MCDONALD v ALBERTA (DIRECTOR OF SAFEROADS), 2021 ABQB 751
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
This was an Application to evaluate whether an amended Originating Application should be approved for filing or rejected as abuse of process, pursuant to Rule 3.68. In a previous Application, Nielsen ACJ applied the “SafeRoads Alberta Accelerated Review Procedure” (“SAARP”) to determine that the Originating Application submitted by the Applicant was a prima facie abuse of process and ordered that the Applicant either 1) discontinue the Originating Application; 2) submit a candidate amended Originating Application; or 3) provide an up to ten-page written submission to explain why the Originating Application constituted a valid action. The Applicant chose to submit a candidate Amended Originating Application.
The Amended Originating Application was prepared with the assistance of counsel and expanded on the allegations included in the original Originating Application by explaining the factual basis for previously bald allegations. The Amended Originating Application also raised an argument based on s. 7 of the Charter. The Respondent Director of SafeRoads opposed the Amended Originating Application on the basis that many of the additions amounted to evidence or argument, rather than facts, as required pursuant to Rule 13.6(2)(a). The Respondent also argued that the Charter issue should be excluded, as it did not relate to the quality of the underlying administrative Decision.
Upon review, the Court concluded that the Amended Originating Application was largely adequate and ordered that it be submitted for filing, subject to specific revisions. In reaching this conclusion, the Court observed that the line between facts and evidence can be difficult to draw and any blurring of that line in the Amended Originating Application did not cause injury to the Respondent. Moreover, in light of Rule 1.2, the Court that the Amended Originating Application fulfilled the primary requirement of alerting the party opposite of the case to be met and should not be refused on technical grounds. The Charter argument was rejected on the basis that it failed to fulfill the specific requirements for claims brought on that basis and uninvolved parties were ordered removed from the litigation. Finally, the Court ordered that the Amended Originating Application be filed within 14 days from the date of the Decision, failing which the Application would be struck pursuant to Rule 3.68.View CanLII Details