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Canadian Animal Law

Limitations Act - Discoverability - Demand Obligations [s.5(3,4)]

. MacLean v. Askew

In MacLean v. Askew (Div Ct, 2021) the Divisional Court illustrated the nature of a demand loan in the context of limitations law:
[2] Ms. Askew lent Mr. MacLean, a friend and former romantic partner, $20,000 in February 2008 because he was in financial difficulty. The money was an inheritance from her grandfather. She asked for repayment in August 2010, as she needed the money for university tuition. Mr. MacLean promised to send a certified cheque. When it did not arrive, he suggested the cheque was lost in the mail, and promised to send another. No payment was made.

[3] In June 2015, the parties met at a conference. Mr. MacLean acknowledged the debt and promised to repay it, with interest at 2%, at $200 per month. No payment was made, and so Ms. Askew sent a formal demand letter for payment in July 2015. As no payment was made, she commenced a Small Claims Court action in November 2016. The proceeding was brought in Thunder Bay where Mr. MacLean was then living.

....

[12] Second, the motion judge concluded that the limitations defence that Mr. MacLean relied on was bound to fail. He correctly stated, “Limitations law distinguishes between requests for payment of a loan and demands triggering a limitations period.” Given the findings of fact made by the Small Claims Court judge, which were available on the record, and the absence of any palpable and overriding error of fact by the judge, the limitations defence was bound to fail.


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