Supreme Court of Canada

On April 8, 2019, the federal government introduced Bill C-97 to implement measures from its spring budget. The bill proposes amendments to many federal statutes, including several important amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) relevant to both private and public companies. Our summary of the proposed changes is set out below, some of which deal with familiar issues, while others would introduce new requirements for companies.


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The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision on November 9, 2018, holding that the proposed co-operative pan-Canadian securities regulator, known as the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (CCMR), is constitutional.

Background and Analysis

The CCMR first emerged in 2014 following the rejection of an earlier proposal by the SCC

(The full version of this bulletin was originally published on Fasken.com – “The Supreme Court of Canada rules on the personal liability of directors in the context of the oppression remedy” – July 17th, 2017.)

The Supreme Court of Canada rendered a decision in Wilson v. Alharayeri, in which it

calgary-1751846_1920The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently dismissed two separate appeals whereby the defendants, Ronald Aitkens and Jeremy Peers, argued for a right to trial by jury for securities law offences.

Aitkens and Peers were charged with offences under the Securities Act (Alberta). Section 194 of the Securities Act (Alberta) provides for a maximum penalty

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In its decision Mennillo v. Intramodal inc., 2016 SCC 51 (Intramodal), the Supreme Court of Canada (Court) was asked whether a corporation’s failure to comply with statutory formalities was oppressive against a shareholder. The majority ruled that based on the facts the company’s failure to comply with certain Canada Business Corporation Act (CBCA) requirements did not trigger the oppression remedy. In the words of Justice Cromwell, who provided reasons for the majority, “sloppy paperwork on its own does not constitute oppression” (para 5).

Companies, directors and their shareholders should be cautious, however, not to draw the wrong lesson from the majority’s decision in Intramodal. Compliance with corporate statutes, whether federal or provincial, is not optional. In addition to violating the law, a failure to comply with corporate statutory formalities can still trigger an oppression remedy where the violation frustrates the reasonable expectations of a company stakeholder, which includes a company’s shareholders, directors, officers and creditors.

As this post will discuss, the decision in Intramodal did not establish a precedent that statutory non-compliance on its own cannot result in an oppression remedy.


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On December 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its much-anticipated decisions in CIBC v. Green (“CIBC”), IMAX v. Silver (“IMAX”), and Celestica v. Millwright Regional Council of Ontario Pension Trust Fund (“Celestica”), dismissing the appeals in CIBC and IMAX, in part, and allowing the appeal in