BLOMER v WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD, 2020 ABCA 334
WAKELING, CRIGHTON AND ANTONIO JJA
1.1: What these rules do
1.4: Procedural orders
1.5: Rule contravention, non-compliance and irregularities
3.2: How to start an action
The Appellant was a self-represented litigant who failed to file and serve Originating Applications seeking Judicial Review of two decisions under the Workers Compensation Act, RSA 2000, c W-15 (the "Act"). Instead, the Appellant filed a Statement of Claim announcing her decision to appeal more than six months past the date of the original decisions made by the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Appeals Commission.
The Appellant brought an Application under Rules 1.4 and 1.5 asking the Court of Queen’s Bench to convert the Statement of Claim to an Originating Application for Judicial Review, which was to be an appeal of the decision of the Appeals Commission for the WCB. The Appeal Court reviewed whether the Court of Queen’s Bench had committed a reviewable error in dismissing the Appellant’s Application.
In dismissing the Appeal, the Court of Appeal found that the Chambers Judge came to the correct decision and that the Court of Appeal had no authority to cure the Appellant's "fatal procedural missteps.” The Court of Appeal stated that Rule 1.5 does not allow the Court of Queen's Bench to relieve the Appellant of the obligation set out in the Act to make an Application for Judicial Review within six months of the date of the decision sought to be reviewed. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Chambers Justice which had held that time frames for seeking Judicial Review, both in the Rules and the Act, must be adhered to.
The Court of Appeal emphasized that even if Rule 3.2(6) was invoked, which allows the Court to make a procedural Order to correct a form that should have been started in another form, the Appellant's Application would still have failed as (1) she missed the filing deadline and; (2) she served the Respondent more than four months late.
Ultimately, the Court of Appeal held that, while the Court understands the disadvantages of self-represented litigants, "there are not separate statutory regimes for persons who are represented... and persons who are not", emphasizing that Rule 1.1(2) states that the Rules govern all parties that come to the Court, whether that person is a self-represented litigant or is represented by a lawyer.View CanLII Details