B.C. Court Of Appeal Confirms “Bad Beyond Argument” Ruling In Action4Canada Case

In August 2022, Action4Canada had their Notice of Civil Claim (or NOCC) struck in its entirety by the B.C. Supreme Court. Justice Ross concluded that the 391 page document was such a convoluted mess, it was impossible to respond to. There were no determinations on the merits, just the quality of the writing. The Court of Appeal has just upheld that ruling

While the Lower Court’s written reasons outlined a number of potentially serious problems, Justice Ross avoided giving a definitive answer as to what content would be allowed. It seems that the Plaintiffs’ lawyer doesn’t understand how to interpret legal findings.

  • Reasons: background information that’s necessary to support findings
  • Order: what the Court actually rules on

And what was the Order?

[74] In summary:
a) I find that the NOCC, in its current form, is prolix and must be struck in its entirety;
b) I grant the plaintiffs liberty to amend the NOCC; and
c) This action is stayed pending the filing of a fresh pleading.

[75] On the issue of costs, I note that each plaintiff is pursuing this action seeking money damages from one or more defendant. In responding to those claims each defendant has been put to the expense of answering (if not filing a response) to the NOCC. In addition, the defendants have all been required to prepare for and conduct this application. None of those steps would have been necessary if the matter was properly pleaded.

[76] On that basis, I find it appropriate to award each defendant the costs for the necessary steps of “defending a proceeding”, and for preparing for and attending an application (opposed). Those costs are payable forthwith in any event of the cause.

For reasons that were never made clear, the decision was appealed. The Plaintiffs could simply have redrafted and refiled an amended version, but didn’t.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has now said exactly that. They couldn’t understand why they were even there. It was agreed that the Claim was prolix (too long) and confusing. Therefore, the obvious answer was to rewrite it, as Justice Ross allowed it.

The other issue in the Appeal was over costs. The argument was that because success was “divided”, there should have been no costs. Apparently, since a rewrite was allowed, this amounts to a partial win. However, costs are considered discretionary, and this was predictably rejected.

Here’s what the B.C. Court of Appeal had to say.

[1] Pleadings play a central role in the conduct of civil litigation and access to justice. Their purpose is to clearly, concisely and precisely define the issues of fact and law to be determined, inform the other side of the case to be met, determine the nature and scope of pre-trial procedures, and guide the trial process: The Owners, Strata Plan LMS3259 v. Sze Hang Holding Inc., 2012 BCCA 196 at para. 1; Sahyoun v. Ho, 2013 BCSC 1143 at paras. 16–19; Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009, R. 3-1(2) [Rules].

[2] Prolix pleadings are improper. They lead to confusion, unfairness, delay and expense, and impede the litigation they are intended to facilitate: see e.g., Mercantile Office Systems Private Limited v. Worldwide Warranty Life Services Inc., 2021 BCCA 362 at paras. 22–23, 44, 58. They also occupy inordinate court resources, preventing other litigants from accessing the court services they require and deserve.

[3] Here, the appellants’ notice of civil claim is 391 pages long. Part 1 (“Statement of Facts”) is over 300 pages long, contains more than 1,000 paragraphs and sub-paragraphs, and includes hundreds of footnotes, some of which contain hyperlinks to various websites. Part 2 (“Relief Sought”) is over 40 pages long and seeks, among other things, over 200 declarations. Part 3 (“Legal Basis”) is almost 30 pages long.

[4] The notice of civil claim includes wide-ranging allegations of a global conspiracy, and challenges the scientific and constitutional foundation of the federal and provincial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. To give a sense of the breadth and nature of the allegations, the appellants’ “summary” of the factual basis of their claims includes (at 310–311, para. 283(d) of the notice of civil claim) the allegation that the federal and provincial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic violated the appellants’ “statutory and constitutional rights” because:
… the “COVID-pandemic” was pre-planned, and executed, as a false pandemic, through the [World Health Organization], by Billionaire, Corporate, and Organizational Oligarchs the likes of Bill Gates, [Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, now Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance], the [World Health Organization], and their former and current associates such as Theresa Tam and Bonnie Henry, the [World Economic Forum], and others, in order to install a New World (Economic) Order with:
(i) De facto elimination of small businesses;
(ii) Concentration of wealth and the power to control economic activity in large global corporations;
(iii) To disguise a massive bank and corporate bail-out;
(iv) To effect global, mandatory vaccination with chip technology, to effect total surveillance and testing of any and all citizens, including the Plaintiffs;
(v) To shift society, in all aspects into a virtual[] world at the control of these vaccine, pharmaceutical, technological, globalized oligarchs, whereby the Plaintiffs, and all others, cannot organize [or] congregate[; and]
(vi) To effectively immobilize resistance to the agenda by neutering Parliaments and the Courts, and by extension the Constitution and Constitutional Democracy and Sovereignty, in short to obtain “global governance”.
[Emphasis in original.]

[5] In reasons indexed at 2022 BCSC 1507 (“RFJ”), the chambers judge sensibly concluded that the notice of civil claim is prolix and cannot be properly answered: RFJ at paras. 45, 74. He also concluded that it is “bad beyond argument” and “cannot be mended”: RFJ at paras. 45, 47–48. He, therefore, granted the respondents’ applications to strike the pleading in its entirety: RFJ at paras. 48, 74.

[6] Next, the chambers judge considered whether to dismiss the appellants’ claim or grant them leave to amend it. He concluded that “there may be legitimate claims that a plaintiff could advance against one or more of the defendants”: RFJ at para. 50. He, therefore, granted the appellants leave to amend and stayed the action pending the filing of a fresh pleading: RFJ at para. 74.

[7] On the issue of costs, the judge noted that “each plaintiff is seeking money damages from one or more defendant”: RFJ at para. 75. Having put the defendants to the expense of unnecessarily answering an improper pleading, the judge awarded each defendant costs “payable forthwith in any event of the cause”: RFJ at paras. 75–76.

[8] In oral submissions, the appellants conceded that the notice of civil claim is prolix and must be redrafted. Although aware of the trite principle that appeals are taken from orders and not reasons, the appellants nevertheless advance the appeal to address various statements made by the judge regarding the propriety of various of their pleadings. In particular, the appellants take issue with the judge’s statements at paras. 52–58 of the reasons for judgment that certain claims “are improper in a civil action”, including claims seeking declarations relating to alleged criminal conduct and matters of science.

[9] The appellants point to para. 73 of the reasons for judgment where, after rejecting the defendants’ arguments that the entire action be dismissed as “an abuse of process or clearly frivolous and vexatious”, the judge held that “if the next iteration of [the notice of civil claim] contains the same, or similar, problems, then the defendants’ arguments on these issues will be strengthened.” The appellants contend that, in making these statements, the judge exceeded his jurisdiction and has effectively hamstrung them from advancing what they consider to be justiciable claims.

[10] I agree entirely with the respondents that the appellants have not identified a reviewable error. The passages at issue are clearly obiter. As I read the judge’s reasons, he transparently and helpfully identified a number of areas of concern within the notice of civil claim. He did not make binding determinations. In the absence of a proper pleading, how could he?

[11] It is up to the appellants to redraft their notice of civil claim within the well-known boundaries of proper pleadings established by the Rules and authorities. If they choose to pursue claims the judge identified as problematic and are faced with an application to strike or dismiss, they will have to satisfy the front-line decision-maker that they have pleaded justiciable claims. If they do not, they have had fair warning of the possible consequences.

[12] The appellants also appeal the judge’s costs order. They submit that success was divided in the sense that the judge declined to dismiss their claim. They also submit that costs are often not awarded in cases like this, which they assert to be a form of public interest litigation. In the alternative, they submit that costs should be awarded in the cause.

[13] Respectfully, the appellants have not identified a reviewable error in the judge’s handling of costs. Rather, they ask this Court to substitute its discretion for that of the chambers judge. This we cannot and will not do.

[14] For all of these reasons, I would dismiss the appeal.

This critique was published on the Canuck Law website on August 31, 2021. It outlined some of the ways that the Notice of Civil Claim failed to meet the basics of Civil Procedure in British Columbia.

Vaccine Choice was similarly criticized for their filing.

A week later, Gaw and Kuntz instigated a $7 million defamation lawsuit. They dispatched their “thug” to attempt to destroy this website. And for what? For truthfully pointing out that various anti-lockdown cases — including Vaccine Choice — weren’t properly written? For accurately predicting that none of these cases would ever get to Trial? For calling it all a waste of time and money? For suggesting that these shoddy cases can’t just be the result of sloppiness?

What has happened since then?

(1) The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that it was “bad beyond argument”, and drafted so poorly that it was impossible to respond to. Although leave (permission) was granted to amend, the Claim was never accepted as valid.

(2) The Law Society of B.C. put it in their training manual for new lawyers. This case is now a teaching exercise of “wholly inadequate pleadings”, and how to avoid them. See page 15. That’s right, the LSBC is using it to train new lawyers on how not to draft lawsuits.

(3) Now, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that the original Claim wasn’t drafted in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. It was too long, confusing, and difficult to follow. They didn’t address the litany of other errors contained within.

Let’s not forget that both Vaccine Choice cases, from 2019 and 2020, have been allowed to sit idly for years. There’s no urgency whatsoever to advance either case.

Despite the Appeal being dismissed, it’s still being promoted as a “win”. Not surprising, considering the August 2022 striking of the Claim was also said to be a “win”. These people are delusional.

And for people who are so touchy about defamation, it seems that the new response is to refer to critics as “paid agitators”. See the February 7th and 21st Rumble videos. During the Zoom version on the 7th, moderators were apparently deleting comments from people asking questions about the cases.

Supposedly, an amended NOCC is ready to be filed for Action4Canada. The obvious question is why that wasn’t done back in 2022. Additionally, why was the original so poorly drafted? And if there really are all these Affidavits of evidence, why mess around for years with shoddy pleadings?

The Court of Appeal has found that the original NOCC wasn’t properly written, and that it has been a waste of time and money. Moreover, wasting judicial resources like this prevents litigants with valid claims from getting their day in Court.

(1) A4C Notice Of Appeal September 28 2022
(2) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Appearance – VIHA
(3) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Appearance – BC Defendants
(4) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Appearance – Attorney General of Canada
(5) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Appearance – Peter Kwok, Translink
(6) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Appearance – BC Ferries, Brittney Sylvester
(7) A4C Appeal – Appeal Book – Appellant
(8) A4C Appeal – Appeal Book – Respondent VIH And PHC
(9) A4C Appeal – Appeal Record – Stand Alone Respondents VIHA
(10) A4C Appeal – Appeal Record – Stand Alone
(11) A4C Appeal – Factum – Appellant
(12) A4C Appeal – Factum – Respondent Attorney General Of Canada
(13) A4C Appeal – Factum – Respondent BC Ferries and Brittney Sylvester
(14) A4C Appeal – Factum – Respondent HMK -Provincial Defendants
(15) A4C Appeal – Factum – Respondent Peter Kwok and Translink
(16) A4C Appeal – Factum – Respondent VIHA and Providence Health
(17) A4C Appeal – Consent Order – Factum, Time Limits
(18) A4C Appeal – Change In Representation – BC Defendants
(19) A4C Appeal – Notice Of Hearing February 2024
(20) CanLII Decision In Action4Canada Appeal

(1) A4C BCSC – Notice Of Civil Claim
(2) A4C BCSC – Response to Civil Claim (Health Authority Defendants)
(3) A4C BCSC – Response to Civil Claim (Provincial Defendants)
(4) A4C BCSC – Affidavit No 1 of Rebecca Hill
(5) A4C BCSC – Notice of Application (AG and RCMP applies to strike)
(6) A4C BCSC – Notice of Application (Provincial Defendants applies to strike)
(7) A4C BCSC – Notice of Application (Translink applies to strike)
(8) A4C BCSC – Application Response (Health Authority Defendants consent to strike)
(9) A4C BCSC – Application Response (BC Ferries consents to strike)
(10) A4C BCSC – Application Response (AG and RCMP consent to Prov. strike application)
(11) A4C BCSC – Application Response (Translink consents to HA Defendants strike application)
(12) A4C BCSC – Application Response (Translink consents to Prov. strike application)
(13) A4C BCSC – Affidavit No 2 of Rebecca Hill
(14) A4C BCSC – Application Record (to strike)
(15) A4C BCSC – Application Response (all plaintiffs)
(16) A4C BCSC – Amended Application Response (all plaintiffs)
(17) A4C BCSC – Transcript Application To Strike
(18) A4C BCSC – Reasons For Striking NOCC In Its Entirety
(19) A4C BCSC – Order striking pleadings
(20) A4C BCSC – Order striking pleading in its entirety with costs payable forthwith
(21) A4C BCSC – Appointment to assess bill of costs for Kwok and Translink
(22) A4C BCSC – Notice of Discontinuance (Kimberly Woolman & Estate of Jaqueline Woolman)
(23) A4C BCSC – Notice of Discontinuance (Amy Muranetz)
(24) A4C BCSC – Notice of Discontinuance (Federico Fuoco & Fire Productions Ltd.)

(1) https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2022/2022bcsc1507/2022bcsc1507.html
(2) https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/Website/media/Shared/docs/becoming/material/civil.pdf
(3) https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/168_2009_01#rule3-1
(4) https://justice.gov.bc.ca/cso/index.do
(5) https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/120_2022a#division_d0e3656
(6) https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcca/doc/2022/2022bcca450/2022bcca450.html#par10

(A) A4C Docs Profits And Losses 2021-2022
(B) A4C Docs Balance Sheet 2021-2022
(C) A4C-Docs-General-Ledger-2021-2022

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