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SCC summaries by Andrew Pilliar

SCC decision: January 25, 2007

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Double N Earthmovers Ltd. v. City of Edmonton and Sureway Construction of Alberta Ltd., 2007 SCC 3
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(Material terms / duty to investigate bid / obligation to treat bidders fairly)

SCC decision: January 19, 2007

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Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada (Commissioner of Customs and Revenue), 2007 SCC 2
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(Advance costs / prima facie merit / impecuniosity)

SCC decision: January 11, 2007

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Kingstreet Investments Ltd. v. New Brunswick (Department of Finance), 2007 SCC 1
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(Ultra vires tax / unjustified enrichment / restitution)
Night club owners challenged the validity of a provincial tax that they had been paying on liquor purchased from the provincial liquor corporation’s retail stores. The tax was held to be an unconstitutional indirect tax. The night club owners sought recovery of the taxes they had paid over the years prior to their challenge to the legislation. The Court held that constitutional principles, rather than unjust enrichment principles, should be applied to determine the remedy for the ultra vires tax, and that the passing?on defence is generally inapplicable in the context of ultra vires taxes. The night club owners were entitled to restitution for the payments made within the previous six years i.e. the applicable limitation period.
Majority/Concurring: 9/0
 

SCC decision: December 21, 2006

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R. v. Morris, 2006 SCC 59
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(Aboriginal law / Right to hunt / hunting at night / illuminating device)

SCC decision: December 15, 2006

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McDiarmid Lumber Ltd. v. God’s Lake First Nation, 2006 SCC 58
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(Property on reserve Aboriginal reserve / exemption from seizure)

SCC decision: December 14, 2006

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R. v. Khelawon, 2006 SCC 57
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(Evidence / hearsay)

SCC decision: December 8, 2006

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R. v. Larche, 2006 SCC 56
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(Sentencing / uncharged offences)
The indictment listed five offences related to trafficking in marijuana. Only two of the five offences were actually charged, and the accused plead guilty to those two charges. On sentencing, the trial judge applied s. 725(1)(c) of Criminal Code and considered the offences on the indictment that were not charged. The Court held that it was proper for the trial judge to consider two of the three uncharged offences, but not the third one because it related to conduct occurring entirely within the United States.
Majority/Concurring: 7/0
 

SCC decision: December 8, 2006

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R. v. Angelillo, 2006 SCC 55
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(Sentencing / consideration of other offences / new charges)

SCC decision: December 7, 2006

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R. v. Sappier; R. v. Gray, 2006 SCC 54
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(Aboriginal Law / right to harvest wood)

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