Federal Court takes Position on Duplicative Proceedings and Needless Re-litigation

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Canada underlined the need to prevent duplicative proceedings and re-litigation on decided matters. The issue came before the Federal Court after two applications for judicial review.

In the first application, the Applicant, Anis Haymour, sought judicial review of a decision of the Respondent, the Canada Revenue Agency. In its decision, the CRA took the position that Mr. Haymour’s request to have his termination grievance referred to an Independent Third Party Reviewer was not submitted within the prescribed timeframe and refused Mr. Haymour’s request.

Mr. Haymour’s judicial review of CRA’s refusal was successful on October 23, 2013 when Justice Manson recommended the request for ITPR be resubmitted for re-determination in accordance with his judgment. Following this decision, the Applicant resubmitted his ITPR request. However, the Respondent once again refused the request for independent review.

Efforts to have the CRA reconsider its decision were unsuccessful, leaving Mr. Haymour with no alternative but to bring a second request for judicial review before Justice Brown on November 5, 2014. In reaching his decision Justice Brown stated:

“[CRA’s] conduct, if allowed, opens up the possibility of undesirable and duplicative proceedings, fragmentation of a party’s defence, and avoidable use of court resources. Moreover, such conduct defeats an important objective of litigation, namely the need for finality in legal processes.  The respondent’s approach in this case was also objectionable because it adds both to the expense and length of this proceeding.”

Mr. Haymour and his union were represented by James Cameron and Ella Forbes-Chilibeck of our firm.