7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Plaintiff claimed for an alleged breach of duty by the Government of Alberta (the “Government”) during the negotiation and purchase of the McDiarmaid lands. The Government then made an Application for Summary Dismissal on the basis that the claim was statute barred by the Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12 (the “Limitations Act”).

Rule 7.3 governs Applications for Summary Dismissal and Summary Judgment. Subrule (1) allows Summary Judgment when there is no defence to the claim, no merit to the claim, or the only real issue is the amount to be awarded. Subrule (2) requires that an Affidavit be provided in support of the Application. Although the Government did not file an Affidavit, Madam Justice Loparco considered whether Summary Judgment was appropriate. As stated by Justice Loparco, and pursuant to Weir-Jones Technical Services Incorporated v Purolator Courier Ltd., 2019 ABCA 49: “[T]he moving party must meet the burden of showing the claim has “no merit” based on facts proven on a balance of probabilities. If the moving party meets this burden, then the resisting party must put its best foot forward to demonstrate that a triable issue remains.”

Madam Justice Loparco then applied the test set out in Hryniak v Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 and found that the record was sufficient to make a fair and just determination. As a result, Justice Loparco discussed the facts surrounding the claim and the relevant law on limitations and determined that two of the claims were statute barred by the Limitations Act, but the remainder of the claims were not statute barred and rather were genuine issues requiring a Trial.

View CanLII Details