Federal Appeal


Income tax
Canada Revenue Agency officials did not act maliciously and unlawfully

Accused was payroll bookkeeper enlisted by disabled patients to make proper tax deductions. Accused’s clients had accrued liabilities to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) exceeding one million dollars. Accused was charged under Criminal Code (Can.) with fraud, making false or deceptive statements in tax return, and tax evasion. Accused brought action against CRA for damages for negligence, breaches of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, misfeasance in public office, defamation, and malicious prosecution. Federal Court judge dismissed action on basis that none of causes of action were established. Judge held that, because prosecution of accused had not been concluded, tort of malicious prosecution was not available to him. Judge found no evidence to support pleading of defamation. Judge held that CRA officials did not act maliciously and unlawfully or violate accused’s Charter rights when they tried to collect payroll remittance arrears from him. Judge found CRA’s conduct was fair, responsible, reasonable and lawful and was sensitive to concern that its actions not disrupt provision of respite care to those who needed it. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Judge did not make any errors, reasons were clear, and allegation of bias was dismissed. Judge’s comments were instances of good trial management, not bias. If there were instances of bias or unfairness, accused’s counsel should have objected at initial hearing. There were no grounds to set aside judge’s costs award.

Hennessey v. R. (June 15, 2016, F.C.A., Johanne Trudel J.A., David Stratas J.A., and Richard Boivin J.A., A-215-14) Decision at 242 A.C.W.S. (3d) 827 was affirmed. 267 A.C.W.S. (3d) 479.

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