for relief from forfeiture under s. 98 of Courts of Justice Act to permit
her to file financial statement and remove her name from “Candidates
in Default” list — Application dismissed — Applicant failing to establish
that her failure to comply with mandatory statutory filing requirements
was inadvertent or that she had been sufficiently diligent in attempting
to remedy non-compliance — Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43,
The applicant ran unsuccessfully in a 2014 municipal election. She failed to file
an audited financial statement by the date stipulated in the Municipal Elections
Act, 1996, S.O. 1996, c. 32 (“MEA”). The penalty for failing to do so was ineligibility to run in the next municipal election. After discovering that her attempt to
secure a Progressive Conservative Party nomination to run as a candidate in the
next provincial election might fail because of a party policy of rejecting candidates who were in default for not filing financial statements in the last municipal
election, the applicant brought an application under s. 98 of the Courts of Justice
Act for relief from forfeiture to permit her to file an audited financial statement
and to have her name removed from the “Candidates in Default” list.
Held, the application should be dismissed.
It was doubtful that the general provisions of the Courts of Justice Act could be
applied to supersede the specific provisions of the MEA. However, it was unnecessary to decide that issue as the applicant had not demonstrated that she was
entitled to the relief sought. She had failed to show that her failure to comply
with the filing requirements was inadvertent or that she had been sufficiently
diligent in attempting to remedy her non-compliance. The lack of care and diligence demonstrated by the applicant was all the more flagrant in light of the
persistent attempts by the city clerk’s office to advise her and all candidates
of their filing obligations. The timely provision of financial statements is an
important part of the framework of the MEA. The fact that more than 100 candidates in Toronto had failed to comply with their filing obligations suggested that
the bar for granting equitable relief ought not to be set too low so as not to risk
undermining the legislative scheme.
Thomas v. Fort Erie (Town) (1996), 30 O.R. (3d) 134,  O.J. No. 2665,
92 O.A.C. 285, 34 M.P.L.R. (2d) 208, 64 A.C.W.S. (3d) 1052, 1996 CanLII 11790
(Div. Ct.), affg (1995), 23 O.R. (3d) 152,  O.J. No. 1066, 27 M.P.L.R. (2d) 119,
54 A.C. W.S. (3d) 782, 1995 CanLII 7188 (Gen. Div.), consd
Other cases referred to
McBride v. Comfort Living Housing Co-operative Inc. (1992), 7 O.R. (3d) 394,
 O.J. No. 260, 89 D.L.R. (4th) 76, 54 O.A.C. 286, 22 R.P.R. (2d) 126,
31 A.C.W.S. (3d) 663, 1992 CanLII 7474 (C.A.); Niagara Falls (City) v. Diodati
(2011), 106 O.R. (3d) 154,  O.J. No. 1635, 2011 ONSC 2180, 82 M.P.L.R.
(4th) 140, 200 A.C. W.S. (3d) 1032 (S.C.J.); Poplar Point First Nation Development
Corp. v. Thunder Bay (City) (2016), 129 O.R. (3d) 423,  O.J. No. 725, 2016
ONSC 457, 65 R.P.R. (5th) 293, 48 M.P.L.R. (5th) 177, 263 A.C.W.S. (3d) 493
(S.C.J.); Saskatchewan River Bungalows Ltd. v. Maritime Life Assurance Co.,
 2 S.C.R. 490,  S.C.J. No. 59, 115 D.L.R. (4th) 478, 168 N.R. 381,
 7 W. W.R. 37, J.E. 94-1053, 20 Alta. L.R. (3d) 296, 155 A.R. 321, 23 C.C.L.I.
(2d) 161,  I.L.R. ¶1-3077 at 2913, 48 A.C. W.S. (3d) 1240, 1994 CanLII 100;
Singh v. Peel District School Board,  O.J. No. 2497, 2015 ONSC 3092,
37 M.P.L.R. (5th) 263, 72 C.P.C. (7th) 274, 254 A.C. W.S. (3d) 351 (S.C.J.); Smith v.
Toronto District School Board,  O.J. No. 2498, 2015 ONSC 3061, 73 C.P.C.
(7th) 369, 37 M.P.L.R. (5th) 239, 253 A.C. W.S. (3d) 622 (S.C.J.)