Freedom to speak in the public interest v terms of settlement agreements: per Justice Gareau " Section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act is a relatively new provision. It received Royal Assent on November 3, 2015 and applies to any proceedings commenced after December 1, 2014. Given the legislation’s recent passage, this court is offered little jurisprudential assistance with respect to the interpretation and application of the provisions of Section 137.1. I was surprised to find this legislation buried in the Courts of Justice Act given the substantive nature of its provisions and the significance of the remedies provided in it. "
I I I know that many lawyers and even some judges believe that the Grid is “out of date” because hourly rates for senior lawyers, at least in downtown Toronto, are now routinely in the $600 to $1200 range. But in my view these increasing (and frankly problematic) hourly rates only magnify the core problem of monopoly-pricing and reaffirm the overall reasonableness of the rates that are set out in the Grid. There is one area of obvious and unjustifiable excess and I foreshadowed this concern in the opening paragraphs of my certification decision. I said this: Class counsel generally understands that only a minimal amount of evidence is needed to satisfy the [certification] requirements. Defence counsel generally does not and presents far too much merit-based evidence that has no place at certification and is better left for trial. That’s what happened here.
The Federal Court found that the passengers were entitled to both damages and a structural order, holding that although there was a conflict between the limitation on damages in the Montreal Convention and the power under the OLA to award damages, the latter prevailed. The Federal Court of Appeal set aside the award of damages for the three complaints about events that took place on board the flights as well as the structural order. It held that the Montreal Convention precluded the damages remedy and that a structural order was not appropriate. Held (Abella and Wagner JJ. dissenting): The appeals should be dismissed. Per McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Rothstein, Cromwell and Karakatsanis JJ.: The Montreal Convention’s uniform and exclusive scheme of damages liability for international air carriers does not permit an award of damages for breach of language rights during international carriage by air. To hold otherwise would do violence to the text and purpose of the Montreal Convention, depart from Canada’s international obligations under it and put Canada off-side a strong international consensus concerning its scope and effect. The general remedial power under the OLA to award appropriate and just remedies cannot — and should not — be read as authorizing Canadian courts to depart from Canada’s international obligations under the Montreal Convention.