3.22: Evidence on judicial review
3.62: Amending pleading

Case Summary

This Judgment arose from an Originating Application for Judicial Review of policies passed by the Métis Settlements General Council in relation to the taxation and assessment of property within the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement. The Applicants sought to amend their Amended Originating Application to allege procedural unfairness. The Respondents disputed the Applicants’ entitlement to amend the Amended Originating Application and to rely on additional Affidavit evidence filed in connection therewith.

The parties agreed that, pursuant to Rule 3.62, leave is not required to amend pleadings prior to their closing and that there is no rule expressly closing pleadings in Judicial Review Applications commenced by Originating Application. They disagreed, however, as to whether pleadings had closed prior to the Applicants’ Application to amend. Further, the parties disagreed as to whether the additional Affidavit evidence, which spoke to claims proposed to be added through amendment to the Amended Originating Application and historical and other background, should be permitted to be relied upon, pursuant to Rule 3.22.

The Court concluded that, while the Rules do not specify a time for close of pleadings on Applications for Judicial Review, leave would be required for amendments introduced after the originally scheduled hearing date, which in this case had passed prior to filing of the Application to amend. Nevertheless, the Court held that the Applicants’ proposed amendment should be permitted, as the new claim could not properly be characterized as “hopeless”, though costs were awarded to the Respondents. Further, the Court allowed reliance on the additional Affidavit evidence in order to provide useful context for the Originating Application and evidence in support of the added claim.

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