Intervenors in Anti-SLAPP Proceedings

AuthorDavid A. Potts; Erin Stoik
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Intervenors in Anti-SLAPP Proceedings
A number of parties were granted intervenor status in the two Supreme
Court of Canada decisions involving the interpretation and application of
anti-SLAPP legislation. See Bent v Platnick, 2020 SCC 23 and 1704604 Ontario
Ltd v Pointes Protection Association, 2020 SCC 22.
In Ontario, interventions are governed by rule 13 of the Rules of Civil Pro-
cedure, RRO 1990, Reg 194 and decisions of the Court of Appeal, such as
Authorson (Guardian o) v Canada (Attorney General), [2001] OJ No 2768, 147
OAC 355 per McMurtry CJO at paras 6–9:
[6] I am guided in the exercise of my discretion on this motion by the reasons
of Dubin C.J.O. in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic & Pacif‌ic Co. of
Canada Ltd (1990), 1990 CanLII 6886 (ON CA), 74 O.R. (2d) 164 (C.A.) (“Peel”)
who stated the test to be applied on motions such as this, as follows, at p. 167:
Although much has been written as to the proper matters to be con-
sidered in determining whether an application for intervention should
be granted, in the end, in my opinion, the matters to be considered are
the nature of the case, the issues which arise and the likelihood of the
applicant being able to make a useful contribution to the resolution of
the appeal without causing injustice to the immediate parties.
[7] In Peel, Chief Justice Dubin noted that in constitutional cases, including
cases decided under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there has
been a relaxation of the rules heretofore governing the disposition of motions
for leave to intervene. This approach ensures that the court will have the
benef‌it of various perspectives of the historical and sociological context, as
well as policy and other considerations that bear on the validity of legislation.
[8] In contrast, Ontario courts have interpreted Rule 13 more narrowly
in conventional, non-constitutional litigation. (See for example, Peixeiro v.

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