Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd., (1991) 44 O.A.C. 179 (CA)

JudgeDubin, C.J.O., Morden, A.C.J.O., Finlayson, Krever, and Griffiths, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)
Case DateMarch 20, 1991
JurisdictionOntario
Citations(1991), 44 O.A.C. 179 (CA)

Peel v. Great Atlantic (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

The Regional Municipality Of Peel and The Attorney General Of Ontario (applicant/appellants) v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Company Of Canada Limited, Loblaws Supermarkets Limited, Steinberg Incorporated, carrying on business as Miracle Food Mart, and The Oshawa Group Limited (respondent/respondents)

The Hudson's Bay Company (respondent/intervener) v. People For Sunday Association of Canada (appellant/intervener)

(Nos. 455/90, 530/90, 531/90, 532/90, 533/90, 534/90, 535/90 and 536/90)

Indexed As: Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd.

Ontario Court of Appeal

Dubin, C.J.O., Morden, A.C.J.O., Finlayson, Krever, and Griffiths, JJ.A.

March 20, 1991.

Summary:

A municipality and the Attorney General of Ontario applied for an order that certain supermarkets be required to close on Sundays in compliance with the Retail Business Holidays Act. The supermarkets and some employees applied for a declaration that the Act violated ss. 2(a), 7 and 15(1) of the Charter. The Act, which was previously declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, was amended to provide that all businesses which closed on another day of the week for religious reasons could remain open on Sunday and permitted municipalities to create other exemptions.

The Ontario High Court in a judgment reported 71 D.L.R.(4th) 293; 73 O.R.(2d) 289, held that the Act was invalid, because it violated the religious freedom of non-Sunday - observing consumers and employees. The municipality and the Attorney General appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and upheld the validity of the Act, holding that the Act provided for secular common pause days which had only trivial effects on retailers, consumers and employees.

Civil Rights - Topic 386

Freedom of conscience or religion - Infringement of - Sundays and religious holidays - The Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act was declared constitutional in 1986 and 1989 - Subsequent amendments provided that all businesses which closed on another day of the week for religious reasons could remain open on Sunday and permitted municipalities to create other exemptions - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that the new version of the Act did not violate the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by s. 2(a) of the Charter and even if it did, was a reasonable limit under s. 1.

Civil Rights - Topic 5504

Equality and protection of the law - General principles - Scope of right - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that s. 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had no application to retailers, consumers or employees under the Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act - See paragraphs 197 to 198.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - Burden of proof - The Ontario Court of Appeal stated that the party seeking to limit a right has the onus of establishing the limit of preponderance of probabilities - See paragraph 67.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - The Ontario Court of Appeal stated two requirements for establishing that a limit is reasonable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society: (1) the legislative object which the limitation is designed to promote must be of sufficient importance to warrant overriding a constitutional right (a "pressing and substantial concern") and (2) the means chosen to attain the objective must be proportional or appropriate to the ends - See paragraph 67.

Civil Rights - Topic 8546

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Particular phrases - Life, liberty and security of the person - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that property or economic rights affected by Sunday or holiday closing laws are not covered by s. 7 of the Charter - See paragraphs 193 to 196.

Civil Rights - Topic 8586

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Method of raising Charter issues - Requirement of establishing a factual foundation - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that a party challenging legislation on the ground that it violates a Charter right must prove on a balance of the probabilities on the basis of admissible evidence that the statute limits a Charter right - See paragraphs 14 to 17, 155.

Courts - Topic 103

Stare decisis - Authority of judicial decisions - English and American authorities - American decisions - A judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal considered a decision of the United States Supreme Court in determining the validity of the Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act - See paragraphs 186 to 191.

Statutes - Topic 502

Interpretation - General principles - Intention of legislature - Evidence - Legislators as witnesses - [See both Statutes - Topic 1602].

Statutes - Topic 1602

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - General - Evidence - Witnesses - Legislators as witnesses - A judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal stated that it was improper to call ministers of the Crown as witnesses to testify about the purpose and effect of legislative amendments - See paragraph 159.

Statutes - Topic 1602

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - General - Evidence - Witnesses - A judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal stated that the interpretation of legislation is for the court and witnesses may not be called to testify about the object and purpose of legislation - See paragraphs 160 to 161.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. (1984), 48 O.R.(2d) 395, affd. [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 55 C.R.(3d) 193; 14 D.L.R.(4th) 10; 28 C.R.R. 1, consd. [paras. 5, 195].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 55 C.R.(3d) 193; 14 D.L.R.(4th) 10; 28 C.R.R. 1, appld. [paras. 6, 118].

R. v. Edwards Books & Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd.

R. v. Paul Magder Furs Ltd. (1989), 33 O.A.C. 81; 69 O.R.(2d) 172, consd. [paras. 7, 123].

MacKay et al. v. Manitoba, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 357; 99 N.R. 116; 61 Man.R.(2d) 270, appld. [para. 15].

Danson v. Ontario (Attorney General) (1990), 112 N.R. 362; 41 O.A.C. 250, appld. [paras. 16, 155].

Toronto (City) v. Magder (Paul) Furs Ltd. et al. (1990), 38 O.A.C. 149; 72 O.R.(2d) 155, consd. [para. 94].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200, appld. [paras. 120, 151, 175, 177, 182].

Reference re Upper Churchill Water Rights Reversion Act, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 297; 53 N.R. 268; 47 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 125; 139 A.P.R. 125, appld. [para. 156].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161; [1985] 3 W.W.R. 481; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 321; 37 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97; 85 C.L.L.C. 14,023; 13 C.R.R. 64, consd. [para. 165].

Re Karry and City of Chatham (1910), 21 O.L.R. 566 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 170].

Lord's Day Alliance v. Attorney General of British Columbia, [1959] S.C.R. 497, consd. [para. 171].

Lord's Day Alliance v. Attorney General for Manitoba, [1925] A.C. 384, consd. [para. 172].

R. v. Turpin, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1296; 96 N.R. 115; 34 O.A.C. 115; 69 C.R.(3d) 97; 48 C.C.C. 8, consd. [para. 181].

R. v. Sheldon S., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 254; 110 N.R. 321; 57 C.C.C.(3d) 115, consd. [para. 181].

R. v. S.S. - see R. v. Sheldon S.

McGowan v. State of Maryland (1961), 81 S. Ct. 1101, consd. [para. 186].

R. v. Quesnel (1985), 12 O.A.C. 165; 24 C.C.C. 78, appld. [para. 195].

Charboneau v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (1985), 52 O.R.(2d) 552 (Ont. H.C.), appld. [para. 195].

Aluminum Company of Canada Ltd. v. Ontario (Minister of the Environment) (1986), 16 O.A.C. 14; 55 O.R.(2d) 522, appld. [para. 195].

Re Malarctic Hygrade & Gold Mines (Canada) Ltd. and Ontario Securities Commission (1986), 27 D.L.R.(4th) 112, appld. [para. 195].

Wilson v. B.C. Medical Services Commission, [1989] 2 W.W.R. 1; 53 D.L.R.(4th) 171; 30 B.C.L.R.(2d) 1; 34 Admin. L.R. 235; 41 C.R.R. 276; 11 A.C.W.S.(3d) 369 (B.C.C.A.), dist. [para. 196].

Law Society of British Columbia v. Andrews, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 143; 91 N.R. 255; [1989] 2 W.W.R. 289; 56 D.L.R.(4th) 1, appld. [para. 197].

Reference re Sections 32 and 34 Workers' Compensation Act (Nfld.), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 922; 96 N.R. 227; 76 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181; 235 A.P.R. 181; 56 D.L.R.(4th) 765, appld. [para. 197].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 66]; sect. 2(a) [para. 18]; sect. 7 [para. 193]; sect. 15(1) [para. 197]; sect. 27 [para. 19].

Employment Standards Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 137, sect. 39(h) [para. 199].

Human Rights Code, S.O. 1981, c. 53 [para. 52].

Retail Business Holidays Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 453, sect. 3(4) [para. 23]; sect. 4 [paras. 84, 87]; sect. 5 [para. 25]; sect. 15 [para. 106].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Finklestein, The Relevance of Pre-Charter Case Law for Post-Charter Adjudication (1984), 4 S.C.L. Rev. 267 [para. 164].

Ontario Law Reform Commission, Report on Sunday Observance Legislation (1970) [para. 117].

Rogers, The Law of Canadian Municipal Corporations (2nd Ed. 1971), vol. 1, p. 2 [para. 169].

Counsel:

E.C. Goldberg and H. Schwartz, for the appellant, Attorney General of Ontario;

H.F. Caley and D.J. Wray, for the appellant intervener, People for Sunday Association of Canada;

J.B. Laskin, M. Eberts and K.E. Thomson, for the respondent, The Oshawa Group Limited;

R.J. Arcand, for the respondent, Steinberg Incorporated, carrying on business as Miracle Food Mart;

R.S. Russell and F.J. Kristjanson, for the respondent, Loblaws Supermarkets Limited;

F.J. Kovach, D.C. Hodson and A.T. McKinnon, for the respondent intervener, The Hudson's Bay Company;

T.S.B. Danson and J.N. Falconer, for the respondent Great Atlantic & Pacific Company of Canada Limited.

This case was heard on September 24-28, 1990, at Toronto, Ontario, before Dubin, C.J.O., Morden, A.C.J.O., Finlayson, Krever and Griffiths, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

On March 20, 1991, the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal was delivered and the following opinions were filed:

Dubin, C.J.O. (Morden, A.C.J.O., Krever, and Griffiths, JJ.A., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 113;

Finlayson, J.A. - see paragraphs 114 to 204.

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22 practice notes
  • Magder (Paul) Furs Ltd. et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General), (1993) 160 N.R. 161 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 1993
    ...determined to be constitutional by the Court of Appeal in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179. Leave to appeal from that decision was granted by the Supreme Court of Canada. Both retail businesses appealed the dismissal of their Th......
  • Magder (Paul) Furs Ltd. et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General), (1993) 67 O.A.C. 81 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 1993
    ...determined to be constitutional by the Court of Appeal in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179. Leave to appeal from that decision was granted by the Supreme Court of Canada. Both retail businesses appealed the dismissal of their Th......
  • R. v. Asante-Mensah (D.), (1996) 3 O.T.C. 240 (GD)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Ontario Court of Justice General Division (Canada)
    • May 8, 1996
    ...xiii; 68 N.R. 160; 16 O.A.C. 80, refd to. [para. 127]. Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179; 2 O.R.(3d) 65 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 127]. R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) ......
  • The Charter and Municipal Law in New Brunswick (Comment), (1992) 126 N.B.R.(2d) 1
    • Canada
    • May 1, 1992
    ...193; 28 C.R.R. 1; 35 D.L.R.(4th) 1, consd. [para. 8]. Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic and Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179; 2 O.R.(3d) 65 (C.A.), consd. [para. R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697; 117 N.R. 1, consd. [para. 9]. Hamilton Independent Variety &......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • Magder (Paul) Furs Ltd. et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General), (1993) 160 N.R. 161 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 1993
    ...determined to be constitutional by the Court of Appeal in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179. Leave to appeal from that decision was granted by the Supreme Court of Canada. Both retail businesses appealed the dismissal of their Th......
  • Magder (Paul) Furs Ltd. et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General), (1993) 67 O.A.C. 81 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 1993
    ...determined to be constitutional by the Court of Appeal in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179. Leave to appeal from that decision was granted by the Supreme Court of Canada. Both retail businesses appealed the dismissal of their Th......
  • R. v. Asante-Mensah (D.), (1996) 3 O.T.C. 240 (GD)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Ontario Court of Justice General Division (Canada)
    • May 8, 1996
    ...xiii; 68 N.R. 160; 16 O.A.C. 80, refd to. [para. 127]. Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Co. of Canada (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179; 2 O.R.(3d) 65 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 127]. R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) ......
  • The Charter and Municipal Law in New Brunswick (Comment), (1992) 126 N.B.R.(2d) 1
    • Canada
    • May 1, 1992
    ...193; 28 C.R.R. 1; 35 D.L.R.(4th) 1, consd. [para. 8]. Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Great Atlantic and Pacific Co. of Canada Ltd. (1991), 44 O.A.C. 179; 2 O.R.(3d) 65 (C.A.), consd. [para. R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697; 117 N.R. 1, consd. [para. 9]. Hamilton Independent Variety &......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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