CIVIL PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Institution of proceedings - Striking out pleadings or allegations

Law360 Canada (January 16, 2023, 9:20 AM EST) -- Appeal by Attorney General of Canada (Canada) from order of Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissing Canada’s application to strike Frazier’s notice of civil claim against it. Frazier commenced an action in negligence against Canada after having been allegedly injured by an explosion that occurred in a nearby building undergoing renovations. Frazier claimed the Minister of Natural Resources (Regulator) breached private law obligations grounded in the Explosives Act and the Explosives Regulations. The issues in this negligence claim were whether it was plain and obvious that there was no proximate relationship between the government actor and the claimant to ground a prima facie duty of care, and whether the claim pleaded sufficient material facts. Frazier did not plead any direct or indirect relationship or any interaction with any government official, nor did she claim to be a regulated party. Her pleading did not include allegations of material facts setting out the specific action, or inaction, on the part of Canada which was said to constitute the negligent conduct. The chambers judge dismissed Canada’s application to strike, finding that Frazier’s claim had at least a reasonable prospect of establishing a novel duty of care if these allegations were true....
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