The publication of this book could not be more timely. The Ontario Class
Proceedings Act, 1992 (CPA) not only changed the face of civil litigation in
this province, but was the legislative model for the other common law
provinces. After the United States and Quebec, the Ontario CPA was one
of the f‌irst class action statutes in the world.
However, twenty-f‌ive years after its enactment, the CPA continues
to generate discussion and is decidedly ready for signif‌icant review and
reform. The overarching objective — greater access to justice — is prob-
ably being achieved, but the actual design and content of the underlying
legislation needs adjustment and ref‌inement. It is time to address the
questions that have materialized over the last quarter century. Are the
certif‌ication requirements working as intended? What is the ideal costs
rule? What about third party funding? Contingency fee awards? National
class actions? Are measures needed to help police conf‌licts of interest on
the part of class counsel and minimize the potential for self-dealing? And
what should be the ongoing role of the class actions judge?
The answers to these questions very much depend on one’s view of
where we are and how we got here. The former is arguably well under-
stood; the latter not so much.
As a class actions judge, I have an abiding interest in the ongoing
evolution of the class action vehicle. But I have long been troubled by
the realization that we know very little about the CPA’s historical roots.
Unlike other law reform initiatives that involved extensive study and

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