Western Group Sales Company Inc. v. Freshslice Holdings Ltd.
disclosure from the respondent. She also prepared and filed a Trial Brief and
has appeared in person or by telephone for a Judicial Case Conference, for
the hearing of two applications, at her examination for discovery and three
times for the Trial Management Conference. In addition, she stated in an April
22, 2017 email to the respondent's counsel that: "I have had many
conference calls, and conference meetings with [Lawyers in] and out of our
area. I am well aware of my rights pertaining to this Trial."
42 While special concerns arise where a party is self-represented, those
concerns do not lead to a disregard for the rules that govern our courts. In
September 2006, the Canadian Judicial Counsel adopted a Statement of
Principles on Self-represented Litigants and Accused Persons (Ottawa:
Canadian Judicial Council, 2006). In Pintea v. Johns, 2017 SCC 23, the
Supreme Court of Canada formally endorsed those principles (para. 4).
43 The following extracts from the Statement of Principles are relevant:
1.Judges and court administrators should do whatever is
possible to provide a fair and impartial process and prevent an
unfair disadvantage to self-represented persons (p. 4).
2.Self-represented persons should not be denied relief on the
basis of a minor or easily rectified deficiency in their case (p.
3.Judges should ensure that procedural and evidentiary rules
are not used to unjustly hinder the legal interests of self-
represented persons (p. 7).
1.Self-represented persons are expected to familiarize
themselves with the relevant legal practices and procedures
pertaining to their case (p. 9).
46 The Rules exist for a reason. Their object is found at Rule 1-3. They
impose structure, fairness and bring efficiency to litigation in the Court. They
are not to be disregarded merely because a party chooses, or has no choice,
but to represent themselves. To do so would be unfair to the other parties
and raise the risk of injustice.
47 In this case the claimant was neither ignorant of, nor inexperienced with
the process. She knew and understood the effect of failing to respond to the
Notice to Admit and chose not to do so. The fact that she is self-represented
does not absolve her of the responsibility to comply with the Rules,
particularly where she acknowledges she understood what was required.
Notices to Admit exist to facilitate the object of the Rules. A party is entitled to
use the Rules accordingly in the knowledge that the parties are bound by
them. In my opinion, it would, in the circumstances of this case, be unfair to
permit the claimant to withdraw her admission. I therefore decline to permit