Ecole Polytechnique v. Can., (2004) 325 N.R. 64 (FCA)

JudgeDécary, Létourneau and Nadon, JJ.A.
CourtFederal Court of Appeal (Canada)
Case DateMarch 26, 2004
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2004), 325 N.R. 64 (FCA);2004 FCA 127

Corp. de l'Ecole Polytechnique v. Can. (2004), 325 N.R. 64 (FCA)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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Temp. Cite: [2004] N.R. TBEd. AP.004

Corporation de l'École Polytechnique (appelante) c. Sa Majesté la Reine (intimée)

(A-452-03; 2004 CAF 127; 2004 FCA 127)

Indexed As: Corporation de l'École Polytechnique v. Canada

Federal Court of Appeal

Décary, Létourneau and Nadon, JJ.A.

March 26, 2004.

Summary:

A university level public education institu­tion, qualifying as a charity, acquired intel­lectual property from four corporations. The intellectual property acquired included a li­cence to exploit and market the intellectual property. The institution paid the GST on the acquisition. The institution then returned the licence to the four corporations. The Tax Court of Canada ruled that the supply of the licence was not an exempt supply within the meaning of para. 2(c) of Part VI of Schedule V of the Excise Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-15. Hence, the institution was not entitled to a 100% refund, as an input tax credit, of the GST it paid when it originally acquired the intellectual property. The institution ap­pealed.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Criminal Law - Topic 36

General principles - Mens rea or intention - Mistake of law - The Federal Court of Appeal stated: "Apart from exceptions, mis­takes in good faith and reasonable mistakes of law as to the existence and interpretation of legislation are not recog­nized as defences to criminal offences, nor to strict liability offences or prosecutions governed by the rules applicable in strict liability. However, two exceptions to the principle should be noted: officially in­duced mistake of law and invincible mis­take of law" - See paragraphs 33 to 45.

Criminal Law - Topic 212

General principles - Common law defences - Officially induced error of law - [See Criminal Law - Topic 36 ].

Sales and Service Taxes - Topic 5262

Goods and services tax (incl. harmonized sales tax) - Administration, collection and enforcement - Input tax credit - Eligibility for - A university level public education institution, qualifying as a charity, acquired intellectual property from four corporations - The intellectual property acquired in­cluded a licence to exploit and market the intellectual property - The institution paid the GST on the acquisition - The institu­tion then returned the licence to the four corporations - The Tax Court of Canada ruled that the supply of the licence was not an exempt supply within the mea­ning of para. 2(c) of Part VI of Schedule V of the Excise Tax Act (Can.) - Hence, the institu­tion was not entitled to a 100% refund, as an input tax credit, of the GST it paid when it originally acquired the intellectual property - The Federal Court of Appeal up­­held the decision where the institution did not meet the conditions of para. 2(c) of sup­ply of property (1) which was not acquired for the purpose of mak­ing a sup­ply, and (2) which was used otherwise than in making the supply - See paragraphs 1 to 26.

Sales and Service Taxes - Topic 5415

Goods and services tax (incl. harmonized sales tax) - Offences and penalties - Defen­ces - Due diligence - The Federal Court of Appeal ruled: "A taxpayer who knows that his or her position is vulnerable, who does not seek to confirm it from the proper au­thorities when the time comes, and who in­serts in contracts clauses seeking to have others bear the responsibility accruing to it for paying GST, is not acting with due dili­gence" - See paragraphs 27 to 33, 46 to 49.

Trials - Topic 1103

Summary convictions - Defences - Mistake or ignorance of law - [See Criminal Law - Topic 36 ].

Trials - Topic 1107

Summary convictions - Defences - Offi­cially induced error of law - [See Crimi­nal Law - Topic 36 ].

Cases Noticed:

Centre Provincial de Ressources Pédagogi­ques v. R., [1999] G.S.T.C. 62 (T.C.C.), refd to. [para. 10].

Friesen v. Minister of National Revenue, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 103; 186 N.R. 243, consd. [para. 24].

Canada (Attorney General) v. Consolidated Canadian Contractors Inc., [1999] 1 F.C. 209; 231 N.R. 92 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 27].

R. v. Sault Ste. Marie (City), [1978] 2 S.C.R. 1299; 21 N.R. 295, refd to. [para. 28].

R. v. Chapin, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 121; 26 N.R. 289, refd to. [para. 28].

R. v. MacDougall, [1982] 2 S.C.R. 605; 44 N.R. 560; 54 N.S.R.(2d) 562; 112 A.P.R. 562, refd to. [para. 32].

R. v. Molis, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 356; 33 N.R. 411, refd to. [para. 32].

R. v. Pontes (P.), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 44; 186 N.R. 81; 62 B.C.A.C. 241; 103 W.A.C. 241, consd. [para. 36].

R. v. Ross (1944), 84 C.C.C. 107 (B.C. Co. Ct.), refd to. [para. 39].

Michelin Tires Manufacturing (Canada) Ltd., Re (1976), 15 N.S.R.(2d) 150; 14 A.P.R. 150 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Catholique (1979), 20 A.R. 126; 49 C.C.C.(2d) 65 (N.W.T.S.C.), refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Cancoil Thermal Corp. and Parkinson (1986), 14 O.A.C. 225; 52 C.R.(3d) 188 (C.A.), consd. [para. 41].

R. v. Jorgensen (R.) et al., [1995] 4 S.C.R. 55; 189 N.R. 1; 87 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Pitchford (1982), 7 W.C.B. 242 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 45].

Corporation des Maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec v. Boutique Relaxe Flamme Inc., [2002] J.Q. No. 3565 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 45].

R. v. Dunn (1977), 21 N.S.R.(2d) 334; 28 A.P.R. 334 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 45].

Statutes Noticed:

Excise Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-15, Schedule V, Part VI, para. 2(c) [para. 1].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Boivert, Anne-Marie, Innocence morale, diligence raisonnable et erreur de droit, 41 C.R.(4th) 243, generally [para. 36].

Côté-Harper, Rainville and Turgeon, Traité de droit pénal canadien (4th Ed. 1998), p. 1095, 1096 [para. 45].

Presser, Jill R., Absolute Liability and Mistakes of Law in the Regulatory Con­text: Pontes Disappoints and Confuses, 41 C.R.(4th) 249, pp. 252, 253, 255, 258, 259 [para. 36].

Stuart, Don, Canadian Criminal Law, A Treatise (3rd Ed. 1995), pp. 295 to 298 [para. 32]; 324 [para. 37]; 350 [para. 45].

Counsel:

Diane Bouchard, for the appellant, Corpor­ation de l'École Polytechnique;

Benoît Denis, for the respondent, Canada.

Solicitors of Record:

Desjardins, Ducharme, Stein, Monast, Montreal, Quebec, for the appellant, Corporation de l'École Polytechnique;

Veillette & Associés, Montreal, Quebec, for the respondent, Canada.

This appeal was heard at Montreal, Que­bec, on March 10, 2004, by Décary, Létour­neau and Nadon, JJ.A, of the Federal Court of Appeal.

The decision of the Court of Appeal was delivered at Ottawa, Ontario, on March 26, 2004, by Décary and Létourneau, JJ.A.

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    ...al. Roy v. Poitras et al. (2006), 306 F.T.R. 83 ; 2006 FC 1386 , refd to. [para. 15]. Corporation de l'École Polytechnique v. Canada (2004), 325 N.R. 64; 2004 FCA 127 , refd to. [para. 18]. Cata International Inc. v. Minister of National Revenue, [2004] F.T.R. Uned. B34 ; 2004 FC 663 ,......
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    ...Appeal has concluded that there is no such doctrine as a “reasonable mistake of law”: see Corporation de l’École Polytechnique v Canada, 2004 FCA 127 at paras 32−33 and 37 [Polytechnique], as follow: [32] The question first arose in criminal law because of section 19 of the Criminal Code, w......
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    • November 23, 2010
    ...al. Roy v. Poitras et al. (2006), 306 F.T.R. 83 ; 2006 FC 1386 , refd to. [para. 15]. Corporation de l'École Polytechnique v. Canada (2004), 325 N.R. 64; 2004 FCA 127 , refd to. [para. 18]. Cata International Inc. v. Minister of National Revenue, [2004] F.T.R. Uned. B34 ; 2004 FC 663 ,......
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    ...DÉCISIONS EXAMINÉES : Connolly v. The Queen (April 5, 2013), 2012-3282(IT)I (T.C.C.); Corporation de l’École Polytechnique v. Canada, 2004 FCA 127, 325 N.R. 64; Lepiarczyk v. Canada (Revenue Agency), 2008 FC 1022, [2009] 1 C.T.C. 117. Connolly c. La Reine (5 avril 2013), 2012-3282(IT) I (C.......
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