14.58: Intervenor status on appeal
14.37: Single appeal judges

Case Summary

Four entities sought leave to intervene in a Constitutional Appeal. Martin J.A. noted that Rule 14.37 gives a single Appeal Judge the jurisdiction to grant permission to intervene. Similarly, Rule 14.58(3) provides that Intervenors cannot raise new issues on appeal. None of the Applicants attempted to raise new issues.

Martin J.A. outlined the two step test for granting intervener status that was enumerated in Pendersen v Alberta, 2008 ABCA 192 (CanLII). First, the Court must consider the subject matter of the Appeal. Second, the Court should assess the proposed Intervenor’s interest in that subject matter. This analysis is conducted to determine (1) when the Appeal’s outcome will significantly impact the proposed Intervener, and (2) to assess the unique viewpoints or knowledge that the proposed Intervener could convey on appeal.

Justice Martin noted the factors that should be considered in granting intervenor status, including: the direct affect an Intervenor might have on the Appeal; whether the Intervenor’s presence is necessary to properly decide the issues; whether or not the Intervenor’s interest in the proceedings fully protects the parties; whether intervention might unnecessarily delay the proceedings; and whether the intervention could transform the Court into a political battle. Although the power to intervene is discretionary and should be granted sparingly, His Lordship noted that intervenor status is often granted in cases that have far-reaching policy implications, and where complex constitutional issues are raised. In such cases, the unique perspective an Intervenor could bring is important.

Since all four Applicants would be significantly affected by the outcome of the Appeal, and each Applicant would provide unique perspectives in resolving the Appeal, all Applicants were granted permission to intervene.

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