The CCF, in a historic partnership with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Democracy Watch, jointly intervened in the appeal of a decision by an Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge that would have required another public interest organization to pay $156,462 to Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, after that organization lost its application for an injunction against the college’s vaccine mandate. That decision has now been sent back to the motions judge.

The CCF and the other interveners were concerned that if the costs decision was upheld, the organizations might no longer be able to raise funds to assist with public interest litigation that regular Canadians often cannot afford to fund themselves.

In a unanimous decision released by the Honourable Justice Ian Nordheimer, the Ontario Court of Appeal explained that the cost award was “fundamentally flawed” because the judge below failed to make any finding on whether the litigation constituted public interest litigation. The decision confirms that where litigation is in the public interest, certain principles must be applied when considering requests that the unsuccessful party pay the successful party’s costs.

Public Interest Status (Ontario Court of Appeal, 2023)

CCF Launch: October 23, 2023
Jurisdiction: Ontario
Status: Closed
Next Key Date: Closed

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