Ontario – decision maker’s position in judicial hierarchy justifies no reason for different review standard

In ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. v. Chubb Insurance Co., 2019 ONSC 5073, Madam Justice Sandra Nishikawa upheld a Master’s decision to dismiss plaintiffs’ motion to stay their own litigation.  The facts did not confirm that the arbitration was active and, as of the date of the appeal hearing, arbitration had not been formalized and the limitation period in which to do so had expired.  Nishikawa J. agreed with earlier case law there was “no compelling reason for adopting differing standards of review on appeal depending solely on the place in the judicial hierarchy occupied by the decision maker whose decision is under appeal”.

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Ontario – sometimes only a single reasonable answer exists under reasonableness standard

In Ontario (Finance) v. Echelon General Insurance Company, 2019 ONCA 629, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that, even when applying a standard of reasonableness, there are occasions in which there is only a single reasonable answer.  The Court also considered the role of accumulated decisions issuing by arbitrators under a statutory process in which the decisions are either published or not confidential and whether those decisions bound other parties in later arbitrations.

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Ontario – court declines to defer costs determination but orders information sent to non-party/arbitrator in related arbitration

In her post-trial costs decision in G.E.X.R. v. Shantz Station and Parrish & Heimbecker, 2019 ONSC 5192, Madam Justice Catrina D. Braid declined to defer determination of court costs in litigation involving GEXR and P&H until a related, ongoing arbitration between GEXR and CN was complete.  Ostensibly to pre-empt any potential for double recovery of costs once the arbitration concluded and determined its costs, she also directed that P&H’s cost submissions filed in the court litigation and her reasons on costs be given (i) to CN which was not a party to the court litigation and (ii) to the arbitrator.

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