Federal Court

Civil Practice and Procedure


Statement of claim

City was taxing authority for purposes of Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act

City levied property taxes against two properties owned by plaintiff property owner. Plaintiff brought action for declaratory relief against federal Crown, claiming that city was infringing upon her right to freely dispose and be free from forced disposition of her wealth, and claiming that city was “servant” of Crown within meaning of Crown Liability and Proceedings Act (CLP Act) and its inaction was tort of misfeasance in public office. Plaintiff claimed that city could only obtain property tax revenues from her properties by making application to federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services pursuant to Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act (PLT Act) and have these revenues paid out of Consolidated Revenue Fund, which city declined to do on basis that PLT Act did not apply. Crown brought motion to strike statement of claim for lack of jurisdiction and absence of reasonable cause of action. Motion granted. Plaintiff’s claims were meritless. Property did not meet definition of “federal property” within meaning of PLT Act. PLT Act had no application to privately-owned and controlled property. City was not “servant” of Crown within meaning of s. 3(b)(i) of CLP Act as it was not employed by Crown and did not act as agent for Crown. City was taxing authority for purposes of PLT Act, but it did not act on behalf of Crown, but for its own benefit. Claim had no chance to succeed at trial as it failed to disclose reasonable cause of action.

Joubarne v. Canada (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 7423, 2017 CarswellNat 7679, 2017 FC 1041, 2017 CF 1041, René LeBlanc J. (F.C.).

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