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ACTIONS BY AND AGAINST CROWN - Crown liability for acts of servants

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 9:29 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the plaintiffs from a decision striking out their Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) claims against the respondent Minister without leave to amend for failure to disclose a reasonable cause of action. The appellants sued various school officials and the Minister for misfeasance in public office and breaches of ss. 7, 9, 12 and 15 of the Charter after their child was placed in an isolation room as a time out without the appellants’ permission. The appellants argued that the Minister was endowed with the responsibilities imposed by the School Act and was required to exercise its duties and responsibilities in compliance with the Charter.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. No duty imposed by the School Act on the Minister was engaged in this case. The Minister was under no obligation to monitor the day-to-day activities of employees of a school board and ensure their compliance with school board policies. This was a novel claim unsupported by precedent. The appellants had no reasonable cause of action against the Minister for Charter breaches allegedly committed by another state actor and its employees for acts over which the Minister had no control. If there was a cause of action here, it was against the school board and its employees.

A.H. (Litigation representative of) v. Alberta (Minister of Education), [2020] A.J. No. 149, Alberta Court of Appeal, P.T. Costigan, T.W. Wakeling and D. Pentelechuk JJ.A., February 6, 2020. Digest No. TLD-March162020008