NORTH BANK POTATO FARMS LTD v THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY, 2018 ABQB 505
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
The Appellant, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”), appealed a Master’s Decision which had dismissed his Application for Summary Dismissal of the Respondent, North Bank Potato Farm’s claim for losses resulting from a CFIA Order to dispose of crops after finding “cysts” in the Respondent’s soil samples. The finding turned out to be a false alarm after further testing.
Fagnan J. canvassed the authorities regarding Rule 7.3 which governs Summary Judgment and Summary Dismissal. The Court confirmed that Summary Dismissal is appropriate where the Court is able to reach a fair and just determination based on the merits of the case. This will be the case where the Court can make the necessary findings of fact; apply the law to the facts; and where the process is a proportionate, more expeditious and less expensive means to resolving the matter than a Trial. The Court also clarified that Summary Dismissal is ideally suited where the dispute pertains to the applicable law. However, a Trial is often more appropriate to resolve allegations of common law duty given their factual nature.
Applying the test for Summary Dismissal, Fagnan J. determined that the Court could reach a fair and just determination using the Summary Dismissal process in this case. The Respondent had received and accepted compensation for the losses it suffered as a result of CFIA’s mistaken testing. As such, the Respondent was barred from taking further action against CFIA by operation of section 9 of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, RSC 1985, c C-50. The Appeal of the Master’s Decision was allowed, Summary Dismissal was granted, and the Respondent’s Claims were dismissed.View CanLII Details