Digest: McNabb v Cyr, 2018 SKCA 51

Date:June 18, 2018

Reported as: 2018 SKCA 51

Docket Number: CA17162 , CACV 2989

Court: Court of Appeal

Date: 2018-06-18


  • Jackson
  • Caldwell
  • Whitmore


  • Statutes � Interpretation � First Nations Elections Act � Costs
  • Civil Procedure - Costs

Digest: The parties in the appeal had all been involved in the general election for the Chief and Councillors of the George Gordon First Nation (Gordon FN). The election results were challenged by the respondent Cyr in an application to set aside the election results pursuant to s. 31 of the First Nations Elections Act. The Queen�s Bench chambers judge set aside the entire election (see: 2016 SKQB 357). The judge noted that the Act was silent as to how costs were to be awarded in an election challenge. She found that since there was no finding of fraud or misconduct in the case, the only fair result was to make no order as to costs. On appeal, the court dismissed the appeal of the order annulling the election of the chief and allowed the appeal from the order annulling the election of the councilors (see: 2017 SKCA 27). A separate costs hearing was held.
HELD: The appeal as to costs in the Court of Queen�s Bench was dismissed. There was no basis to intervene and the judge�s determination was fair and reasonable. The court found that it was not appropriate to award costs of any of the parties against Gordon FN. To do so would not achieve the goals set out in Knebush. The parties should bear their own costs. The respondent Cyr�s law firm�s request for costs against the chief electoral officer was devoid of merit as he had made no allegations impugning the integrity of the law firm. The court considered whether to assess costs against the lawyer personally because of his persistence in alleging that the officer had acted fraudulently. Although the lawyer�s conduct was close to the line, it found that it was not such a serious dereliction of duty to warrant such an award.

Statutes Considered:

  • Court of Appeal Act, 2000, SS 2000, c C-42.1, s 12

Federal Statutes Considered:

  • First Nations Elections Act, SC 2014, c 5, s 31

Rules Considered:

  • QB Rule 10-4

Cases Considered:

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