Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2013 trilogy of decisions in Pro-Sys, Sun-Rype and Infineon, and its 2019 decision in Godfrey, plaintiffs have had considerable success certifying private antitrust/competition class actions in Canada. Recent amendments to Ontario’s class action legislation may change that trend. As discussed more fully below, the most significant amendment to Ontario’s class action legislation is to the preferable procedure portion of the certification test that currently requires plaintiffs to prove that a class action would be the “preferable procedure for the resolution of the common issues”. The preferability requirements now include superiority and predominance elements akin to US Federal Rules 23(b)(3). If interpreted like US Federal Rule 23(b)(3), certification judges will likely engage in a rigorous assessment of whether common questions of law or fact predominate over individual questions, which may, in turn, impair the certification of private antitrust/competition class actions.
- Amendments to the Class Proceedings Act
As discussed in a prior blog post, Ontario Bill 161 Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020 received Royal Assent on July 8, 2020. Bill 161 is omnibus legislation that includes amendments to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1993 (the “CPA”). The amendments will apply to proposed class actions commenced after Bill 161 has been proclaimed in force. Bill 161 is not yet proclaimed into force but is expected to be so proclaimed soon in the future.
Continue Reading The New Preferability Requirements in Ontario’s Class Action Legislation: Implications for Private Antitrust/Competition Enforcement