10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

Optimax successfully obtained leave to appeal a decision of the City of Calgary Property Assessment Review Board (“Board”). The parties returned before Justice Gates with respect to Costs.

Justice Gates noted that Costs are awarded at the Court’s discretion. The power to award Costs is set out in Rules 10.31(1) and the factors to consider are provided by Rule 10.33(1) and (2). Gates J. noted that solicitor-client Costs were generally awarded in instances of misconduct occurring during a legal proceeding, and were reserved for rare and exceptional circumstances.

His Lordship noted that the City of Calgary only consented to allow the Appeal after Optimax had fully argued its Application. While this was not a rare or exceptional case warranting solicitor-client Costs, the conduct of the City created an unnecessary burden for the taxpayer by forcing Optimax to appeal. Optimax was awarded Costs representing 50% of its solicitor-client Costs. With respect to the Board, while Costs are generally not awarded to or against an administrative tribunal, Gates J. held that the Board failed to attend the Court hearing, thereby unnecessarily extending proceedings. Costs were awarded against the Board in the amount of $1,500.00.

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