ACTIONS - Interpretation - Statutes - Retroactive effect - Summary judgments

Law360 Canada (June 17, 2022, 5:39 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Appellant from decision granting summary judgment to respondents in an insurance coverage claim. The appellant’s tenants burned down his property by causing a fire and explosion in the basement by using a butane lighter, a stove, and propane gas to extract marijuana resin. The appellant did not know they were doing anything in the basement. At the time of the fire, the appellant had a home insurance policy with Aviva General Insurance Company (“Aviva”). The previous insurer was RBC General Insurance Company, (“RBC”). Aviva denied coverage based on a marijuana production exclusion clause and an illegal activity exclusion clause. While the appellant’s claim was outstanding, the legislature amended the Insurance Act by adding a provision that limited the application of criminal and intentional activity exclusion clauses to the claim of a person who caused the loss or who knew about or consented to the activity that caused the loss. Given that Aviva denied coverage, the appellant commenced his action on March 9, 2018. Aviva and RBC filed a joint statement of defence. On April 30, 2018, the newly-enacted s.129.1 of the Insurance Act came into force. The appellant amended his statement of claim on June 10, 2019 to plead and rely on s.129.1. Aviva and RBC did not deliver an amended statement of defence in response....
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