9.13: Re-opening case

Case Summary

Wittmann C.J. reserved Judgment in Waquan v Canada (Attorney General), 2016 ABQB 191, and, prior to written reasons being issued, the Federal Court issued a Decision in a similar case. Counsel for several of the Plaintiffs asked Wittmann C.J. to reconsider the earlier Judgment in light of the Federal Court Decision. His Lordship noted that while Rule 9.13 represents an expansion of judicial discretion as compared with its predecessor, Rule 339 which merely provided for correction of clerical mistakes or errors arising from accidents, slips, or omissions, discretion under Rule 9.13 is not boundless. Taking Rule 1.2 into account and the principles of fairness, justice, and efficiency which are set out in that Foundational Rule, Rule 9.13 allows the Court to correct a plain and manifest error, but does not permit parties “another kick at the can”.

Wittmann C.J. denied the request for a reconsideration of the Judgment, noting that the Federal Court Decision was not binding authority. The existence of a contrary, non-binding Decision is an insufficient ground to show a plain and manifest error. Further, the Federal Court Decision offered no new analysis for the circumstances in the instant case and did not, contrary to the argument of Plaintiff’s counsel, “come to the exact opposite conclusion”.

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