3.62: Amending pleading
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
4.22: Considerations for security for costs order
10.48: Recovery of goods and services tax
13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
13.7: Pleadings: other requirements
SCHEDULE C: Tariff of Recoverable Fees

Case Summary

The Plaintiffs sued the Defendants for, among other things, defamation. The Defendants applied to strike the Plaintiffs’ Claim under Rule 3.68. In the alternative, the Defendants also applied for Security for Costs against the Plaintiffs.

Master Robertson considered Rules 13.6 and 13.7 in order to assess if the Pleadings disclosed a cause of action. Master Robertson considered the law as set out in Abrams v Johnson, 2009 ABQB 575 regarding a defamation Pleading, and noted that a claim in Defamation requires a number of particulars. A Pleading must disclose a concise statement of the material facts, the words published by the Defendant, references to the Plaintiff, the time and place of the publication, the manner of publication and to whom the publication was made. The requirements are strict, but are necessary to allow someone to defend their words. Master Robertson held that the Plaintiffs’ Pleadings lacked proper clarity and had conflicting particulars. In the result, the claims relating to defamation were struck. 

Master Robertson also considered the Security for Costs Application. Master Robertson noted that the corporate Plaintiff did not carry on business in Alberta nor did the individual Plaintiff have any exigible assets in Alberta. Furthermore, both of the Plaintiffs were significantly indebted to the corporate Defendant. The Canada Revenue Agency also had a writ of enforcement against the Plaintiff. Master Robertson held that the evidence clearly demonstrated that the Plaintiff would very likely not be able to pay an award of Costs. As a result, Master Robertson ordered Security for Costs against the Plaintiff in the amount of double Column 5 of Schedule C.

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