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John has been the editor of Blaneys Appeals since the inception of the blog in the Summer of 2014. He is a partner at the firm with almost two decades of experience handling a wide variety of litigation matters. John assists clients with matters ranging from appeals, to injunctions, to corporate, breach of contract and other business litigation, to estates and matrimonial litigation, and to debtor-creditor and insolvency litigation. John also represents amateur sports organizations in contentious matters and advises them in matters of internal governance. John can be reached at 416-593-2953 or

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Good evening.

Following are our summaries of the civil decisions of the Court of Appeal for Ontario this past week.  The Court released a number of decisions this week, including an important pronouncement on Construction Act trusts, and the ability of the provincial legislature to establish trust certainties, in The Guarantee Company of Canada v Royal Bank of Canada, 2019 ONCA 9.

In this decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal considered whether the funds owing to, or received by, a bankrupt contractor and impressed with a statutory trust created by s. 8(1) of the Construction Lien Act, RSO 1990, c C. 30 (“CLA”), as it was formerly named, were excluded from distribution to the contractor’s creditors pursuant to s. 67(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, RSC 1985, c B-3 (“BIA”).  This involved a detailed review of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in British Columbia v Henfrey Samson Belair Ltd, [1989] 2 SCR 24.  The Court of Appeal found that a statutory deeming provision can give rise to certainty of intention, and that provision s. 8(1) of the CLA is constitutionally valid because the s. 8(1) trust is a matter that is the proper subject of property and civil rights in the province, and there is no operational conflict between s. 8(1) of the CLA and the BIA that would make the doctrine of paramountcy operative.  The Court of Appeal also found that amounts owed were debts and were accordingly choses in action capable of meeting the requirement for certainty of subject matter, and that certainty of subject matter was made out because, despite the funds being commingled, it was possible to identify the funds in question. This decision runs contrary to the general understanding in the construction insolvency bar that Ontario CLA trust claims will generally not succeed when challenged by secured creditors in BIA proceedings.  Continue Reading BLANEY’S APPEALS: ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL SUMMARIES (JANUARY 14 – 18, 2019)

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Good evening.

There were only three substantive civil decisions released by the Court of Appeal this week.

In TD General Insurance Company v Intact Insurance Company, the Court examined two insurance policies that had overlapping coverage.  The Court reiterated the rule from Family Insurance Corp v Lombard Canada Ltd that where insurers have not intended to limit their obligations to contribute to a loss or claim or where those intentions cannot be reconciled, the insurers must share the burden equally under a coordinate obligation to make good the loss or claim.


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Good evening and Happy New Year to all our readers!

There were only two substantive civil decisions of the Court of Appeal this week. Most notably, in Heller v Uber Technologies Inc., the Court revived a proposed class action by Uber drivers against Uber alleging that they are employees who have been denied rights under the Employment Standards Act, rather than independent contractors. Justice Perrell had stayed the class proceeding on jurisdictional grounds in favour of Uber’s arbitration clause requiring all disputes to be arbitrated in the Netherlands under Dutch law, and only after payment of a large fee. The Court determined that the arbitration clause was invalid and unenforceable because it purported to contract out of the Employment Standards Act, even though it remains to be determined whether the Uber drivers actually are employees.  Continue Reading BLANEY’S APPEALS: ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL SUMMARIES (JANUARY 1 – 4, 2019)