PEAVINE METIS SETTLEMENT v WHITEHEAD, 2015 ABCA 366
14.12: Contents and format of notices of appeal and cross appeal
14.2: Application of general rules
14.3: When these rules apply
14.4: Right to appeal
14.7: How to start an appeal
14.8: Filing a notice of appeal
A controversy existed within Metis settlements about the status of some persons whose names appeared on the settlement members list in the Metis Settlements Land Registry. Lester Calaheson, a member of the Gift Lake Metis Settlement, alleged that there were ineligible persons on the membership list and objected to the validity of the voting list. The Gift Lake Metis Settlement took the position that it would allow any person on the current membership list to vote. Mr. Calaheson appealed to the Metis Settlement Appeal Tribunal to set aside the approval of the membership bylaws. The Appeal Tribunal held that the position of the Gift Lake Metis Settlement was lawful. Three Metis settlements then sought leave to Appeal the Decision of the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal to the Court of Appeal; however, none of the persons who participated in the proceedings before the Appeal Tribunal sought leave to Appeal.
Justice Wakeling considered whether the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to permit a non-party to the proceedings before the Appeal Tribunal to file a Leave Application; and, if so, whether the Court should exercise its jurisdiction in favour of the Applicants to grant them permission to Appeal.
Wakeling J.A. observed that Rule 14.12(2)(a) supports the proposition that persons who are parties to the proceedings are entitled to appeal. Rule 14.3 declares that if a person has a right to appeal to the Court of Appeal under an enactment or the Rules, or is granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, the Appeal must be made and managed in accordance with that part of the Rules.
Wakeling J.A. held that Rule 14.3 applied, and the Rules of Court were held to govern any Appeal under the Metis Settlements Act, RSA 2000, c M-14. While Rule 14.4 gives the Court of Appeal jurisdiction to hear Appeals from any decision of a Queen’s Bench Judge, there is no provision that expressly records who has a right to appeal.
Wakeling J.A. determined that the Rules of Court allow a party before the Court of Queen’s Bench to file an Appeal, supported by three Rules: Rule 14.7, which directs an Applicant to file a Notice of Appeal under 14.8; Rule 14.8(2) which obliges an Appellant to file a Notice of Appeal that meets the requirement of Rule 14.12; and Rule 14.2(2)(a) which makes it mandatory that a Notice of Appeal contain the parties’ names in the same order used in the style of cause in the Court appealed from, with an indication of the status of each on the Appeal and in the Court appealed from. Wakeling J.A. noted that this was a clear indication that a party in the proceedings below is entitled to Appeal.
It was common ground that the three Metis settlements were not parties to the proceedings before the Appeal Tribunal, which triggered the general rule that a non-party cannot appeal. There were no exceptional circumstances to accord the Applicants with status to apply for permission to Appeal. In the result, Wakeling J.A. determined that the Applicants did not have standing and the Applications were dismissed with Costs.