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Canadian Animal Law

Evidence - Onus of Proof

. Qin v. Ontario Securities Commission

In Qin v. Ontario Securities Commission (Ont CA, 2021) the Court of Appeal considered what prima facie means:
[21] A prima facie case is one which, if unanswered, would justify, although not compel, a finding in favour of the party advancing that case. In the context of a s. 126(5) hearing, a finding of a prima facie case may be the equivalent of a finding of reasonable and probable cause to believe the appellants had breached the Act. ....
. Eisbrenner v. Canada

In Eisbrenner v. Canada (Fed CA, 2020) the Federal Court of Appeal considered the status of donated pharmaceuticals as charitable donations. In the course of this, the court commented on the onus of proof:
[46] Justice McIntyre on behalf of the Supreme Court of Canada stated in Ont. Human Rights Comm. v. Simpsons-Sears, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 536 at page 558, 1985 CanLII 18 (SCC):
To begin with, experience has shown that in the resolution of disputes by the employment of the judicial process, the assignment of a burden of proof to one party or the other is an essential element. The burden need not in all cases be heavy — it will vary with particular cases — and it may not apply to one party on all issues in the case; it may shift from one to the other. But as a practical expedient it has been found necessary, in order to insure a clear result in any judicial proceeding, to have available as a ‘tie-breaker’ the concept of the onus of proof. I agree then with the Board of Inquiry that each case will come down to a question of proof, and therefore there must be a clearly-recognized and clearly-assigned burden of proof in these cases as in all civil proceedings. To whom should it be assigned? Following the well-settled rule in civil cases, the plaintiff bears the burden. He who alleges must prove….

(emphasis added)


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