Taylor v. St. Denis et al., 2015 SKCA 1

JudgeRyan-Froslie, J.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Saskatchewan)
Case DateOctober 07, 2014
JurisdictionSaskatchewan
Citations2015 SKCA 1;(2015), 451 Sask.R. 187 (CA)

Taylor v. St. Denis (2015), 451 Sask.R. 187 (CA);

    628 W.A.C. 187

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] Sask.R. TBEd. JA.010

David Kirk Taylor (plaintiff/appellant) v. Ann St. Denis (defendant/non party) and Tom Graham, The Saskatoon Civic Employees Union (CUPE Local 59), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE National) (defendants/respondents) and Attorney General for Saskatchewan

(CACV2415)

David Kirk Taylor (plaintiff/appellant) and Nadine Schreiner (plaintiff/non party) v. Lois Lamon, and Ann St. Denis (defendants/respondents) and Matthew Baraniecki (defendant/non party) and Attorney General for Saskatchewan

(CACV2416; 2015 SKCA 1)

Indexed As: Taylor v. St. Denis et al.

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

Ryan-Froslie, J.A.

January 6, 2015.

Summary:

Taylor was a past president of CUPE Local 59. Following his election loss in 2000, some members of Local 59 began to feel that the Local was becoming dysfunctional as a result of Taylor's conduct. The new president prepared a document titled "Presidents Special Appeal to CUPE Local 59 Members" and distributed it to members. Following publication of the Special Appeal, Local 59 passed a resolution asking CUPE National to investigate the affairs of the Local. CUPE National appointed Graham to investigate and report. In three separate defamation actions, Taylor sued the Local's president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer, an acting vice-president, CUPE National, Graham, and the Local itself. The actions were tried consecutively.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, in decisions reported at 419 Sask.R. 38, 419 Sask.R. 92, and 419 Sask.R. 98, dismissed all of Taylor's claims. In May 2013, Taylor filed appeals respecting two of those decisions. Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript. The cost to prepare the trial transcripts in this case was $20,500. Taylor asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts. He applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost. The respondents applied for an order for security for costs.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the applications.

Civil Rights - Topic 726

Liberty - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of liberty - What constitutes - [See fourth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 789

Liberty - Particular rights - Access to courts - [See fourth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 908

Discrimination - General principles - Nondiscriminatory laws - [See fifth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1101

Discrimination - Civil proceedings - General - [See fifth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1208.7

Security of the person - General - Access to courts - [See fourth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1210

Security of the person - General - Denial of security - What constitutes - [See fourth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 5502

Equality and protection of the law - General principles and definitions - Whether right to equality abridged - [See fifth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 5651.1

Equality and protection of the law - Particular cases - Access to courts (incl. court fees) - [See fifth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 5.3

General principles - Unwritten constitutional principles - Constitutionalism and the rule of law (incl. access to justice) - [See first and sixth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 116

Definitions - State necessity doctrine - [See second Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Courts - Topic 1403

Administration - General - Access to courts (incl. access to justice issues) - [See sixth Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 1.1

General principles - Criminal Code - Application of - [See third Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Practice - Topic 5295.2

Trials - General - Transcripts - Requirement of - [See all Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Practice - Topic 5295.3

Trials - Transcripts - Nature of - [See seventh Practice - Topic 9055 ].

Practice - Topic 8206.2

Costs - Security for costs - Security for costs of an appeal - Application - Considerations - [See Practice - Topic 8209 ].

Practice - Topic 8209

Costs - Security for costs - Security for costs of an appeal - Grounds for - Special circumstances or other good reasons - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - The respondents applied for an order for security for costs - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., stated "I cannot find special circumstances exist that warrant an order for security of costs at this juncture. Given Mr. Taylor's financial situation and the fact he lives in British Columbia, the respondents may have difficulty collecting costs if they are successful on the appeal, but that alone is not sufficient to warrant an order for security of costs. Because transcripts have not yet been filed in this appeal, it is difficult to assess whether the appeal has merit. I am satisfied, however, on the limited information before me, that the appeals are neither vexatious nor frivolous. ... Given Mr. Taylor's financial circumstances and the estimated cost of the transcripts [$20,500], I am satisfied an order for security of costs would have the effect of rendering Mr. Taylor unable to proceed with his appeals. In the circumstances, the respondents' application for security of costs is dismissed, with a right to renew it if Mr. Taylor does not pay for the trial transcripts, there is undue delay in perfecting his appeals or on any other ground a judge of this Court deems reasonable." - See paragraphs 72 to 75.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts - He applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He reasoned that the Attorney General should be responsible for funding his transcripts because the catalyst for his appeal was the trial judge's breach of his "constitutional right to the rule of law", and because the judiciary was a branch of government - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - The rule of law did not guarantee "perfect" justice - The law was often open to various interpretations - Judges had to be free to decide cases as they saw fit, even if others disagreed - If the trial judge did indeed err in his interpretation or application of the law, such an error did not offend the rule of law, and it did not support Taylor's claim that his transcripts should be prepared at public expense - See paragraphs 12 to 15.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts - He applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He argued that the doctrine of state necessity applied - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - There was no unconstitutional or illegal conduct in this case - The doctrine of state necessity did not apply - See paragraphs 16 and 17.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts - He applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He argued that s. 684 of the Criminal Code gave the court jurisdiction to make such an order - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - The Criminal Code did not apply to civil proceedings - It provided no jurisdiction or authority to make the order that Taylor sought - See paragraphs 18 and 19.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - Under s. 14(2) of the Court Officials Act, the party who required a transcript was responsible for the fee - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts and that s. 14(2) breached his s. 7 Charter rights - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - The requirement to pay transcript fees did not impact Taylor's right to life, liberty or security of the person - See paragraphs 20 to 24.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - Under s. 14(2) of the Court Officials Act, the party who required a transcript was responsible for the fee - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He argued that s. 14(2) discriminated against him based on his age (elderly) and financial status (retired and impecunious), and that this constituted a breach of his s. 15 Charter rights - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - First, the court did not accept that Taylor was actually elderly or impecunious - Second, the court was not convinced that impecuniosity or poverty was an analogous ground under s. 15 - In any event, neither the purpose nor effect of s. 14(2) violated human dignity or perpetuated prejudice or stereotyping so as to constitute discrimination - Section 14(2) applied to all persons and had the ameliorative purpose of ensuring that transcripts were available at a reasonable cost - See paragraphs 25 to 37.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Taylor appealed the dismissal of his defamation actions - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - Under s. 14(2) of the Court Officials Act, the party who required a transcript was responsible for the fee - The cost to prepare the transcripts in this case was $20,500 - Taylor applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost - He asserted that he could not afford to pay for the transcripts and that s. 14(2) breached his constitutional right of access to court - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., dismissed the application - There was no constitutional right to state-funded transcripts in civil appeals between private individuals - Even if there was such a right, it would be subject to Taylor establishing that his appeal had merit and that he could not pay for the transcript, which he failed to do - See paragraphs 38 to 67.

Practice - Topic 9055

Appeals - Record on appeal - Record of trial evidence or original proceedings - Under rule 19 of the Court of Appeal Rules, appellants in civil matters were required to file a trial transcript - Under s. 14(2) of the Court Officials Act, the party who required a transcript was responsible for the fee - An appellant in civil litigation applied for an order requiring the Attorney General to provide him with the transcripts at no cost, arguing that s. 14(2) breached his constitutional right of access to court because he could not afford to pay for the transcripts - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, per Ryan-Froslie, J.A., stated that "[T]ranscript fees are very different from court fees. In this Province, transcripts are provided by private individuals, not the government. They are costs incurred for services rendered by a third party, not fees imposed by a government to fund court services or dissuade frivolous and/or vexatious claims. Transcripts are evidence and, as such, the cost associated with them, particularly in the context of civil litigation between private individuals, is personal in nature. They serve no 'public' or societal purpose." - See paragraph 60.

Cases Noticed:

Vilardell v. Dunham (2014), 463 N.R. 336; 375 D.L.R.(4th) 599; 2014 SCC 59, refd to. [para. 9].

Manitoba Language Rights Reference, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 721; 59 N.R. 321; 35 Man.R.(2d) 83, refd to. [para. 16].

R. v. Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 21].

New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. J.G. and D.V., [1999] 3 S.C.R. 46; 244 N.R. 276; 216 N.B.R.(2d) 25; 552 A.P.R. 25, refd to. [para. 21].

Polewsky v. Home Hardware Stores Ltd. et al. (2003), 174 O.A.C. 358; 229 D.L.R.(4th) 308 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 23].

Blencoe v. Human Rights Commission (B.C.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 307; 260 N.R. 1; 141 B.C.A.C. 161; 231 W.A.C. 161; 2000 SCC 44, refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Kapp (J.M.) et al., [2008] 2 S.C.R. 483; 376 N.R. 1; 256 B.C.A.C. 75; 431 W.A.C. 75; 2008 SCC 41, refd to. [para. 26].

British Columbia Government Employees' Union v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 214; 87 N.R. 241; 71 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 93; 220 A.P.R. 93, refd to. [para. 38].

Christie v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [2007] 1 S.C.R. 873; 361 N.R. 322; 240 B.C.A.C. 1; 398 W.A.C. 1; 2007 SCC 21, refd to. [para. 40].

Barbeau-Lafacci v. Holmgren (2002), 173 B.C.A.C. 280; 283 W.A.C. 280; 2002 BCCA 553, refd to. [para. 46].

Pavlis v. HSBC Bank Canada et al., [2010] 1 W.W.R. 208; 277 B.C.A.C. 105; 469 W.A.C. 105; 2009 BCCA 450, refd to. [para. 47].

Li v. Jean et al., [2012] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 137; 33 C.P.C.(7th) 218; 2012 NSCA 63, refd to. [para. 48].

L.D. et al. v. J.B. et al. (2012), 549 A.R. 58; 2012 ABQB 693, refd to. [para. 49].

Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Beaton (2012), 534 A.R. 132; 2012 ABQB 125, refd to. [para. 50].

Allart v. Alec's Automotive Machine Shop (2003) Ltd. et al. (2014), 357 B.C.A.C. 150; 611 W.A.C. 150; 2014 BCCA 242, refd to. [para. 51].

Cutts v. Alterra Property Group Ltd. et al. (2014), 358 B.C.A.C. 76; 614 W.A.C. 76; 2014 BCCA 264, refd to. [para. 52].

Mercier v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General) (2014), 351 N.S.R.(2d) 336; 1111 A.P.R. 336; 2014 NSCA 93, refd to. [para. 53].

Bushell v. Farmers of North America Inc. (2013), 417 Sask.R. 91; 580 W.A.C. 91; 2013 SKCA 65, refd to. [para. 73].

Statutes Noticed:

Court of Appeal Rules (Sask.), rule 19 [para. 55].

Court Officials Act, S.S. 2012, c. C-43.101, sect. 14(2) [para. 2].

Counsel:

David Taylor, appearing on his own behalf;

Graeme G. Mitchell, Q.C., for the Attorney General for Saskatchewan;

James E. Seibel, for the respondents.

These applications were heard on July 23 and October 7, 2014, before Ryan-Froslie, J.A., of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, who delivered the following judgment on January 6, 2015.

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1 practice notes
  • B.F. v. Prince Albert Victoria Hospital et al., 2015 SKQB 237
    • Canada
    • Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Canada)
    • August 10, 2015
    ...The concern about the use of public resources was also recently considered by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Taylor .v St. Denis , 2015 SKCA 1, 451 Sask R 187 as follows: [62] ... public funds are not limitless. It is the function of the Executive and Legislative branches of government......
1 cases
  • B.F. v. Prince Albert Victoria Hospital et al., 2015 SKQB 237
    • Canada
    • Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Canada)
    • August 10, 2015
    ...The concern about the use of public resources was also recently considered by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Taylor .v St. Denis , 2015 SKCA 1, 451 Sask R 187 as follows: [62] ... public funds are not limitless. It is the function of the Executive and Legislative branches of government......

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