This is an update from March 2023. More than 100 “first responders” from Ontario (police, medical, firefighters, etc….) filed a lawsuit against the Ontario Government and their respective organizations. It sought over $100 million in damages.
April 2021: For context, it’s important to know the history. Originally, there was an Application filed back in April 2021 on behalf of a number of Ontario police officers. This case was heavily promoted, and donations solicited, from a group called Police On Guard. It’s interesting that P.O.G. was never listed as a client, despite their public role.
That case sat idly for several months — as always — before the next version came out. Now, the case is still considered active, and no one bothered to tell the public that this Application wasn’t being pursued. It’s unclear if any of the donor money was ever returned.
Worth noting: there was an April 2021 Application from Children’s Health Defense (Canada). It also appears that it’s not being pursued, and nothing has been publicly announced about returning donations.
Fall 2021: The next iteration was by a group called Take Action Canada. This was more broadly to challenge the vaccine passports that were being implemented in the Fall of 2021. Apparently, prospective clients were being asked to contribute $1,500 each, despite this being (despite abandoning the April Application).
March 1, 2023: Although the clients’ livelihoods made this case urgent, nothing was actually filed until March 2023. That’s right, it took approximately a year and a half from the time the suit was being organized, until the time a Statement of Claim was filed in Ontario Superior Court. Clearly, there is no urgency whatsoever in getting this done.
And what was the product? A rehash of filings from British Columbia and the Federal Court that had already been thrown out as “bad beyond argument”. People who had been forced from their professions were paying retainer fees for copies of pleadings previously tossed, and more than once.
July 18, 2023: an Amended Statement of Claim was filed. It pleaded some specific details for 35 of the Plaintiffs. The likely reason for doing this was to address criticisms from earlier cases that the claims lacked facts and background information. Here’s the Requisition.
However, the Amended Claim also states that “particulars will be provided later”. This likely won’t sit well with the Court, as Defendants are entitled to know the case against them.
August 10, 2023: the City of Hamilton filed a Notice of Intent to Defend. Note, this not the same thing as filing a Defence. It’s just a short statement that they intend to do so.
According to a recent response from the Court Registry, no actual defences have been filed, nor are there any hearings scheduled. In other words, it’s just another dead end case.
Should things progress, there are a few major problems to contend with:
- First: the Plaintiffs mostly (if not entirely) are/were unionized employees, which means there’s a requirement to go through the grievance process. This typically ends in arbitration. While there are limited ways to argue around this, this document falls far short of that.
- Second: as with similar cases, this one is pleaded so poorly that it’s likely to get struck due to its incomprehensible and incoherent nature. While not fatal, it will be another significant delay.
- Third: given that it took so long to even get a case filed, the Defendants are likely to argue that the issues are “moot” (as in no longer relevant).
- Fourth: even if some of the Plaintiffs were to seek out a new lawyer and file a new case, the Statute of Limitations — typically 2 years — will prevent them from refiling.
This case was announced 2 years ago, and hasn’t gotten past the pleadings stage. This is comparable with Vaccine Choice Canada’s 2020 suit, which was dormant for 2 1/2 years before a Motion to Strike was brought. That will be heard January 30th February 1st, 2024.
Again, few of these cases are being tried on the merits. They are being struck or dismissed because they aren’t written in an intelligible way, or have fatal defects.
This site has covered only a relatively small number of these kinds of cases. One has to wonder how prevalent the issue really is.
Instead of criticizing this site, perhaps Take Action Canada should be trying to reimburse people who’ve paid the retainer fees. Just a thought.
(3) Ontario EMS Statement Of Claim
(4) Ontario EMS Amended Statement Of Claim
(5) Ontario EMS Requisition To Amend
(6) Ontario EMS Notice Of Intent To Defend