Anderson et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2012 NLTD(G) 190
Practice - Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Class or representative actions - Procedure - General (incl. venue, discovery, etc.)
The Attorney General of Canada applied under rules 30.08 and 30.11 for an order compelling two representative plaintiffs to answer questions on discovery regarding their experiences at identified residential schools. The plaintiffs’ counsel relied on ss. 12 and 18(3) of the Class Actions Act, in support of the position that discoveries prior to the common issues trial had to be confined to the common issues certified.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division (General), held that there was no firm rule restricting discoveries to the matters relevant only to the stage of the class action proceeding. However, the court held that in this case the current discoveries should be confined to matters relevant to the common issues. Canada was entitled to pose on discovery to the representative plaintiffs all questions regarding their experiences at the schools but related to the broad common issues of whether a duty was owed by Canada to the students of the residential schools, and any alleged breach of that duty.