Meldon Ellis appeared before Madame Justice Griffen to argue against the defendant’s motions to stay or dismiss the plaintiff’s damages claims on the basis that the British Columbia Supreme Court lacks the jurisdiction to deal with damages claims without the plaintiff first pursuing a judicial review application in the Federal Court of Canada.
The requirement of a two-stage process for suing the Federal Crown is based on a 2005 ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal in Greiner v. Her Majesty the Queen.
A recent ruling on December 24, 2008 by the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Telezone v. Her Majesty the Queen called into question the principle in Grenier and allowed the Ontario Supreme Court to maintain jurisdiction over a number of claims against the federal government without requiring the plaintiffs to first go to Federal Court to obtain a judicial review determination.
Meldon Ellis argued that the Telezone case should be followed by British Columbia Supreme Court in these proceedings. Madame Justice Griffen reserved judgment until a later date to be announced.