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FOREIGN JUDGMENTS - Recognition of judgment of foreign state or territory

Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 10:38 AM  

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Appeal by HMB Holdings from an order refusing to register its B.C. judgment against Antigua granted in the appellant’s B.C. action to enforce a Privy Council judgment ordering Antigua to compensate HMB for an expropriation of HMB’s property. At the time of the B.C. action, Antigua carried on a Citizenship by Investment program to encourage foreign investments in Antigua by offering citizenship to investors and their families in exchange for such investments. Antigua had four Authorized Representatives in B.C. promoting the program. Authorized Representatives had no authority to review or approve any application. Antigua did not maintain an office in B.C. It did not have employees or agents there. It did not attend in British Columbia for any purpose related to the investment program. The application judge concluded that Antigua was not carrying on business in B.C. and the judgment could thus not be registered in Ontario. 

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The application judge did not err in finding that Antigua was not carrying on business in B.C. at the relevant time. The trial judge’s interpretation of carrying on business did not deprive parties like HMB of a remedy, provided they brought the action within the applicable limitation period.

H.M.B. Holdings Ltd. v. Antigua and Barbuda (Attorney General), [2020] O.J. No. 69, Ontario Court of Appeal, J.M. Simmons, G.I. Pardu and I.V.B. Nordheimer JJ.A., January 9, 2020. Digest No. TLD-February172020008