1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
4.33: Dismissal for long delay

Case Summary

The Plaintiff class brought a Class Proceeding against several national wireless services providers (“Defendants”), alleging that they wrongfully collected “system access fees” from their Canadian customers. The Defendants were also facing related Class Proceedings in Saskatchewan and other Canadian Provinces commenced by some of the same putative class members.

The Defendants sought to strike the Alberta Class Proceeding or permanently stay it under Rule 3.68, asserting that it was an abuse of process for multiple identical Actions to take place in different jurisdictions. They argued that a multiplicity of Actions in different jurisdictions could lead to inconsistent results, and jurisdictional comity required that the Courts respect the other jurisdictions’ law and processes.

Associate Chief Justice Rooke stated that the Defendants’ characterization of the law under Rule 3.68 is accurate and applicable outside of the Class Proceedings context. However, the law must be applied “through the lens of” Class Proceedings, especially in the context of multi-jurisdictional Class Proceedings. The Saskatchewan Action and the Alberta Action differed fundamentally. Rooke A.C.J. held that the multiplicity of Proceedings was justifiable, and the Alberta Action had a legitimate purpose because it sought to deal with a different national Class. There was, therefore, little chance of inconsistent results which would undermine the credibility of the judicial process.

Rooke A.C.J. also commented that Rule 1.2, while establishing important foundational principles, added nothing of substance to the Defendants’ arguments. The Defendants’ Application was dismissed.

View CanLII Details