9.4: Signing judgments and orders
14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

In October of 2018 the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench received an annotated copy of an Order granted by Master Smart in June of 2018 (the “Annotated Order”). The Annotated Order was for the foreclosure of a residential property formerly owned by Vanessa Landry (“Ms. Landry”), declaring that Scotia Mortgage Corporation (“Scotia”) take immediate title; however, the Annotated Order had various hand written annotations and additions.

Justice Thomas, in an earlier decision, concluded that the Annotated Order was an attempt by Ms. Landry to execute an Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (“OPCA”) which would have the effect of making Ms. Landry’s debt disappear. Thomas J. emphasized that all OPCAs are an abuse of Court processes and found that Ms. Landry’s submission of the Annotated Order was a basis on which to investigate whether the Court should impose a Vexatious Litigant Order. On investigation, Thomas J. found that the Annotated Order was an attempt to implement a dubious concept often referred to as the “Strawman Theory”. The Strawman Theory holds that individuals have two aspects, a physical flesh and blood body, and an associated immaterial legal doppelganger. Thomas J. emphasized that this theory has been universally rejected by Canadian Courts and, citing the Newfoundland Court of Appeal, found that anyone who even uses the Strawman Theory in Court is presumed to act in bad faith, and for a “vexatious and abusive” ulterior purpose: Fiander v Mills, 2015 NLCA 31 (CanLII).

Justice Thomas concluded that Ms. Landry was acting in bad faith and should be subject to a Vexatious Litigant Order. Further, Justice Thomas found that it was not Ms. Landry who was the directing mind behind the provision of the Annotated Order but a Mr. Dean Christopher Clifford (“Mr. Clifford”) and his company 4240944 Manitoba Limited.

After a review of the history of the parties and their relationship, Thomas J. ruled, inter alia, that Ms. Landry, Mr. Clifford, and 4240944 Manitoba Limited: (1) are vexatious litigants, and are prohibited from commencing, or attempting to commence, or continuing, any Appeal, Action, Application, or proceeding in the Courts of Alberta; (2) must apply to a single appellate Judge for leave to commence or continue any proceeding, and if the single appellate Judge grants them leave to commence an Appeal, they may still be required to apply for permission to Appeal under Rule 14.5(1)(j); and (3) that the approval of the parties as to the form and content of the foregoing Order was not required per Rule 9.4(2)(c).

Justice Thomas concluded by finding that Annotated Order be placed in the Court file but only for the purposes of providing evidence of Ms. Landry and Mr. Clifford’s OPCA activities, and that the Annotated Order was of no effect on the litigation beyond the negative implications that flow from the attempt to abuse the Court’s processes.


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