Ponce: When an atmosphere of trust is betrayed
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Stephen Fulford
6M ago
Introduction The two presidents of a Québec-based insurance group betrayed an atmosphere of trust with the majority shareholders. In Ponce v Société d’investissements Rhéaume ltée, 2023 SCC 25 [Ponce] the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) showcased Québec’s requirement for courts to consider the spirit of contractual business relationships in deciding if a legal remedy is available. The atmosphere of trust was implied by their direct and contractual relationship, and the SCC found this enough to ground a breach of arts. 1375 and 1434 of the Civil Code of Quebec [CCQ].  Facts Groupe Excellen ..read more
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Vanishing Horizons: Standard Form Contracts on Appeal in Bridging
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Adam Wyville
6M ago
The Ontario Court of Appeal (the “ONCA”) has provided fresh guidance on the applicable standard of review for a lower court’s interpretation of a standard form contract. Ontario Securities Commission v Bridging Finance Inc., 2023 ONCA 769 [Bridging] sheds light on the question of whether a standard form contract must have precedential value for an appellate court to apply a standard of correctness instead of the default standard of palpable and overriding error.   Standard Form Contracts on Appeal  In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC” or the “Court”) released their landmar ..read more
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Enforcing Informal Domestic Contracts: Anderson v Anderson
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Darya Rahbar
7M ago
In Anderson v Anderson, 2023 SCC 13  [Anderson], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) clarified the approach to considering non-presumptively enforceable domestic contracts. In partially departing from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, the Court unanimously ruled that while the overarching principles established in Miglin v Miglin, 2003 SCC 24 [Miglin], can be used in the interpretation of informal domestic contracts, any such interpretation must be directed by the objectives and structures of the underlying statute.   Facts Diana Anderson (“D”) and James Allan Anderson (“J”) were mar ..read more
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Association de médiation familiale du Québec v. Bouvier : SCC Finds the Exception to Settlement Privilege Applies in the Family Mediation Context
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Braelyn Rumble
2y ago
Should conversations that take place during family mediation remain confidential? In Association de médiation familiale du Quebec v. Bouvier, 2021 SCC 54 [Association de mediation] the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or “the Court”) held that the exception to the general rule of settlement privilege can apply in the context of family mediation.  An exception to settlement privilege may be made out where “a defendant . . . show[s] that, on balance, ‘a competing public interest outweighs the public interest in encouraging settlement’” (Union Carbide Canada Inc. v. Bombardier Inc, 2014 SCC 35 ..read more
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Insurer not Estopped from Denying Coverage, SCC finds in Trial Lawyers Association v Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Braelyn Rumble
2y ago
On November 18, 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or “The Court”) released its decision in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada 2021 SCC 47 [Trial Lawyers]. At issue was whether an insurer is estopped from denying coverage if it was previously not aware of a breach in policy.  A majority of the SCC dismissed the appeal and held that insurance companies are not estopped —that is, prevented from doing something contrary to what they had promised, such as denying coverage—if they had no prior knowledge of the breach of pol ..read more
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6362222 Canada inc. v Prelco inc: Limitation of Liability Clause Upheld
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Chanpreet Shokar
2y ago
In the unanimous decision 6362222 Canada inc. v Prelco inc., 2021 SCC 39 [Createch v Prelco], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or “the Court”) held that Québec law permits contracting parties engaging in a freely negotiated non-consumer contract to limit or exclude their liability.    Facts of the Case 6362222 Canada inc. (“Createch”) is a consulting firm specialized in performance improvement and the implementation of integrated management systems. Prelco inc. (“Prelco”) is a manufacturing company that makes and transforms flat glass. Prelco asked Createch for advice about its com ..read more
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Corner Brook (City) v Bailey: Interpreting Releases and Drafting Contracts
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Joey Jang
2y ago
Justice Rowe of the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) stated that Corner Brook (City) v Bailey, 2021 SCC 29 [Corner Brook] is about “the proper approach to interpreting the scope of a release” (Corner Brook, para 1). In a unanimous decision, the SCC determined that the general principles of contract law in Sattva Capital Corp. v Creston Moly Corp., 2014 SCC 53 [Sattva] have overtaken the Blackmore Rule, and that there is no special interpretive rule that applies to releases. In addition, the SCC provided valuable guidance for drafting effective contracts.   Facts of the Case On March 3, 200 ..read more
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Revisiting Misleading Silence in C.M. Callow Inc v Zollinger : Did the Supreme Court Make the Right Decision?
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Harman Mann
2y ago
In 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada expanded the common law doctrine of good faith established in Bhasin v Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 [Bhasin], by holding that misleading silence can breach the duty to perform one’s contractual obligations honestly. An account of C.M. Callow Inc v Zollinger, 2020 SCC 15 [Callow] was previously reported on by TheCourt.ca. However, this commentary will explore how the applicability of the concept of “misleading silence” from Callow has numerous issues. Facts of the Case Baycrest, a group comprising of ten condomin ..read more
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Expulsion from Church Membership Not Justiciable, SCC Finds in Aga
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Alison Imrie
3y ago
On May 28, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released a unanimous decision in the case of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada St. Mary’s Cathedral v Aga, 2020 SCC 22 [Aga], which revolved around whether expulsion from a church could be reviewed by a court. Overturning the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”)’s decision, the SCC found that church membership in this context did not create an enforceable contract, so the courts did not have jurisdiction to intervene in the church’s decision.   Background Information The respondents in Aga were former members of the Ethiopian Ort ..read more
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Supreme Court discusses Good Faith in Exercising Contractual Discretion in Wastech v Greater Vancouver
TheCourt.ca » Contracts
by Kerry-Ann Cornwall
3y ago
Wastech Services Ltd v Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, 2021 SCC 7 [Wastech] is the second case in a matter of months that the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) has released relating to the “general organizing principle” of good faith in contracting. The SCC has recognized four doctrines as part of good faith in contracting and these have the following corresponding duties: 1) a duty of cooperation between the parties to achieve the objects of the contract; 2) a duty to exercise contractual discretion in good faith; 3) a duty not to evade contractual obligations in bad faith; an ..read more
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