related bulletin:
Plans to Appeal to the Supreme Court as Seizure of Blood by Police in Dispute; Affleck & Barrison LLP

Related news story:
Police seizure of blood at issue in planned Supreme Court appeal of woman’s conviction in motorboat crash; National Post

December 14 – Alberta – Quartey v. R.

Criminal law: The appellant was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial judge erred in his credibility analysis, shifted the burden of proof to the appellant to prove his innocence, and applied impermissible stereotypes in rejecting the appellant’s evidence. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, finding that the trial judge did not apply stereotypes or shift the burden of proof, and that his credibility assessment could be reasonably supported by the record and should not be interfered with on appeal.

Read the appellate court decision here.

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