Bye Bye 2021
Par Marie-Hélène Beaudoin, avocate
La traditionnelle revue de l’année judiciaire, vue humoristiquement sous l’angle de la connaissance d’office, est publiée sur ce blogue depuis une décennie maintenant. Mais… avons-nous vraiment besoin d’un (autre) article beaucoup trop long pour connaître les faits dont tout le monde est au courant (ou non) cette année? En 2020, nous nous étions donné le défi d’éviter de parler de « vous savez quoi », pour essayer de ne pas trop ajouter à l’écœurement collectif. Pas de telle chance, en 2021. Il a fallu parler de ce sujet un petit peu, quand même. On s’en est tenu à trois doses, bien réparties à travers l’année (plus une, juste au cas). Ça va bien aller.
The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. v. West Face Capital Inc., 2021 ONSC 125
 Litigating in court is very expensive; everyone knows that. […]
R. v. Lewis, 2021 NSPC 2
 Determining that he had reasonable and probable grounds to arrest Mr. Lewis for impaired driving, Cst. Bishop asked Mr. Lewis to exit the vehicle. It was then Cst. Bishop noted that the driver’s pants were pulled down to his knees. I believe I can take judicial notice that this is an unusual way to wear one’s pants when operating a motor vehicle.
Cheung v Gregson, 2021 BCSC 204
 […] I take judicial notice of the fact that one’s social media self-depiction may not fully reflect reality. […]
Nahum v. Honeycomb Hospitality Inc., 2021 ONSC 1455
 Second, Honeycomb argues that in order to reach the conclusion that pregnancy is often a disadvantage in a job search, I require evidence, because I am not able to take judicial notice of that fact. In support of its argument, it states (without evidence) that there are websites dedicated to assisting pregnant people in undertaking a job search, indicating that pregnant people look for work all the time.
 As I have noted, other courts have concluded, without evidence, that pregnancy creates difficulties for a person searching for employment. […] Judicial notice may be taken of this conclusion because it is a fact so notorious or generally accepted as not to be the subject of debate among reasonable persons.
A.C. c. J.C., 2021 QCCS 1261
 Il est de connaissance judiciaire que les adolescents, en grande partie, s’isolent régulièrement dans leur chambre et ignorent les autres membres de leur famille. Il ne faut surtout pas conclure que c’est par manque d’amour. Ce cheminement à l’adolescence se résume dans la quête et la recherche de sa propre identité. La plupart des jeunes qui traversent cette période ingrate agissent de la sorte.
Dmyterko v Nissan Canada Inc, 2021 ABQB 219
 Excessive or impossible remedies make litigation a hopeless proceeding that is an abuse of the Court […]. I believe I may take judicial notice that it is extremely unlikely that Ms. Dmyterko truly lost business opportunities worth $5 trillion, given the GDP of Canada is only $1.7 trillion […].
Edmondson c. Edmondson et autre, 2021 NBBR 53
 […] J’aurais peut-être pris connaissance d’office du fait non contesté que la peau du passager d’une moto est généralement moins protégée de l’exposition à la chaussée et à d’autres surfaces que celle de l’occupant d’une automobile. […]
Costa & Drake,  FamCA 202 (Australie)
 The basis upon which the father has cast doubt on his paternity of the child is regrettable, and, understandably, distressing to the mother. […]
 In response to my suggestion that, even accepting the father’s evidence that the mother left his company for approximately one (1) hour on 20 June 2018, and in circumstances where the parties were, at the time, in a foreign country, the conclusion drawn from the father’s evidence is one which is implausible. In that respect, it is implausible that the mother would have left the apartment in which they were staying to meet a random stranger and engage in sexual intercourse for the purpose of her becoming pregnant prior to returning to the parties’ then accommodation.
 The response of the solicitor for the father to my suggestion that the father’s conclusion was one which was implausible was to purport to give evidence from the bar table that, based on his previous travels to Country F, he was in a position to state that Country F men are partial to Australian women and, on that basis, he contended that the contention that the mother possibly became pregnant to another unknown man during that one hour period is plausible.
 Even if, by some stretch, the Court could reasonably take judicial notice of such unqualified opinion offered by an advocate from the bar table, the father’s contention that the mother may have been impregnated by another man, as he described […], is entirely implausible and, with respect, the fact that the father and his lawyer advanced such a proposition does them no credit.
Asuzu v Su,  NSWCATAP 103 (Australie)
 He submitted that it was an obvious fact that people (in general), and himself in particular, would not have earned any money as a result of the lockdown, that we should take “judicial notice” of that fact and that if we did not then we would not be giving him a “fair go” and we would be a “kangaroo court”.
 We do not agree.
Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales c. Transport Lauri inc., 2021 QCCQ 4331
 […] Le Tribunal n’a pas de connaissance judiciaire concernant les conditions d’entretien exigé par le ministère des Transports du Québec sur ses routes.
Mécanique Centre-Ville RN et Desroches, 2021 QCTAT 2493
 […] il est de connaissance d’office du Tribunal, et de tous ceux qui ont un véhicule, que le « rush » des changements de pneus pour l’hiver s’effectue à la fin du mois d’octobre et au début novembre à chaque année, du moins dans notre région. […]
Bell Canada c Bellroy Pty Ltd, 2021 COMC 108
 Bellroy Pty Ltd (la Requérante) a produit la demande […] pour enregistrer la marque de commerce BELLROY et […] la marque de commerce […] montrée ci-dessous:
 Nonobstant l’emploi substantiel et de longue date par l’Opposante de sa marque de commerce BELL, je conclus que la Requérante s’est acquittée de son fardeau ultime de démontrer qu’il n’y a pas de probabilité raisonnable de confusion. En conséquence, les oppositions sont rejetées.
 La marque de commerce BELL de l’Opposante a un faible degré de caractère distinctif inhérent. J’estime que le mot BELL sera probablement perçu comme un nom de famille et peut-être plus particulièrement le nom de famille d’Alexander Graham Bell. À cet égard, le registraire peut prendre connaissance d’office des définitions du dictionnaire […] et le Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd Ed. comprend l’entrée suivante pour le mot « Bell » : […]
1. Alexander Graham (1847-1922), scientifique et inventeur né en Écosse qui a passé la grande partie de sa carrière au nord-est des États-Unis et du Canada; inventeur du téléphone (entre 1874 et 1876) et du gramophone. Il a également fondé la Bell Telephone Company et était un pionnier de l’aviation.
Émond c. R., 2021 QCCS 2746
 Selon l’appelant, le fait qu’un camionneur sache nécessairement comment changer un pneu n’est pas de connaissance judiciaire et, en l’absence de preuve à cet effet, la juge ne pouvait tirer une telle inférence.
 Aucune inférence négative n’a été tirée de ce commentaire par la juge.
 Dans les circonstances, le Tribunal est d’avis que ce commentaire de la juge ne constitue pas une erreur révisable justifiant l’intervention du Tribunal.
Smith v. Nagy, 2021 ONSC 4265
 On February 10, 2019, Amanda Nagy posted a message on her Facebook page saying that Zak Smith sexually, physically and emotionally abused her and other women during their marriage. Smith sued her for defamation. Nagy has now brought this motion under s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43 (“CJA”), asking the court to dismiss Smith’s action on the basis that it unduly limits debate on a matter of public interest. In the alternative, Nagy seeks an order for security for costs against Smith.
 I reject Smith’s contention that the Facebook post cannot relate to a matter of public interest because it is addressed to him and written in the first person. Nagy posted her allegations in such a way as to make them publicly available. She invited readers to “share this widely, on any platform you have.” The post was clearly designed for a wider audience than Smith.
 On the other hand, I cannot accept Nagy’s argument that her allegations self-evidently relate to a matter of public interest because “she positions her Facebook expression within the #MeToo movement.” Nagy has not described the #MeToo movement or filed any material with respect to it. I am not at liberty to take judicial notice of an undefined social phenomenon, the parameters of which are subject to debate: R. v. Spence, 2005 SCC 71,  3 S.C.R. 458, at para. 53. Nagy furthermore does not explain if, on her argument, every public denunciation of sexual misconduct is an expression that relates to a matter of public interest. If this is her argument, I reject it. Not every allegation of sexual misconduct by one person against another engages the public interest, even if one or more of them is a public figure.
Qin v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs,  FCCA 1566 (Australie)
 […] It was submitted that judicial notice was not needed for the proposition that in order to become pregnant, both the male and female partner need to be in close personal contact.
R. v. Chambers, 2021 NSSC 273
 […] the suggestion that a teenager is being moody and angry is not really evidence of much in my view. I feel I can take judicial notice that such is not uncommon.
Tennakoon & Fonseka,  FCCA 1567 (Australie)
 […] The evidence appears to suggest, and it is a matter of which one can take, in my view, judicial notice, that the worst of the COVID-19 appears to be passed. […] Bad as things have been, it is reasonable to suppose, as I find is the case, that things will get better.
Léveillé c. Municipalité de Frelighsburg, 2021 QCCS 3249
 […] il est de connaissance judiciaire que les planchers des bâtiments du village de Frelighsburg sont au niveau […]
R. c. Poirier, 2021 QCCQ 7814
 […] Dans le district de Gaspé, il est de connaissance judiciaire que mesurer chaque crabe d’une cargaison de 18 000 livres comporte son lot de difficultés.
Adler v. Promenade General Partner Inc., 2021 ONSC 5393
 Civil litigation is immensely expensive; everyone knows that. […]
Trianon Properties Inc. c. Kumar, 2021 QCTAL 22088
 The tribunal […] will […] take judicial notice that in Montreal, residential landlords are hard pressed to fill vacant apartments when winter has the city in its icy grip.
Jacques c. Industries Dettson inc., 2021 QCCQ 8084
 Il est de connaissance judiciaire qu’un système de chauffage en bon état de fonctionnement est essentiel pour affronter les hivers au Québec. […]
Goruk v. Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce, 2021 ONSC 6290
 […] it remains a difficult reality that litigation is an expensive business. […]
Tribu Expérientiel Inc. c JKLP IP Pty Ltd, 2021 COMC 218
 […] Je suis disposée à connaissance d’office que de la bière est servie (et parfois brassée) dans certains types de bars […]
R. v. Marttinen, 2021 ONSC 6703
 […] The courts have begun to take judicial notice of the fact that internet searches, especially social media searches, are not valuable search tools in all situations. […]
R. c. A.T., 2021 QCCQ 10775
 […] peu importe la température qu’il fait cette journée-là, il est de connaissance judiciaire que le temps nécessaire pour réchauffer une voiture est nettement inférieur à 40 ou 45 minutes.
Guay inc. c. Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, 2021 QCCQ 10733
 […] le Tribunal n’a aucune connaissance judiciaire du temps requis pour procéder au démontage d’une grue à tour […]
R. v. Marttinen, 2021 ONSC 6976
Note 9 :  I take judicial notice of the fact that a “hoodie” is a sweatshirt with a hood.
Option Consommateurs c. Société des loteries du Québec (Loto-Québec), 2021 QCCS 4954
 […] l’opération relève de la connaissance judiciaire, tout comme l’est l’addition 1+1 = 2. […]
Huikeshoven v Secretary, Department of Education, Skills and Employment,  FCA 1359 (Australie)
 […] I take judicial notice of the fact that during the present pandemic there is a high level of public and media interest in the subject matter of vaccination. It is a subject which can raise strong feelings in some people. It is not possible on the evidence to be any more specific than that.
Hennessy v. Brockett, 2021 ONSC 8280
 […] I think that I may take judicial notice of the fact that today, many women use their pre-marital surnames in business and personal dealings, while their children bear their father’s surname. […]
R. v. Jeyakanthan, 2021 ONSC 8250
 There is a line of authority in Canada, recognized in Ontario by my former colleague, Justice Hill, in R. v. Foster, 2016 ONSC 7914 (CanLII), that the necessary criterion of “control” may, depending on the circumstances, exclude a casual or hasty manual handling of the item in question by the accused. […]
 […] I conclude that this is a case where the “hot potato” argument succeeds. […] At the end of the day, the “hot potato” argument is related to the mens rea component of criminal liability. […]
 I find it quite believable that someone unfamiliar with guns would be startled, not frozen per se but panicked and afraid, at having a handgun suddenly dropped in his lap. I think that one common sense reaction might be to quickly smack it away and onto the seat or the floor of the vehicle. But we must remember that, according to Janson, at that moment when the gun was dropped in his lap he also had heard “cops, cops” and could see the officers rushing to the Durango. “Having a gun is obviously not legal, period”, he stated to the Crown in cross-examination. So, whether it was loaded or not, he instinctively shoved it down his pants to hide it.
 On the application of the law to those facts that I accept, Janson must be acquitted. There is an absence of criminal intent, mens rea. Although he was found to be in physical possession of the gun down his pants, and although he knew that what he shoved down his pants was a gun, his very brief handling of the gun was not, in my view, commensurate with any degree of control sufficient to constitute legal possession. His handling of the gun was hasty. It was instinctive. It was immediate. I am not sure that I would label it as being “casual”, but that is not fatal to the argument. This was, in my assessment, unlike the conclusion reached by Justice Hill in Foster, supra, a case where the accused can reasonably be described as being a “hot potato” transferee.
Neshatafshari et Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, 2021 QCTAT 5751
 […] Il est de connaissance d’office que de nouvelles découvertes sur le virus sont constamment faites. […]