Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Summary of the Reasons for Judgment of The Honourable Madam Justice S. Griffen dated November 29, 2011:

Madame Justice Griffen granted the plaintiff's application substitutMr. Barry Burnell for Lorne Iverson as representative plaintiff; and Justice Griffen dismissed the Crown’s application to cross examine Mr. Iverson and Mr. Burnell on their affidavits.

Justice Griffen noted the procedural history of this case, in particular the Crown’s application in January 2009 to dismiss or stay the proceeding on the basis that the Federal Court has exclusive jurisdiction.  Justice Griffen confirmed that the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in Canada (Attorney General) v. Telezone Inc. of December 23, 2010 strongly weighed in favour of the conclusion that this court did have jurisdiction in the present case; and the Crown therefore has not proceeded with its application for a stay or dismissal of the action.

Justice Griffen acknowledged the reason for the Plaintiff’s application to substitute is that the Plaintiff perceives there may be a possible conflict between Mr. Iverson and class members relating to the fact that Mr. Iverson was a PHMA director at material times.

Justice Griffen did not accept the Crown’s argument that no PHMA member (i.e., 80 to 90% of 436 halibut license holders) could stand as representative plaintiff because any PHMA member would be in a conflict with non-PHMA members.  Justice Griffin ruled that the non-PHMA members could be certified under sub-class in accordance with section 6 of the CPA.