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ACTIONS BY MUNICIPALITY - Injunctions – Criteria for injunctive relief

Friday, August 04, 2017 @ 8:29 AM  


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Appeal by the Corporation of the Town of Rainy River and its mayor from dismissal of an application for injunctive relief. The appellants sought a permanent injunction enjoining the respondent, Olsen, from continuing to harass and defame the mayor, members of Town council, and staff. Olsen did not respond to the application. The application judge refused the relief sought, finding that health and safety and harassment policies did not apply to the respondent, and that none of the criteria for injunctive relief were met. The judge noted that an injunction would have been appropriate had a final verdict of defamation been rendered. The Town and the mayor appealed.

HELD: Appeal allowed in part. The application judge did not err in concluding that neither health and safety legislation nor workplace harassment policies applied to the respondent, as he was not a worker or co-worker, and any such harassment was conducted outside of the workplace. No error arose from the refusal to issue a permanent injunction regarding defamatory speech, as such injunctions were invariably linked to a prior judicial determination defamation had occurred. In the absence of a defamation action, a trespass notice or peace bond were available remedies to restrain the respondent's behaviour. The appellants were granted a permanent order restraining the respondent from maintaining Town property or roadways without permission or authority. The application judge erred in not addressing that aspect of the application directly, and the evidence justified the relief sought.

Rainy River (Town) v. Olsen, [2017] O.J. No. 3846, Ontario Court of Appeal, R.J. Sharpe, P.D. Lauwers and L.B. Roberts JJ.A., July 20, 2017. TLD-July312017009