6.14: Appeal from master’s judgment or order
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
13.1: When one judge may act in place of or replace another

Case Summary

The Applicants appealed a Master’s Decision dismissing its Application to continue a royalties compensation claim against the Respondent. In summarily dismissing the Applicant’s motion, the Master held that there was no genuine issue to be tried.

After the appeal had been heard, the presiding Justice, Justice Stevens, passed away. Pursuant to Rule 13.1, Chief Justice Wittman requested that Justice Mahoney take conduct of the matter. His Lordship contacted the parties, who confirmed that the matter could be fairly decided on the record. The Court recognized that, pursuant to Rule 6.14, an Appeal of a Masters’ Decision was a hearing de novo.

The Court noted that, after the Appeal was heard by Justice Stevens, the test for Summary Judgment was revised by the Supreme Court of Canada in Hryniak v Maudlin, 2014 SCC 7. Previously the test was whether the case presented a genuine issue for Trial; post Hryniak the test is whether there is a genuine issue requiring a Trial. The Court also noted that Hryniak was decided under Rule 20 of the Ontario equivalent of the Alberta Rules of Court, which is broader than Rule 7.3. Nevertheless, in accordance with the Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Windsor v Canadian Pacific Railway, 2014 ABCA 108, the test in Hryniak has been adopted in Alberta.

In reviewing the materials, the Court first considered whether fair and just disposition could be made on the record. The Court agreed with the Master’s Decision that the facts underlying the dispute were not at issue. The Court held that the resolution of the dispute turned primarily on issues of law and held that granting Summary Judgment in this case was a proportionate, expeditious and less-expensive means of achieving a just result.

The Court disagreed with the Applicant that it should be granted standing to maintain this Action and held that the Applicant did not produce reliable evidence establishing an issue of merit requiring a Trial. The Court dismissed the Appeal.

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