Stieber v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004 BCCA 44

JudgeRowles, Newbury and Levine, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateDecember 17, 2003
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations2004 BCCA 44;(2004), 194 B.C.A.C. 26 (CA)

Stieber v. Can. (A.G.) (2004), 194 B.C.A.C. 26 (CA);

    317 W.A.C. 26

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2004] B.C.A.C. TBEd. FE.014

Irene Raven Stieber (respondent/appellant on cross-appeal/plaintiff) v. Attorney General of Canada (appellant/respondent on cross-appeal/defendant)

(CA030380; 2004 BCCA 44)

Indexed As: Stieber v. Canada (Attorney General)

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Rowles, Newbury and Levine, JJ.A.

January 28, 2004.

Summary:

While leaving a dinner/dance at CFB Esquimalt, the plaintiff tripped and fell over a barrier in the middle of a pathway leading to a parking area on the base. She sued the federal Crown for damages for personal injuries, relying on the Occupiers Liability Act. The Crown pleaded that the action was statute-barred by the six-month limitation period in s. 269(1) of the National Defence Act, and by the Crown Liability and Pro­ceedings Act, s. 32. The Crown applied under rule 18A to dismiss the plaintiff's action summarily.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a decision reported at [2002] B.C.T.C. 1560, dismissed the application. The Crown appealed. The plaintiff cross-appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and, since the cross-appeal should not have been brought from the order below, quashed the cross-appeal. The court remitted the plaintiff's action to the Supreme Court for trial.

Armed Forces - Topic 10

General - Application of limi­tation period - The plaintiff tripped and fell over a bar­rier in the middle of a path­way leading to a parking area at an armed forces base - She sued the federal Crown for damages for personal injuries - The Crown pleaded that the action was statute-barred by the six-month limitation period in the National Defence Act, s. 269(1) - The British Columbia­ Court of Appeal, assuming that the Crown was a public authority, held that the duty to maintain pathway safety was a pri­vate administra­tive one or "subor­dinate in nature" - Thus, s. 269(1), apart from the issue of waiver, did not operate to bar the plaintiff's action - See paragraphs 20 to 29.

Limitation of Actions - Topic 1703

Waiver - General - Agreement not to rely on limitation period - The plaintiff sued the federal Crown for damages for injuries suffered in a fall on an armed forces base - The Crown pleaded that the action was statute-barred by the six-month limitation period in the National Defence Act, s. 269(1) - The trial judge ruled that the Crown waived the limitation period when the Judge Advocate General's office wrote to the plaintiff requesting information "in order to determine liability after the expi­ration of the limitation period" - The Brit­ish Columbia Court of Appeal held that the request was not an unequivocal state­ment of the Crown's intention to abandon statu­tory rights - The JAG's office made no admissions and asked only questions - The Crown did not waive the limitation period - See paragraphs 30 to 33.

Limitation of Actions - Topic 7584

Actions against the Crown - Applicability of limitation period - Exercise of statutory or other public duty - [See Armed Forces - Topic 10 ].

Cases Noticed:

Patterson Estate v. Storry, [2002] 6 W.W.R. 183; 305 A.R. 124 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 7].

Des Champs v. Conseil des écoles séparées catholiques de langue fançaise de Pres­cott-Russell, [1999] 3 S.C.R. 281; 245 N.R. 201; 125 O.A.C. 279, consd. [para. 7].

R. v. Canada (Minister of National Defence) (1993), 125 N.S.R.(2d) 208; 349 A.P.R. 208 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 8].

Pelletier v. R., [1970] Ex. C.R. 2, refd to. [para. 8].

Way v. Canada et al. (1993), 63 F.T.R. 24 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 8].

Just v. British Columbia, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1228; 103 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 8].

Sjouwerman v. Canada Post Corp. and Valance (1990), 37 O.A.C. 294 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

Halushka v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [2003] A.R. Uned. 306 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

Olympia Interiors Ltd. et al. v. Minister of National Revenue (1993), 66 F.T.R. 81 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 10].

Zimpelmann v. Canada, [2001] B.C.T.C. 439 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 10].

Scaglione v. McLean (1998), 55 O.T.C. 339; 38 O.R.(3d) 464 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 10].

Keddy v. Canada (1992), 55 F.T.R. 110 (T.D. Protho.), refd to. [para. 11].

Al's Steak House and Tavern Inc. et al. v. Deloitte & Touche et al. (1997), 102 O.A.C. 144 (C.A.), consd. [para. 13].

Canada (Conseil des Ports Nationaux) v. Langelier, [1969] S.C.R. 60, refd to. [para. 14].

Hill v. British Columbia et al., [1997] 10 W.W.R. 691; 93 B.C.A.C. 40; 151 W.A.C. 40 (C.A.), consd. [para. 15].

Dorman Timber Ltd. v. British Columbia, [1998] 3 W.W.R. 487; 97 B.C.A.C. 178; 157 W.A.C. 178 (C.A.), consd. [para. 15].

Fenn v. Henderson et al., [1997] B.C.T.C. Uned. G05; 51 B.C.L.R.(3d) 80 (S.C.), consd. [para. 21].

Berardinelli v. Ontario Housing Corp. et al., [1979] 1 S.C.R. 275; 23 N.R. 298; 90 D.L.R.(3d) 481, consd. [para. 23].

Saskatchewan River Bungalows and Fikowski v. Maritime Life Assurance, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 490; 168 N.R. 381; 155 A.R. 321; 73 W.A.C. 321, refd to. [para. 30].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 31].

Mitchell v. Canada, [2003] N.R. Uned. 284; [2003] 2 F.C. 767 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 31].

Prairie Crocus Ranching Coalition Society v. Cardston (County), [2002] A.R. Uned. 164; 27 M.P.L.R.(3d) 145 (Q.B.), affd. (2002), 312 A.R. 54; 281 W.A.C. 54; 6 Alta. L.R.(4th) 216 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 31].

Marchischuk v. Dominion Industrial Sup­plies Ltd. et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 61; 125 N.R. 306; 73 Man.R.(2d) 271; 3 W.A.C. 271, refd to. [para. 31].

Gringmuth v. North Vancouver (District), [2000] B.C.T.C. 345; 16 M.P.L.R.(3d) 132 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 32].

Statutes Noticed:

National Defence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-5, sect. 269(1) [para. 3].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Hogg, Peter W., and Monahan, Patrick J., Liability of the Crown (3rd Ed. 2000), generally [para. 15].

Counsel:

K.J. Richardson, for the appellant;

G.T. Rhone, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard in Victoria, British Columbia, on December 17, 2003, before Rowles, Newbury and Levine, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The decision of the court was delivered by New­bury, J.A., on January 28, 2004.

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