Master Robertson

3.37: Application for judgment against defendant noted in default
6.44: Persons who are referees
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Defendant, Broadstreet Properties Ltd., (“Broadstreet”) in an Action for wrongful dismissal argued that the Plaintiff’s (“Nixdorf”) Application for Summary Judgment was inappropriate, as it required an assessment of damages, which was beyond the jurisdiction of a Master.

Master Robertson found that a reading of the Court of Queen’s Bench Act, RSA 2000, c C-31 and the Rules of Court are clear that a Master may hear a Summary Judgment Application. Master Robertson noted that this was in keeping with the “culture shift” toward summarily determining disputes where possible as described in Hryniak v Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 (CanLII). Master Robertson stated that Rule 7.3 is not limited to debt claims or liquidated damages claims, noting that any “claim” may be heard under the Rule. Further, if Judgment is given for part of a claim, the deciding Court may refer the balance of the claim to a referee and Masters may be referees under Rule 6.44 in such cases. Master Robertson noted that previous Summary Judgment cases decided under former Rule 159 are distinguishable on that basis, as the text of the two rules are “significantly” different.

Finally, Master Robertson noted that wrongful dismissal Actions are particularly well-suited for Summary Judgment, as the law is well settled and the facts are often not in dispute. Following a review of the facts in the case and the merits of Nixdorf’s claims, Master Robertson granted Summary Judgment in favour of Nixdorf.

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