Supreme Court Judgments

Decision Information

Decision Content

No. 38051     

 

May 17, 2019

 

Le 17 mai 2019

 

 

 

Coram: Wagner C.J. and Abella, Karakatsanis, Côté, Brown, Rowe and Martin JJ.

 

Coram : Le juge en chef Wagner et les juges Abella, Karakatsanis, Côté, Brown, Rowe et Martin

 

 

 

BETWEEN:

Christine DeJong Medicine Professional Corporation

Appellant

- and -

DBDC Spadina Ltd., Dr. Bernstein Diet Clinics Ltd., 2272551 Ontario Limited, DBDC Investments Atlantic Ltd.,
DBDC Investment Pape Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Highway 7 Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Trent Ltd.,
DBDC Investments St. Clair Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Tisdale Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Leslie Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Lesliebrook Ltd.,
DBDC Fraser Properties Ltd.,
DBDC Fraser Lands Ltd.,
DBDC Queen’s Corner Inc.,
DBDC Queen’s Plate Holdings Inc.,
DBDC Dupont Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Red Door Developments Inc.,
DBDC Red Door Lands Inc.,
DBDC Global Mills Ltd.,
DBDC Donalda Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Salmon River Properties Ltd.,
DBDC Cityview Industrial Ltd.,
DBDC Weston Lands Ltd.,
DBDC Double Rose Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Skyway Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC West Mall Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC Royal Gate Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC Dewhurst Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Eddystone Place Ltd. and
DBDC Richmond Row Holdings Ltd.

Respondents

- and -

Schonfeld Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed Inspector and Manager of
Twin Dragons Corporation, Bannockburn Lands Inc. / Skyline – 1185 Eglinton Avenue Inc., Wynford Professional
Centre Ltd., Liberty Village Properties Ltd., Liberty Village Lands Inc., Riverdale Mansion Ltd., Royal Agincourt Corp., Hidden Gem Developments Inc., Ascalon Lands Ltd., Tisdale Mews Inc., Lesliebrook Holdings Ltd., Lesliebrook Lands Ltd., Fraser Properties Group,
Fraser Lands Ltd., Queen’s Corner Corp., Northern Dancer Lands Ltd., Dupont Developments Ltd., Red Door Developments Inc. and Red Door
Lands Ltd., Global Mills Inc., Donalda Developments Ltd., Salmon River Properties Ltd., Cityview Industrial Ltd., Weston Lands Ltd., Double Rose Developments Ltd., Skyway Holdings Ltd., West Mall Holdings Ltd., Royal Gate Holdings Ltd., Royal Gate Nominee Inc., Royal Gate (Land) Nominee Inc., Dewhurst Development Ltd., Eddystone Place Inc., Richmond Row Holdings Ltd., El-Ad (1500 Don Mills) Limited,
165 Bathurst Inc., 3270 American Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, 0 Luttrell Ave., Toronto, Ontario, 2 Kelvin Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 346 Jarvis Street,
Suites A, B, C, E and F, Toronto, Ontario, 1 William Morgan Drive, Toronto, Ontario, 324 Price Edward Drive, Toronto, Ontario, 24 Cecil Street, Toronto, Ontario, 30 and 30A Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 777 St. Clarens Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 252 Carlton Street and 478 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, 66 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario, 2454 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 319-321 Carlaw, Toronto, Ontario, 260 Emerson Ave., Toronto, Ontario, 44 Park Lane Circle, Toronto, Ontario, 19 Tennis Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, 646 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario and Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Interveners

 

ENTRE :

Christine DeJong Medicine Professional Corporation

Appelante

- et -

DBDC Spadina Ltd., Dr. Bernstein Diet Clinics Ltd., 2272551 Ontario Limited, DBDC Investments Atlantic Ltd.,
DBDC Investment Pape Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Highway 7 Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Trent Ltd.,
DBDC Investments St. Clair Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Tisdale Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Leslie Ltd.,
DBDC Investments Lesliebrook Ltd.,
DBDC Fraser Properties Ltd.,
DBDC Fraser Lands Ltd.,
DBDC Queen’s Corner Inc.,
DBDC Queen’s Plate Holdings Inc.,
DBDC Dupont Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Red Door Developments Inc.,
DBDC Red Door Lands Inc.,
DBDC Global Mills Ltd.,
DBDC Donalda Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Salmon River Properties Ltd.,
DBDC Cityview Industrial Ltd.,
DBDC Weston Lands Ltd.,
DBDC Double Rose Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Skyway Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC West Mall Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC Royal Gate Holdings Ltd.,
DBDC Dewhurst Developments Ltd.,
DBDC Eddystone Place Ltd. et
DBDC Richmond Row Holdings Ltd.

Intimées

- et -

Schonfeld Inc., en sa qualité d’inspectrice et gérante nommée par la cour pour
Twin Dragons Corporation, Bannockburn Lands Inc. / Skyline – 1185 Eglinton Avenue Inc., Wynford Professional
Centre Ltd., Liberty Village Properties Ltd., Liberty Village Lands Inc., Riverdale Mansion Ltd., Royal Agincourt Corp., Hidden Gem Developments Inc., Ascalon Lands Ltd., Tisdale Mews Inc.,
Lesliebrook Holdings Ltd., Lesliebrook Lands Ltd., Fraser Properties Group,
Fraser Lands Ltd., Queen’s Corner Corp., Northern Dancer Lands Ltd., Dupont Developments Ltd., Red Door Developments Inc. and Red Door
Lands Ltd., Global Mills Inc., Donalda Developments Ltd., Salmon River Properties Ltd., Cityview Industrial Ltd., Weston Lands Ltd., Double Rose Developments Ltd., Skyway Holdings Ltd., West Mall Holdings Ltd., Royal Gate Holdings Ltd., Royal Gate Nominee Inc., Royal Gate (Land) Nominee Inc.,
Dewhurst Development Ltd., Eddystone Place Inc., Richmond Row Holdings Ltd., El-Ad (1500 Don Mills) Limited,
165 Bathurst Inc., 3270 American Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, 0 Luttrell Ave., Toronto, Ontario, 2 Kelvin Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 346 Jarvis Street,
Suites A, B, C, E and F, Toronto, Ontario,
1 William Morgan Drive, Toronto, Ontario, 324 Price Edward Drive, Toronto, Ontario, 24 Cecil Street, Toronto, Ontario, 30 and 30A Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 777 St. Clarens Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 252 Carlton Street and 478 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, 66 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario, 2454 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, 319-321
Carlaw, Toronto, Ontario, 260 Emerson Ave., Toronto, Ontario, 44 Park Lane Circle, Toronto, Ontario, 19 Tennis Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, 646 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario et Chambre de commerce du Canada

Intervenantes

 

 

 

JUDGMENT

 

The appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Number C62822, 2018 ONCA 60, dated January 25, 2018, was heard on May 14, 2019, and the Court on that day delivered the following judgment orally:

           

 

Brown J. — We agree with Justice van Rensburg, dissenting, at the Court of Appeal that the respondents’ claim for knowing assistance must fail, and we adopt her reasons as our own.

 

 

In view of the statement of the majority at the Court of Appeal that this Court’s decision in Deloitte & Touche v. Livent Inc. (Receiver of), 2017 SCC 63, [2017] 2 S.C.R. 855, invited a “flexible” application of the criteria stated in Canadian Dredge & Dock Co. v. The Queen, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 662 for attributing individual wrongdoing to a corporation, we respectfully add this. What the Court directed in Livent, at para. 104, was that even where those criteria are satisfied, “courts retain the discretion to refrain from applying [corporate attribution] where, in the circumstances of the case, it would not be in the public interest to do so” (emphasis added). In other words, while the presence of public interest concerns may heighten the burden on the party seeking to have the actions of a directing mind attributed to a corporation, Canadian Dredge states minimal criteria that must always be met. The appeal is allowed, with costs throughout.

 

JUGEMENT

 

L’appel interjeté contre l’arrêt de la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario, numéro C62822, 2018 ONCA 60, daté du 25 janvier 2018, a été entendu le 14 mai 2019 et la Cour a prononcé oralement le même jour le jugement suivant :

           

 

[traduction]

Le juge Brown — À l’instar de la juge van Rensburg, dissidente en Cour d’appel, nous sommes d’avis que l’argument des intimées basé sur la notion d’aide apportée en connaissance de cause doit être écarté, et nous faisons nôtres ses motifs.

 

Vu les propos des juges majoritaires de la Cour d’appel portant que l’arrêt de notre Cour Deloitte & Touche c. Livent Inc. (Séquestre de), 2017 CSC 63, [2017] 2 R.C.S. 855, invite à une application [traduction] « souple » des critères énoncés dans l’affaire Canadian Dredge & Dock Co. c. La Reine, [1985] 1 R.C.S. 662 en matière d’imputation à une société des actes fautifs d’un individu, nous tenons, soit dit en tout respect, à ajouter la précision suivante. Ce que la Cour a indiqué dans l’arrêt Livent, au par. 104, c’est que même dans les cas où ces critères sont respectés, « les tribunaux conservent le pouvoir discrétionnaire de s’abstenir [d’]appliquer [le principe de l’imputation d’actes à une société] lorsque, dans les circonstances de l’espèce, il ne serait pas dans l’intérêt public de le faire » (je souligne). Autrement dit, bien que la présence de considérations relatives à l’intérêt public puisse alourdir le fardeau incombant à la partie qui demande que soient imputés à une société les actes d’une âme dirigeante de cette dernière, l’arrêt Canadian Dredge établit des critères minimaux qui doivent toujours être respectés. Le pourvoi est accueilli, avec dépens devant toutes les cours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.S.C.C.

J.C.S.C.

 

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