Decision of the Week: Hyczkewycz v Hupe

This decision deserves decision of the week status for its lengthy and exhaustive analysis of the Torrens system. Beard, J.A.’s analysis included resulting trusts and indefeasibility of title, the origins and goals of the Torrens system, both here and in Australasia where it originated, and the interplay between indefeasibility and trusts. The decision also cites a lengthy bibliiography of articles and texts that were consulted, written between 1859 and 2016.

[33]                     While there are decisions on the interpretation of indefeasibility legislation and its effect on the enforcement of unregistered claims, including resulting trust claims, against real property from the appellate courts in the other western provinces, those decisions have, in some instances, come to different conclusions.  There is, to my knowledge, no decision on point from this Court.  Given that there are some differences between the language used in the real property title registry legislation in the various jurisdictions, it is necessary to undertake a review of the origins and goals of the registry systems to determine the correct interpretation of the current legislation in Manitoba.  As all of the western jurisdictions have land registry systems based on the Torrens system of land titles (the Torrens system), this analysis requires a review of the following:  (a) the origins and goals of the Torrens system; (b) the interplay between the Torrens indefeasibility principle and trusts; and (c) Manitoba’s RPA, the effect of the indefeasibility provision and whether trusts can co-exist with indefeasibility.

2019 MBCA 74

Decision of the Week – Employer Charged With Workplace Fatality

This week’s decision comes from Nova Scotia. I found there were two very interesting facets to it that warranted bringing to the attention of members in Manitoba.

R. v. Hoyeck, 2019 NSSC 7 concerns an employer who was charged with failing to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to an employee. The trial began before a judge and jury, but after two days, the jury was dismissed. After jury selection, one of the jurors sent a note to the judge about investigation into his LinkedIn account by the Crown (para. 3). As noted in this article by Norm Keith at Fasken:

The jury was discharged after one of the prosecutors, Mr. Keaveny was the subject of controversy about his use of social media to investigate prospective jurors. 

Nova Scotia Employer Acquitted in Westray Bill Prosecution

The benefit of this development is there is now additional case law on the subject of the responsibility of an employer in the death of an employee. There is a very high standard of proof required to convict an employer of Occupational Health and Safety criminal negligence. In this instance, the employee was a licensed Red Seal Mechanic and more qualified in his work than the owner. Although Chipman, J. was critical of the employer in his workplace practices:


Based on all of the evidence it is impossible for me to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Hoyeck did anything or omitted to do anything (that was his duty to do or not do) such that he is guilty of criminal negligence causing death.  …

R. v. Hoyeck, para. 94

Decision of the Week – Charter Challenge for Search under the Traffic Safety Act

A frequent request of the library is for research on the validity of a search of a vehicle. This decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal analyses the steps the police must take to ensure compliance with sections 8, 9, 10 and 24(2) of the Charter.


[3]               The appellant appears to urge that this dominant objective in the mind of the police officer, contaminated the interaction with the appellant such as to occasion within the interaction between them the following “cascading” series of Charter breaches: (a) an almost immediate and continuing arbitrary detention contrary to s 9 of the Charter, (b) an improper questioning contrary to s 10 of the Charter, (c) unreasonable searches and seizures under s 8 of the Charter in the forms of a police dog sniffing around the vehicle and a pat down search of the appellant, (d) an unlawful delay in advising the appellant the reason for detention contrary to s 10(a) of the Charter and (e) an unlawful delay of advisement of the appellant’s right to counsel on detention under s 10(b) of the Charter: adapting what this Court said in R v Ali2016 ABCA 261 (CanLII) at para 3, [2016] AJ No 914 (QL).


[4]               The appellant goes on to say the evidence of the police seizure of hard drugs and a gun with ammunition from the vehicle should be excluded under s 24(2) of the Charter.

2019 ABCA 93

What is interesting to me is that Watson, J. references Crozier v. Cundey, a decision of 1827:


[35]           For what it is worth, the real mitochondrial father of both discretionary powers and limits thereon by police may be Crozier v Cundey (1827), 6 B&C. 232[1]. There, speaking as if it had long been thus, the King’s Bench noted where police might proceed without warrant and when they might not[2]Crozier need not be dismissed as merely a quirk of history. Tracing its influence through later cases shows it to be a foundation stone on which a significant part of police authority and its limits came to be constructed over the generations.

R. v. Zolmer, 2019 ABCA 93. H/t to “What’s hot on CanLII”.

Decision of the Week: Reference re Health Care Certification

The Manitoba Court of Appeal released this Reference re Certification in the Manitoba Health Sector, 2019 MBCA 18.


[2]                           This matter comes before this Court as a reference from the Manitoba Labour Board (the Board).  The Board may refer any question of law for a final determination by this Court (see section 143(4) of The Labour Relations Act, CCSM c L10 (the LRA)).  This reference concerns a controversy that has arisen as to the correct procedure for non-unionised employees in the health sector organising for the purpose of collective bargaining under this new model.  The dispute is about who is the appropriate decision-maker as to an application for certification in the health sector.  The two possibilities are the Board exercising its authority under the LRA or the Commissioner exercising his authority under the Act.

A unanimous Court determined that the Commissioner is the sole decision-maker for an application for certification in the health sector.

Decision of the Week: Sexual Offences Sentencing

The following decision was granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada: R. v. Friesen, 2018 MBCA 69. As summarized in Supreme Advocacy Letter #11 (2019):

Mr. Friesen met the mother through an online dating website. The mother brought Mr. Friesen to her home. On the date of the offence, the mother’s children were sleeping and were being cared for by the mother’s friend in the mother’s house. Mr. Friesen asked the mother to bring the child into the bedroom. The mother’s friend was awoken by the child’s screams, entered the bedroom and took the child out of the bedroom. Mr. Friesen demanded the mother retrieve the child and threatened her if she did not comply with his demand.  Mr. Friesen entered guilty pleas to sexual interference and attempted extortion. The sentencing judge imposed a sentence of six years’ incarceration concurrent on both charges. The C.A. granted leave to appeal sentence. The C.A. allowed the appeal and reduced the sentence from six to four and one-half years’ incarceration for the sexual interference conviction and reduced the sentence from six years to 18 months incarceration concurrent for the attempted extortion conviction. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the response to the application for leave to appeal is granted. The application for leave to appeal…is granted.”