The Waiting Continues

July 23rd, 2018

Morning broke on a beautiful Wednesday last week.  The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, children were singing, somewhere, probably.  I didn’t hear any actual singing per se, but it was the sort of morning to evoke that sort of thing.  Lovely morning.

Then, at precisely about eight o’clock, my email in-bin populated with a message from my lawyer. 

“Good morning,” it began.  Indeed it was; truth in advertising.  “Attached is a copy of the Reasons for Order of Justice Gleason….” 

This is it!  This is the Ruling we’ve been waiting for all these months! 

Then came the let down; “…dated March 15, 2017.” 

It turns out that Justice Gleason had edited her previous Ruling from 2017, a Ruling related to our March 1 2018 Hearing but differentiated from it.  The March 2017 Hearing was one of CSA’s attempts to bankrupt us.  Well, in her editing, Justice Gleason was smoothing grammar, making the odd fix of punctuation -that sort of thing, no material changes.  An editing of an older Ruling, not the coming big Ruling.

Turning to the kitchen, I comforted myself with ten minutes’ of irresponsible blueberry consumption (they’re in season, you know) while pondering Gleason’s edits of such a now dated Ruling. 

Then, at exactly 9:30 and a bit, my lawyer called to offer commiseration and explanation, restrained and limited on both counts.  Consensus opinion is that the Federal Court of Appeal is a bit backlogged and hasn’t focussed on this file since the March Hearing.  As the issues in play are mostly matters of straightforward legal principle (i.e.: who owns the law) rather than complicated, convoluted minutia of messy commercial litigation, this file may have been low priority -the “we’ll get to it when we’ve got time” option.  If so, then Justice Gleason is only now drafting our big Ruling. 

You see, while we have our worries and some worrying experience, if the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) loses the case, they are almost certain to seek leave from the Court to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Yes, it’s absurd.  The Supreme Court isn’t likely to take a case whose core question is whether anyone, including the Court itself, has the right to read the law without paying kickbacks to civil servants.  But count on CSA to try.  After all, the money they spend isn’t theirs; it’s yours, and you can’t stop them spending it.  So they’ll have a go.

The Court knows that CSA’s got mounds of money of course, the CSA’s fake-a-loo veneer of being a private company isn’t taken seriously on the inside.  Knowing (or so strongly suspecting that it’s quite like actually knowing) that CSA will appeal a loss, the Court will likely try to appeal-proof the Ruling.  That is, they may draft a tight Ruling, carefully crafted to cover all the usual grounds for appeal.  Part of that process is making sure the various Rulings related to the March 1 Hearing are freed of distracting encumbrances in, say, grammar or punctuation.

Hence, the editing.

So, is the Ruling coming quickly then?  We hope so, obviously, but we don’t know so.  People write us, asking about the long-coming Ruling, why its not here, when will it get here, and so forth.  What we do know is that the Court is in Conference during part of July (a normal thing, like a corporate working retreat, it helps to prioritize and clear backlogs).  The Conferencing may speed the Ruling, and the fact that Justice Gleason amended her earlier Ruling is a good sign.

We’ve been working hard on several fronts in the four months since the March Hearing, and most of our plans going forward hinge on a favourable Ruling from the Court.  Our plans are paused, pending receipt of that Ruling. 

So we wait, with blueberries, for the Ruling.  And the waiting is the hardest part.