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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW | SPPA / Fairness (Administrative)

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Civil and Administrative
Litigation Opinions
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Ontario and Canada
Appeal Court Dicta

Administrative - Impecuniosity

. Derenzis v. Gore Mutual Insurance Company

In Derenzis v. Gore Mutual Insurance Company (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court states a consequence of the relation of impecuniosity and legal complexity on access to justice:
[4] The Appellant/Applicant submits that the issues on the appeal are intertwined with those on the application for judicial review and should be permitted to move forward. The Appellant/Applicant also submits that judicial review is difficult, expensive and may be a losing proposition. None of these submissions create appellate jurisdiction.

[5] The appeal is therefore dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
. Windrift Adventures Inc. v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector

In Windrift Adventures Inc. v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considers two JRs [one by a dog-owner and one by the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (CAWI)] against animal care cost 'Statement of Account' decisions of the ACRB (Animal Care Review Board) under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS), here regarding a large-scale dog seizure.

In these quotes, the court supports the tribunal in not considering the owner's pleading of impecuniosity when they did not submit any documentary evidence (presumably of their own financial situation):
Was the Board’s decision with respect to ability to pay reasonable?

[83] In their closing submissions before the Board, Windrift requested that the Board consider the reasonableness of the amounts charged in the context of their ability to pay, a factor that has been considered in previous Board decisions.

[84] The Board found that it did not have to determine the question of whether ability to pay should be considered (the CAWI submitted it should not) as it found that Windrift filed no documentary evidence to support Ms. Spottiswood’s testimony on this issue.

[85] Windrift submits that the Board was unreasonable when it failed to accept the uncontradicted oral evidence of Ms. Spottiswood as to Windrift’s inability to pay. We disagree. There is nothing unreasonable about a tribunal refusing to accept evidence about impecuniosity that is unsupported by any documentary evidence. The question of the weight to be attributed to Ms. Spottiswood’s testimony on this point is a question for the Board to decide. Absent exceptional circumstances (which are not present here), it is outside the province of this Court on a reasonableness review to re-weigh evidence.


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