COURT OF APPEAL SUMMARIES (September 7 – September 18, 2020)Ontario (Attorney General) v. Nanji, 2020 ONCA 591 (CanLII)
[Gillese, Lauwers and Benotto JJ.A.]
S. Blake and D. Polla, for the respondent/ moving party
B. Ries, J. Myers, and M. Daly for the appellants/ responding parties
K.A. Ley, M. Melchers, and J.J. Hoffer, for the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario, participating party pursuant to the order of Pepall J.A.
Keywords: Residential Tenancies, Moratorium on Eviction Orders, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Jurisdiction, Final or Interlocutory, Courts of Justice Act, RSO 1990, c C.43, ss. 6(1)(b), 19(1)(b), McClintock v Karam, 2017 ONCA 277, Hendrickson v Kallio,  OR 675 (CA)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eviction orders were suspended. The appellants sought to be recognized as class representatives for vulnerable tenants seeking to avoid eviction. They requested an urgent case conference to deal with the scheduling of their application. On July 6, 2020, the Chief Justice ordered that the moratorium on evictions – ordered in March 2020 – would end on July 31, 2020. The appellants brought a motion seeking an interim stay of the order of July 6, 2020 until their motion to set aside the order of the Chief Justice can be heard. On August 2, 2020, the motion judge dismissed the appellants’ motion for an interim stay.
The respondent Attorney General for Ontario (AGO) moved for an order quashing the appeal on the basis that the order appealed from is interlocutory and the Court lacked jurisdiction. The appellants submitted that the order finally determined the issues raised and was thus final.
(1) Was the order of the motion judge interlocutory?
(1) Yes. The Court found that the order was interlocutory; therefore, the Court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal. An order is interlocutory if the merits of the case remain to be determined. The motion judge specifically stated that he was “not deciding the motion on its merits”. The Court did not agree with the appellants that the motion judge finally determined the issue of jurisdiction and disposed of the substantive rights of the individual appellants. The appeal involved an interim stay pending an interim motion in an application. The motion to set aside the Chief Justice’s order remained outstanding.
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