Court had concurrent and not exclusive jurisdiction to hear matters

Ontario civil | Arbitration

STAY OF PROCEEDINGS
Court had concurrent and not exclusive jurisdiction to hear matters
Parties were each residential condominium corporations that were developed by same declarant and which together made up condominium development. Pursuant to shared facilities agreement (SFA) dated 7 May 1991, parties shared certain costs in connection with operation, management, maintenance and repair. Plaintiff’s action alleged various failures on part of defendants to comply with provisions of SFA and asserted that conduct of defendants was or threatened to be oppressive or unfairly prejudicial to plaintiff or to unfairly disregard interests of plaintiff. Defendants moved for stay of action and for order appointing arbitrator. They relied on arbitration clause contained in SFA. Plaintiff opposed stay on basis that action was appropriate vehicle for resolving dispute since claims for oppression remedies under s. 135 of Condominium Act (Ont.), were not arbitrable. Motion granted. Section 135 of Act was permissive in its terms. It said that corporation may make application to Superior Court for oppression remedy. Court had concurrent and not exclusive jurisdiction to hear such matters. It was equally appropriate for parties to resolve their disputes through arbitration. In determining its own jurisdiction, arbitral tribunal would take into account what true nature of dispute between parties was, and whether it actually involved oppression or was simply dispute involving SFA. It was at least arguable that dispute between parties was arbitrable and stay of proceedings should be ordered.
Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corp. No. 965 v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corp. No. 1031 (Sep. 23, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., Graeme Mew J., File No. Toronto CV-14-00497413) 244 A.C.W.S. (3d) 767.

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