Ontario – Narrow basis for excess jurisdiction set aside challenges reaffirmed – #688

In Mensula Bancorp Inc. v. Halton Condominium Corporation No. 137, 2022 ONCA 769, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a Superior Court set aside decision and restored an arbitral award. The Court reiterated and underscored directives from  Alectra Utilities Corporation v. Solar Power Network Inc., 19 ONCA 254: There is a narrow basis for set aside challenges to arbitral awards on the ground  of alleged excess of jurisdiction. Review of the substance of the arbitral award is not authorized. The correctness or reasonableness of the arbitrator’s decision is irrelevant. Set aside is not an appeal.

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Québec –Property Appraisal Process not Contrary to Public Order– #668

In Hypertech Real Estate Inc. v. Equinix Canada Ltd, 2022 QCCS 3368, Justice Corriveau dismissed an application to annul an arbitral award on the basis that a property appraisal process was “contrary to public order” pursuant to Article 646 of the Québec Code of Civil Procedure (“the CCP”). Under the terms of an option to purchase property (the “Property”), Hypertech Real Estate Inc. (“Hypertech”) and Equinix Canada Ltd. (“Equinix”) submitted appraisal valuations. Purchaser Equinix’s appraisal was some $60,000,000 lower than seller Hypertec’s. In arbitration, Hypertec maintained that Equinix’s appraisal was so flawed it should be excluded from consideration. The arbitral tribunal reviewed the appraisal in “Phase I” of the arbitration and rendered an award finding that the appraisal contained no fundamental flaws. Hypertec unsuccessfully argued before Justice Corriveau that the arbitral tribunal erred in two respects: (1) in its interpretation and application of rules of public order; and (2) that the award reasons were insufficient, which was contrary to public order.  

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Québec – 10-year limitation for foreign award recognition and enforcement– #644

In Itani v. Société Générale de Banque au Liban SAL, 2022 QCCA 920, the Québec Court of Appeal (Schrager, Moore, and Kalichman JJA) considered the limitation period for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award rendered outside Québec. The Court applied the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Yugraneft Corp. v. Rexx Management Corp., 2010 SCC 19, confirming that recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award is governed by the rules of procedure applicable in the territory in which the application is made―so it differs from province to province. The Court of Appeal considered the applicable provisions of the Québec Civil Code and ruled that the application to recognize and enforce the arbitral award was subject to a 10-year limitation period, upholding the decision of Justice Poulin at first instance.

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Ontario – Uber arbitration, and class action waiver not certified as common issue – #612

In Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc., 2022 ONSC 1997, Justice Perell dismissed a motion to certify as a common issue the enforceability of an Arbitration and Class Action Waiver Clause in the Uber standard form services agreement that members of the class signed. As a result, this issue will not be determined at a common issues trial. Class action members who did not exercise their right to opt out of the clause are still class members and may be able to negate the operation of the waiver at individual issues trials if the class action gets that far.

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