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Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 43 to appeal and found that the arbitrator’s award was not unreasonable. The Supreme Court of Canada reinstated the arbitrator’s award. Thus, this matter was finally concluded on August 1, 2014. In summary, the arbitration process was completed within a single calendar year. Including the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the appeal process took five and a half years. The Court of Appeal found to be absurd a decision that at least two other judges of the British Columbia Supreme Court would have affirmed and that the Supreme Court of Canada subsequently found not to be unreasonable. Therefore, looking at the case as an objective lesson in correctness, we now know that, had leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada not been granted, the British Columbia Court of Appeal would have imposed the wrong result on the parties. Unless, of course, one accepts the theory that the last result in any process must be taken as the correct result. However, this conflates the notions of correctness and finality. Following this line of reasoning, the question then becomes this: At what point in the dispute resolution process should the last result be taken as the correct result? Although it is not explicitly stated in the case, the Sattva decision fits within a long trend of Supreme Court of Canada decisions that were clearly designed to recognize arbitration as an independent form of dispute resolution and make arbitration a more viable method of dispute resolution by freeing it from a court-centric vision.36 Urban Communications Inc. v. BCNET Networking Society The arbitration award was issued on January 3, 2013, a little over four months after the notice to arbitrate was delivered.37 On March 25, 201438 the British Columbia Supreme Court granted leave to appeal. On June 11, 201439 the British Columbia Supreme Court allowed the appeal in part. On June 29, 201540 the British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed an appeal of the British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision and reinstated the arbitrator’s award. Applying the principles in Sattva, the Court of Appeal found the threshold for leave to appeal had not been met and leave to appeal should not have been granted. An application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was filed and later granted on February 18, 2016.41 The appeal was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on November 1, 201642 and the appeal was summarily dismissed by the court without calling on the respondent. Thus the appeal process took about 46 months, approximately 11 times longer than the entire arbitration process.


Jan Advocate 2017
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