The Winning Combination Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 FC 1014
Application for judicial review dismissed on basis of prematurity. There is a long-standing regulatory relationship between the Applicant and Respondent, as well as a history of judicial review. On previous decisions, the Applicant was awarded costs on a solicitor-client basis as a result of Health Canada’s conduct. That matter was sent back for redetermination. Following these previous decisions, Health Canada advised the Applicant in a letter that the scope of redetermination would be limited to whether the Applicant was a natural health product, namely whether a specific ingredient fell within Schedule 1 of the regulations under the act in question. Health Canada said it would rely on laboratory testing, among other things, to make its decision. The Applicant alleges Health Canada does not have the authority to include laboratory testing in its redetermination; a reasonable apprehension of bias arose out of Health Canada’s conduct in its decision to rely on laboratory testing; Health Canada is acting for an improper purpose (namely, in response to the previous cost decisions); and Health Canada created a legitimate expectation in that it would follow standard procedures established by Health Canada in establishing its redetermination (gathering own evidence in the form of a lab testing goes against this legitimate expectation).
The court asked for more information
whether this notice of redetermination is a reviewable decision under the
Federal Courts Act and whether the application was premature. Ultimately, the
court agreed the application was premature.
In addition, the court also held that the
notice of redetermination did not constitute “exceptional circumstances”
warranting judicial intervention at an early stage. The court expressed concern
over the number of times the Applicant could challenge Health Canada’s
decisions regarding Health Canada’s process. This persuaded the court to
prevent “piecemeal” court proceedings. The court further stated its reasons were
without prejudice to the Application raising same arguments on any future
application for judicial review.
Grandjambe Jr. v. Canada (Parks), 2019 FC 1023
Note: The citation spells the Applicant’s name incorrectly. I use the correct spelling in this citation; the citation is cited as Grandjamb v Canada (Parks).
This is an application for judicial
review of the decision of the superintendent of Buffalo National Park refusing
the Applicant’s application seeking a permit to construct a harvesting cabin
within Wood Buffalo National Park. It was brought on behalf of the Applicant,
Robert Grandjambe Jr., and members of the Mikisew Cree Nation.
Briefly, the Applicant sought to build a
harvesting cabin in Treaty 8 territory. The Superintendent refused the permit
to build the cabin. The Applicant, prior to this decision, requested an update
sometime on the application and offered to assist in answering questions,
providing clarification or consulting with other affected Indigenous groups.
The Applicant also stated if he was not to be consulted similar to other
affected Indigenous groups, then he would expect that the Superintendent would
share the details of those consultation and provide the opportunity to respond.
The Superintendent, by way of email, agreed to provide a timeline and responses
from affected groups once reviewed. The Applicant sent two follow-up letters.
The court addressed three issues with a
standard of reasonableness applying to the decision itself. The issues include:
- Was the decision to refuse the permit reasonable?
- Was there a breach of procedural fairness?
- Is judicial review the appropriate venue to consider whether the decision infringed the Applicant’s treaty rights and if so, whether those rights were infringed?
On the first issue, the court held that
the decision was reasonable and not made in a manner inconsistent with the
honour of the Crown. The Court also held the Superintendent did not fetter his
discretion, did not ignore evidence or failed to provide adequate reasons.
On the second issue, the court held that
there is a high degree of procedural fairness given decision involves
constitutionally protected Indigenous rights and traditional knowledge. The Applicants
had a legitimate expectation that the Superintendent would share details about
consultations with other parties, namely First Nations and that the Applicant
would have a chance to respond to the information considered by the Superintendent.
The court held that the Superintendent’s conduct fell below required minimum
standard of procedural fairness that was applicable and promised. The
decision-maker stated that he would share the First Nations’ positions and that
he would have an opportunity to respond. The Applicant, thus, had a legitimate
expectation that a certain procedure would be followed. This procedure was not
On the third issue, the court
appropriately held that JR is not the appropriate venue to determine the rights
infringement, and that the application granted based on breach of procedural
Law Society of Ontario v.
Fathi, 2019 ONLSTH 112
This decision concerns several notices by
the Law Society: marketing and advertising; referrals; responses to the Law
Society; and uncivil behaviour. The parties submitted an agreed statement of
facts and submissions. The tribunal made a finding of professional misconduct.
Rules 8.02 and 8.03 of the Paralegal
Rules of Conduct (generally, the marketing and advertising rules).
The Law Society received information
about potentially improper public advertisements and social media marketing on
various social media platforms and websites. The advertisements contained the
- “advertising himself as a law firm or made up of lawyers, and inviting the public to contact him when they need the services of a lawyer;
- broadly claiming that he provided legal services in various areas of law, much of which was outside the scope of practice of a paralegal (for example, personal injury law and criminal law);
- asserting specialization, which is confusing because only lawyers can be certified specialists;
- failing to identify himself as a paralegal;
- claiming qualitative superiority over other licensees (“best law firm in Toronto,” “best personal injury lawyers”); and
- guaranteeing results with phrases such as “MAX SETTLEMENT” and “#maximumbenefits” without providing a caution that past success does not guarantee future success.”
The paralegal has since removed or amended the improper
advertising and marketing.
On referrals, the tribunal held that the paralegal did not
act with integrity by misleading a fellow licensee. Particularly, the paralegal
asserted a client referral and claimed an entitlement to a referral fee.
In the interviews with the Law Society, the paralegal made
several untrue statements.
On the uncivil behaviour, the paralegal communicated with
insurance company representatives in a manner that uncivil, abusive and
offensive or otherwise inconsistent with the proper tone of professional
communications by a paralegal. The tribunal also held that by imputing racist
motives to the representatives without evidence, the paralegal failed to act
with integrity and good faith.
The tribunal suspended the paralegal’s license for 45 days with
a cost award for the Applicant.