Carter et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., 2013 BCCA 435

JudgeFinch, C.J.B.C., Newbury and Saunders, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateOctober 10, 2013
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations2013 BCCA 435;(2013), 345 B.C.A.C. 232 (CA)

Carter v. Can. (A.G.) (2013), 345 B.C.A.C. 232 (CA);

    589 W.A.C. 232

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2013] B.C.A.C. TBEd. OC.028

Lee Carter, Hollis Johnson, Dr. William Shoichet, The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and Gloria Taylor (respondents/appellants on cross-appeal/plaintiffs) v. Attorney General of Canada (appellant/respondent on cross-appeal/defendant) and Alliance of People with Disabilities who are Supportive of Legal Assisted Dying Society, Canadian Unitarian Council, Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die, Christian Legal Fellowship, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - British Columbia, and Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Canadian Association for Community Living (intervenors)

(CA040079)

Lee Carter, Hollis Johnson, Dr. William Shoichet, The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and Gloria Taylor (respondents/plaintiffs) v. Attorney General of Canada (respondent/defendant) and Attorney General of British Columbia (appellant/defendant)

(CA040454; 2013 BCCA 435)

Indexed As: Carter et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al.

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Finch, C.J.B.C., Newbury and Saunders, JJ.A.

October 10, 2013.

Summary:

The British Columbia Supreme Court (Smith, J.), in a decision reported at [2012] B.C.T.C. Uned. 886, declared that ss. 14, 21, 22, 222 and 241 of the Criminal Code unjustifiably infringed s. 7 and s. 15 of the Charter, and were of no force and effect to the extent that they prohibited physician-assisted dying. Smith, J., suspended the effect of her declaration for one year. She granted one of the individual plaintiffs, Taylor, an immediate constitutional exemption upon certain conditions. In a decision reported at [2012] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1587, Smith, J., awarded special costs to the plaintiffs, apportioned 90% against the Attorney General of Canada (Canada) and 10% against the Attorney General of British Columbia (British Columbia). Canada appealed, arguing that Smith, J., erred in finding that the impugned sections of the Criminal Code infringed the plaintiffs' rights under s. 7 and s. 15 of the Charter and were not saved by the application of s. 1. Canada argued that those findings were precluded by the precedential effect of Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) (1993 SCC). Canada also challenged the constitutional exemption granted to Taylor that would have allowed her to seek a physician-assisted death. That issue had become moot as Taylor had passed away. Canada also contended that Smith, J., erred in granting the plaintiffs an order for special costs. British Columbia appealed separately from the costs order. In addition to arguing that Smith, J., erred in granting the plaintiff special costs, British Columbia said the judge erred in awarding costs against British Columbia as an intervenor.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Finch, C.J.B.C., dissenting, allowed the appeals. Although the law with respect to the Charter had evolved since 1993, no change sufficient to undermine Rodriguez as a binding authority had occurred, and Smith, J., erred in deciding to the contrary. The award of special costs could not be sustained. The court ordered that no costs be awarded to any party in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. With respect to costs of the appeal, the court did not make an order for the payment of costs by any party.

Civil Rights - Topic 201

Life - General - See paragraphs 272 to 282.

Civil Rights - Topic 205

Life - Right to die - See paragraphs 272 to 282.

Civil Rights - Topic 3107.2

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - General principles and definitions - Overbreadth principle - See paragraphs 299 to 302.

Civil Rights - Topic 5661.1

Equality and protection of the law - Assisted suicides - Prohibition against - See paragraphs 323 to 324.

Civil Rights - Topic 8316

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - General - Application - Proportionality test - See paragraphs 303 to 313 and 316.

Civil Rights - Topic 8344

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Principles of fundamental justice - See paragraphs 283 to 316.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - See paragraphs 269 to 270 and 317 to 324.

Civil Rights - Topic 8380.8

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Statute deemed inapplicable (incl. doctrine of constitutional exemption) - See paragraphs 325 to 336.

Civil Rights - Topic 8546

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Particular words and phrases - Life, liberty and security of the person - See paragraphs 272 to 282.

Civil Rights - Topic 8547

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Particular words and phrases - Principles of fundamental justice - See paragraphs 283 to 316.

Civil Rights - Topic 8595

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Costs - See paragraphs 337 to 351.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2505

Determination of validity of statutes or Acts - Doctrine of constitutional exemption - See paragraphs 325 to 336.

Courts - Topic 19

Stare decisis - Authority of judicial decisions - Constitutional issues - See paragraphs 263 to 271, 316 and 321.

Courts - Topic 126.1

Stare decisis - Authority of judicial decisions - Courts of superior jurisdiction - Supreme Court of Canada - General - See paragraphs 263 to 271, 316 and 321.

Practice - Topic 680.1

Parties - Adding or substituting parties - Intervenors - Liability for court fees or costs - See paragraphs 347 to 350.

Practice - Topic 7028.9

Costs - Party and party costs - Entitlement to - Successful party - Exceptions - Constitutional issues (incl. Charter) - See paragraphs 337 to 346.

Practice - Topic 7029.5

Costs - Party and party costs - Entitlement - Successful party - Exceptions - Public interest or test case - See paragraphs 337 to 346.

Practice - Topic 7468

Costs - Solicitor and client costs - Entitlement to solicitor and client costs - Against the Crown or governmental bodies - See paragraphs 337 to 350.

Practice - Topic 7470.5

Costs - Solicitor and client costs - Entitlement to solicitor and client costs - Public interest or test cases - See paragraphs 337 to 350.

Practice - Topic 8331.1

Costs - Appeals - Costs of appeal - Public interest - See paragraph 351.

Cases Noticed:

Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [1993] 3 S.C.R. 519; 158 N.R. 1; 34 B.C.A.C. 1; 56 W.A.C. 1, folld. [para. 3].

Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony et al. v. Alberta, [2009] 2 S.C.R. 567; 390 N.R. 202; 460 A.R. 1; 462 W.A.C. 1; 2009 SCC 37, consd. [para. 32].

Airedale National Health Service Trust v. Bland, [1993] A.C. 789; 149 N.R. 321 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 38].

R. v. Henry (D.B.) et al. (2005), 342 N.R. 259; 376 A.R. 1; 360 W.A.C. 1; 219 B.C.A.C. 1; 361 W.A.C. 1; 2005 SCC 76, refd to. [paras. 55, 265].

Quinn v. Leathem, [1901] A.C. 495 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 56].

Minister of National Revenue v. Craig (2012), 433 N.R. 111; 2012 SCC 43, refd to. [para. 57].

Moldowan v. Minister of National Revenue, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 480; 15 N.R. 476, refd to. [para. 57].

Gunn v. Minister of National Revenue (2007), 352 N.R. 271; 2006 FCA 281, refd to. [para. 57].

Bedford et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2012), 290 O.A.C. 236; 2012 ONCA 186, leave to appeal granted (2012), 440 N.R. 399 (S.C.C.), consd. [paras. 58, 263].

Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 177; 58 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 78].

Reference Re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act (B.C.), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486; 63 N.R. 266, refd to. [para. 79].

R. v. Morgentaler, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [paras. 79, 292].

Reference Re ss. 193 and 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1123; 109 N.R. 81; 68 Man.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 80].

Action Travail des Femmes v. Canadian National Railway Co. et al., [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1114; 76 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 84].

Canadian National Railway Co. v. Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) - see Action Travail des Femmes v. Canadian National Railway Co. et al.

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, refd to. [paras. 84, 326].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter et al., [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291, refd to. [para 84].

S. v. Makwanyane and Another, [1995] Z.A.C.C. 3 (S.A. Const. Ct.), refd to. [para. 87].

R. v. Heywood (R.L.), [1994] 3 S.C.R. 761; 174 N.R. 81; 50 B.C.A.C. 161; 82 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 90].

R. v. Malmo-Levine (D.) et al. (2003), 314 N.R. 1; 191 B.C.A.C. 1; 314 W.A.C. 1; 2003 SCC 74, refd to. [para. 90].

Whatcott v. Human Rights Tribunal (Sask.) et al. (2013), 441 N.R. 1; 409 Sask.R. 75; 568 W.A.C. 75; 2013 SCC 11, refd to. [para. 105].

PHS Community Services Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2011), 421 N.R. 1; 310 B.C.A.C. 1; 526 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 44, refd to. [para. 119].

R. v. Khawaja (M.M.) (2012), 437 N.R. 42; 2012 SCC 69, refd to. [paras. 127, 307].

R. v. Butler and McCord, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 452; 134 N.R. 81; 78 Man.R.(2d) 1; 16 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Sharpe (J.R.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45; 264 N.R. 201; 146 B.C.A.C. 161; 239 W.A.C. 161; 2001 SCC 2, refd to. [paras. 130, 330].

R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al. (2007), 359 N.R. 1; 237 B.C.A.C. 33; 392 W.A.C. 33; 2007 SCC 12, refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335, refd to. [para. 132].

Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General) (2005), 335 N.R. 25; 2005 SCC 35, refd to. [paras. 135, 278].

RJR-MacDonald Inc. et Imperial Tobacco Ltd. v. Canada (Procureur général), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 199; 187 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 151].

R. v. D.B. (2008), 374 N.R. 221; 237 O.A.C. 110; 2008 SCC 25, refd to. [paras. 173, 318].

Knauf v. Chao et al. (2009), 279 B.C.A.C. 197; 473 W.A.C. 197; 2009 BCCA 605, refd to. [para. 198].

PHS Community Services Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [2008] B.C.T.C. Uned. D16; 2008 BCSC 1453, refd to. [para. 209].

Broomer v. Ontario (Attorney General) (2004), 3 C.P.C.(6th) 194 (Ont. Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 209].

Victoria (City) v. Adams et al. (2009), 280 B.C.A.C. 237; 474 W.A.C. 237; 2009 BCCA 563, refd to. [paras. 209; 341].

Ahousaht Indian Band et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2011), 312 B.C.A.C. 122; 531 W.A.C. 122; 2011 BCCA 425, refd to. [para. 218].

Vancouver (City) v. Zhang et al. (2011), 303 B.C.A.C. 55; 512 W.A.C. 55; 2011 BCCA 138, refd to. [para. 218].

Operation Dismantle Inc. et al. v. Canada et al., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 441; 59 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 244].

Woods Mfg. Co. v. R., [1951] S.C.R. 504, refd to. [para. 263].

R. v. Sellars, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 527; 32 N.R. 70, refd to. [para. 265].

Bedford et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [2010] O.T.C. Uned. 4264; 2010 ONSC 4264, refd to [para. 266].

R. v. Clay (C.J.) (2003), 313 N.R. 252; 181 O.A.C. 350; 2003 SCC 75, refd to. [para. 277].

Godbout v. Longueuil (Ville), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 844; 219 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 277].

Sheena B., Re, [1995] 1 S.C.R. 315; 176 N.R. 161; 78 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 277].

R.B. v. Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto - see Sheena B., Re.

Blencoe v. Human Rights Commission (B.C.) et al. (2000), 260 N.R. 1; 141 B.C.A.C. 161; 231 W.A.C. 161; 2000 SCC 44, refd to. [para. 277].

Superintendent of Family and Child Services (B.C.) v. Dawson, [1983] 145 D.L.R.(3d) 610 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 280].

Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (Attorney General) (2004), 315 N.R. 201; 183 O.A.C. 1; 2004 SCC 4, refd to. [para. 285].

Cunningham v. Canada, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 143; 151 N.R. 161; 62 O.A.C. 243, refd to [para. 286].

Suresh v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2002), 281 N.R. 1; 2002 SCC 1, refd to. [para. 286].

United States of America v. Burns and Rafay (2001), 265 N.R. 212; 148 B.C.A.C. 1; 243 W.A.C. 1; 2001 SCC 7, refd to. [para. 286].

Director of Child and Family Services (Man.) v. A.C. et al. (2009), 390 N.R. 1; 240 Man.R.(2d) 177; 456 W.A.C. 177; 2009 SCC 30, refd to. [para. 289].

PHS Community Services Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2011), 421 N.R. 1; 310 B.C.A.C. 1; 526 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 44, refd to. [para. 297].

R. v. Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society (No. 2), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 606; 139 N.R. 241; 114 N.S.R.(2d) 91; 313 A.P.R. 91, refd to. [para. 299].

R. v. Demers (R.) (2004), 323 N.R. 201; 2004 SCC 46, refd to. [para. 301].

R. v. Morrisey (M.L.) (2000), 259 N.R. 95; 187 N.S.R.(2d) 1; 585 A.P.R. 1; 2000 SCC 39, refd to. [para. 303].

R. v. Dyck (A.) (2008), 236 O.A.C. 26; 2008 ONCA 309, refd to. [para. 305].

Cochrane v. Ontario (Attorney General) (2008), 242 O.A.C. 192; 2008 ONCA 718, leave to appeal refused (2009), 398 N.R. 398; 262 O.A.C. 395 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 306].

United States of America et al. v. Nadarajah (2010), 278 O.A.C. 1; 2010 ONCA 859, refd to. [para. 307].

PHS Community Services Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2010), 281 B.C.A.C. 161; 475 W.A.C. 161; 2010 BCCA 15, refd to. [para. 309].

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan (2013), 414 Sask.R. 70; 575 W.A.C. 70; 2013 SKCA 43, refd to. [para. 316].

Air Canada Pilots Association v. Kelly et al. (2012), 434 N.R. 165; 2012 FCA 209, refd to. [para. 316].

New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. J.G. and D.V., [1999] 3 S.C.R. 46; 244 N.R. 276; 216 N.B.R.(2d) 25; 552 A.P.R. 25, refd to. [para. 317].

R. v. Vaillancourt, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 636; 81 N.R. 115; 10 Q.A.C. 161; 68 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 281; 209 A.P.R. 281, refd to. [para. 318].

R. v. Logan, Logan and Johnson, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 731; 112 N.R. 144; 41 O.A.C. 330, refd to. [para. 318].

R. v. Hess; R. v. Nguyen, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 906; 119 N.R. 353; 46 O.A.C. 13; 73 Man.R.(2d) 1; 3 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 318].

Charkaoui, Re, [2007] 1 S.C.R. 350; 358 N.R. 1; 2007 SCC 9, refd to. [para. 318].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239, refd to. [para. 326].

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

R. v. Chief (1989), 39 B.C.L.R.(2d) 358 (Y.T.C.A.), refd to. [para. 326].

Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [1993] 3 W.W.R. 553; 22 B.C.A.C. 266; 38 W.A.C. 266 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 327].

Osborne, Millar and Barhart et al. v. Canada (Treasury Board) et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 69; 125 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 328].

R. v. Seaboyer and Gayme, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 477; 128 N.R. 81; 48 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 328].

R. v. Ferguson (M.E.), [2008] 1 S.C.R. 96; 371 N.R. 231; 425 A.R. 79; 418 W.A.C. 79; 2008 SCC 6, refd to. [para. 331].

R. v. Nasogaluak (L.M.) (2010), 398 N.R. 107; 474 A.R. 88; 479 W.A.C. 88; 2010 SCC 6, refd to. [para. 333].

William v. British Columbia et al. (2013), 333 B.C.A.C. 85; 571 W.A.C. 85; 2013 BCCA 1, refd to. [para. 341].

British Columbia (Minister of Forests) v. Okanagan Indian Band et al. (2003), 313 N.R. 84; 189 B.C.A.C. 161; 309 W.A.C. 161; 2003 SCC 71, refd to. [para. 343].

British Columbia (Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection) et al. v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (B.C.) et al. (2005), 214 B.C.A.C. 158; 353 W.A.C. 158; 2005 BCCA 368, refd to. [para. 345].

Guide Outfitters Association v. British Columbia (Information and Privacy Commissioner) - see British Columbia (Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection) et al. v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (B.C.) et al.

Evans Forest Products Ltd. v. British Columbia (Chief Forester) (1995), 40 C.P.C.(3d) 322, refd to. [para. 348].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 3]; sect. 7, sect. 15 [para. 1].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 14, sect. 21, sect. 22, sect. 222, sect. 241 [para. 1].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Carstairs, Sharon, Raising the Bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada (2010), para. 705 [para. 258].

Halsbury's Laws of Canada, Civil Procedure I (1st Ed. 2008), para. 57 [para. 264].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (5th Ed.) (Looseleaf), §§ 36.6 [para. 244]; 38.14(b) [para. 318]; 47.6 [para. 273].

Parkes, Debra, Precedent Unbound? Contemporary Approaches to Precedent in Canada (2007), 32 Man. L.J. 135, generally [para. 316].

Roach, Kent and Sharpe, Robert, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (4th Ed. 2009), p. 237 [para. 299].

Roach, Kent, Constitutional Remedies in Canada (2nd Ed.) (Looseleaf), generally [para. 333].

Stewart, Hamish, Fundamental Justice: Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (2012), pp. 106, 107 [para. 284]; 113, 114 [para. 287]; 136 [para. 298]; 151 [para. 311]; 289 [para. 317].

Counsel:

D.G. Nygard, B.J. Wray and M.A. Nicolls, for the appellant, Attorney General of Canada;

G.H. Copley, Q.C., for the appellant, Attorney General of British Columbia;

J.J. Arvay, Q.C., A.M. Latimer and S.M. Tucker, for the respondents, L. Carter, H. Johnson, Dr. W. Shoichet, British Columbia Civil Liberties Assoc., and G. Taylor;

J.B. Gratl, for the intervenor, Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die;

A.M. Gunn Jr., Q.C., for the intervenor, Alliance of People with Disabilities Who Are Supportive of Legal Assisted Dying Society;

T.A. Dickson and R.J.M. Androsoff, for the intervenor, Canadian Unitarian Council;

G.D. Chipeur, Q.C., and B.W. Miller, for the intervenor, Christian Legal Fellowship;

G. Trotter, for the intervenor, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada;

H. Scher, for the intervenor, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - British Columbia;

D. Baker, for the intervenor, Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Canadian Association for Community Living.

This appeal was heard in Vancouver, B.C., on March 18 to 22, 2013, before Finch, C.J.B.C., Newbury and Saunders, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on October 10, 2013, including the following opinions:

Finch, C.J.B.C., dissenting - see paragraphs 1 to 235;

Newbury and Saunders, JJ.A. - see paragraphs 236 to 352.

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    ...House’ Appeal” CBC News (2 September 2004), online: www.cbc.ca/1.481746. 35 2015 SCC 30. 36 2012 BCSC 886 [ Carter BCSC], aff’d in part 2013 BCCA 435, aff’d in part 2015 SCC 5. 37 See Jennifer Koshan & Jonnette Watson Hamilton, “ Kahkewistahaw First Nation v Taypotat : An Arbitrary Approach......
  • The Requirement of Consent to Withdraw Treatment: A Critique of the Rasouli Decision
    • Canada
    • Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform No. 20, January 2015
    • 1 Enero 2015
    ...acceptable for her to want. Would the outcome have been diferent if Dr. Salasel had 157 Schafer, supra note 49. 158 Carter v Canada (AG), 2013 BCCA 435 (available on CanLII) [Carter]. In Carter, the ruling that physician-assisted suicide is illegal may change, but nonetheless this case does......
  • A Minor Issue? The Shortcomings of the Eligibility Requirements for Medically Assisted Death in Canada
    • Canada
    • Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform No. 23, January 2018
    • 1 Enero 2018
    ...1, s 14. 13 Ibid, s 241(b). 14 Carter v Canada (Attorney General), 2012 BCSC 886 [Carter BCSC]. 15 Carter v Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA 435 [Carter BCCA]. 44 n APPEAL VOLUME 23 A. Decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia In 2012, Taylor—joined by Lee Carter, Hollis Johns......
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