Judgments

Decision Information

Decision Content

T-3168-76
James Laurence Kezar, an infant by his next friend Ralph Kezar and the said Ralph Kezar (Plaintiffs)
v.
The Queen and The Commissioner of the North west Territories, Rufus Graves and Ronald Dodds and Mrs. Ronald Dodds and Joy Carter (Defendants)
Trial Division, Primrose D.J.—Yellowknife, December 3; Edmonton, December 13, 1976.
Procedure—Application for order to strike out statement of claim as showing no reasonable cause of action—Whether duty owed to plaintiffs by the Crown—Whether named defendants servants of the Crown—Jurisdiction of Federal Court—Crown Liability Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-38, s. 3(1)— Federal Court Act, s. 17—Northwest Territories Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. N-22, s. 13—Public Service Ordinance, R.O. 1974, c. P-13—School Ordinance, R.O. 1974, c. S-3—Federal Court Rule 419(1)(a).
Plaintiffs claim that the defendants jointly and severally owe a duty of care to the infant plaintiff, that the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories was acting as Chief Executive Offi cer of the government of the Northwest Territories and employ er of the named defendants and that the latter were at all material times acting within the scope and in the course of their employment. The defendants claim that, under section 17 of the Federal Court Act, the jurisdiction of the Court is limited to cases where relief is claimed against the Crown, that the named defendants herein are excluded from the provisions of the Crown Liability Act by the definition of "servant" in section 2 of that Act and that the Crown itself is only liable when a duty is owed to a particular person.
Held, the application is granted. The named defendants, although servants of the Crown, are excluded from the provi sions of the Crown Liability Act. The Crown is therefore not liable for their negligence and the Federal Court has no juris diction to hear a claim against them. The Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is an officer of the Crown and in the circumstances of the present case owes no duty to private individuals.
Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd. v. The King [1923] Ex.C.R. 139; Canadian Federation of Independent Busi ness v. The Queen [1974] 2 F.C. 443; Canadian Pacific Air Lines, Limited v. The Queen [1977] 1 F.C. 715; Cleveland-Cliffs S.S. Co. v. The Queen [1957] S.C.R. 810 and Royal Bank of Canada v. Scott; Commissioner of the Northwest Territories (1971) 20 D.L.R. (3d) 728, applied.