mai 25. 2020

COURT OF APPEAL SUMMARIES (MAY 19 - 22, 2020)

Rabi v. University of Toronto, 2020 ONCA 305 (CanLII)

[Doherty, Juriansz and Paciocco JJ.A.]

COUNSEL:

M.O. Parsons and C. Breton, for the appellant

R.A. Centa and E. Home, for the respondent

Keywords: Torts, Trespass, Human Rights, Education Law, Health Law, Civil Procedure, Injunctions, RJR-MacDonald v. Canada (Attorney General), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 311

FACTS:

The appellant, a student enrolled at the respondent University, was involuntarily committed for psychiatric review in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (“CAMH”). Four days later, the respondent issued a Trespass Notice to the appellant, which is the subject of this appeal. The letter containing the Trespass Notice affirmed that the trespass Notice would not be rescinded until the University was satisfied that he “do[es] not pose a threat to the health and safety of others” and sought the appellant’s “consent to undergo a psychiatric risk assessment by a qualified expert who will report to the University”.

The appellant furnished the university with a letter from his treating physician, but the University did not find the letter to be adequate to allay its concerns. The appellant initiated a court application alleging that the University breached its contractual and fiduciary duties in its dealings with him. He also filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “Tribunal”) before amending his application, adding a request for an interlocutory injunction restraining the University from enforcing the Trespass Notice pending the proceeding before the Tribunal. The application judge dismissed the application in its entirety.

ISSUES:

(1) Did the application judge commit palpable and overriding errors?

(2) Did the application judge err in the application of the legal test for an interlocutory injunction?

(3) Did the application judge unreasonably conclude that the “balance of convenience” favoured denying the interlocutory injunction?

HOLDING:

Appeal dismissed.

REASONING:

(1) . No. The application judge committed no palpable and overriding error in her treatment of the medical notes. Nor did the application judge commit a palpable and overriding error by relying on what the appellant claimed was an “irrelevant” finding that his threats were linked to animosity against University staff. The Court also rejected the submission that the application judge misapprehended the evidence by noting an offer of compromise by the University, when the University was, in fact, insisting on a psychiatric risk assessment. There was clear evidence of an offer to compromise on the record. The fact that the University’s repeatedly called for a psychiatric risk assessment did not alter this fact.

(2) No. The application judge correctly set out the legal test for an interlocutory injunction from RJR-MacDonald v. Canada (Attorney General), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 311. The Court was satisfied that the application judge considered the weight of each component of the test and was satisfied that this was not a case where, in all the circumstances, the strength of the factors that favoured the appellant could sustain the appellant’s application.

(3) No. The Court found no basis for impugning the reasonableness of the application judge’s finding that the balance of convenience favoured the University. Her reasons were clear, grounded in the evidence, and compelling. The conclusion that, on balance, the balance of convenience favoured the University was entirely reasonable.