Class Actions and Beauty Pageants: The Need for Carriage Motion Reform in Ontario

AuthorCole Pizzo
Class Actions and Beauty Pageants: The Need for
Carriage Motion Reform in Ontario
Cole Pizzo
AbstrAct: In Ontario, carriage motions have been embraced as the
designated method for determining which of competing class counsel
will exclusively represent the class. Despite the foundational objective
of judicial economy, carriage motions persist as inecient and deeply
f‌lawed procedures. Since the initial factors for the court to consider were
enumerated in Vitapharm, the test has grown into a lengthy list of factors
which are neither mandatory nor exhaustive. This promotes uncertainty
and does little to foster judicial economy or serve the best interests of the
putative class.
I argue that carriage motions have developed in an unfeasible dir-
ection. They encourage wasted resources and ef‌fort, create delay in an
already lengthy process, and may ultimately prejudice the class. In search
of an alternative, I employ a multijurisdictional analysis. The approach
of the Federal Court of Australia in resolving competing actions is con-
sidered, as is the post-Schmidt approach of Quebec. Embracing the modi-
f‌ied f‌irst-to-f‌ile rule of Quebec is the appropriate direction for carriage
motion reform in Ontario. Quebec’s approach balances concerns over
the complexity, uncertainty, and potential prejudice of carriage motions
with concerns over the arbitrariness and unfairness of a conventional
f‌irst-to-f‌ile rule. This would avoid the lengthy comparative analysis of
carriage motions while still serving the best interests of class members.
CCAR 15-1.indb 111 8/6/2019 4:33:29 PM
CCAR 15-1.indb 112 8/6/2019 4:33:29 PM

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