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Statutes and Statutory Interpretation - Rule Against Tautology

. Canada v. Canada North Group Inc.

In Canada v. Canada North Group Inc. (SCC, 2021) the Supreme Court of Canada sets out the statutory interpretation principle against tautology:
[64] Using the list of specific examples to ascertain Parliament’s intent in this case is also consistent with the presumption against tautology. In McDiarmid Lumber Ltd. v. God’s Lake First Nation, 2006 SCC 58, [2006] 2 S.C.R. 846, McLachlin C.J. defined this presumption in the following way:
It is presumed that the legislature avoids superfluous or meaningless words, that it does not pointlessly repeat itself or speak in vain: Sullivan, at p. 158. Thus, “[e]very word in a statute is presumed to make sense and to have a specific role to play in advancing the legislative purpose” (p. 158). This principle is often invoked by courts to resolve ambiguity or to determine the scope of general words.
(Para. 36, quoting R. Sullivan, Sullivan and Driedger on the Construction of Statutes (4th ed. 2002), at p. 158; see also Placer Dome Canada Ltd. v. Ontario (Minister of Finance), 2006 SCC 20, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 715, at para. 45.)


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