CIVIL PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Striking out pleadings or allegations

Law360 Canada (April 18, 2023, 6:17 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the Attorney General of Canada (Canada) from an order of the motion judge dismissing Canada’s motion to strike proceedings under rule 21.01 of Rules of Civil Procedure. Toussaint lawfully entered Canada as a visitor from Grenada in 1999. Her action arose out of a decision to deny her healthcare coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program between 2009 and 2013. She brought an application for judicial review to the Federal Court of Canada, appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, and sought (and was refused) leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Throughout this legal process, Toussaint suffered serious and irreversible health consequences. In 2013, she made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) alleging that Canada violated several obligations under international law including her right to life and non-discrimination under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In 2018, the UNHRC stated that Canada violated Toussaint’s right to life recognized in the ICCPR and that Canada was required to provide her with an effective remedy, including compensation and taking all steps necessary to prevent similar violations in the future. Canada disagreed with the UNHRC’s views and stated that it would not follow its recommendations. Toussaint commenced an action against the federal government on October 14, 2020. Her action included several causes of action grounded in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, customary international law and administrative law. She sought several forms of relief, including general and special damages in the amount of $1,200,000. The motion judge found it was not plain and obvious that Toussaint’s action was doomed to fail. In addition, the motion judge declared that Toussaint’s claims were timely, not statute barred pursuant to the Limitations Act and within the jurisdiction of the Ontario court. Canada argued that the motion judge exceeded his jurisdiction, erred by making declarations as to the rights of the parties, and violated procedural fairness by granting relief, without notice, that the parties had not requested....
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