April 29, 2022

Yan Muirhead Succeeds in Having Ex Parte Order Set Aside

The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver and the Star of the Sea Parish have issued a historic apology to the White Rock Pride Society and to the wider LBGTQ2+ community.

The apology resolves a complaint the White Rock Pride Society filed with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation. after the Star of the Sea Parish refused to rent its community centre to host the White Rock Pride Society’s annual fundraising event in 2019. 

Ernie Klassen, president of the White Rock Pride Society, issued the following statement:

We formed the White Rock Pride Society to build understanding, support and inclusiveness in the community for people who identify as LGBTQ2+ and other at-risk groups. This is a huge step forward in creating an inclusive and diverse society. We are extremely appreciative of the Parish and Archdiocese's willingness to listen, change and work constructively towards identifying further opportunities for support, inclusion and dialogue within the Catholic Church. In the true spirit of reconciliation, the two groups have reached an agreement far better than what a ruling from the Human Rights Tribunal could have achieved.

The White Rock Pride Society was represented by Yan Muirhead partner Nerissa Yan together with Caitlin Ohama-Darcus of Nathanson Schachter & Thompson LLP.

A joint statement issued by the White Rock Pride Society, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, and the Star of the Sea Parish, can be read here. Media coverage of the apology is available here and here.

On the application of Yan Muirhead’s client, a local boat repair company, Madam Justice Forth granted an order setting side an ex parte injuction that had been granted against the company and awarded costs to the company. Forth J. found that the applicant’s counsel had failed to provide important information to the chambers judge at the hearing that had taken place without notice to Yan Muirhead’s client. Nerissa Yan appeared on this application.

The reasons for judgment of Forth J. can be read here.

On January 17, 2022, Madam Justice Newbury of the BC Court of Appeal granted an application brought by Yan Muirhead’s client to preserve a certificate of pending litigation. The certificate of pending litigation, which records in the Land Title Office that a claim is made against title to the residence of the defendants, had been ordered to be struck by a justice of the Supreme Court, but Newbury J.A. allowed an applicaiton to preserve the CPL pending appeal.

The lawsuit involves allegations, which are denied by the defendants, that Yan Muirhead’s client, a car dealership, was defrauded by its former director and general manager. Nathan Muirhead and Nerissa Yan are involved in the representation.

The reasons for judgment of Newbury J.A. are available here.

On January 17, 2022, Master Harper of the Supreme Court of British Columbia allowed an application brought by Yan Muirhead’s client to amend a pleading to allege that the defendant had improperly destroyed evidence in the course of litigation. The defendant had saught to prevent this allegation from being pleaded. The decision is one of the first reported decisions in British Columbia in which a plaintiff has been permitted by the court to plead spoiliation.

Nathan Muirhead and Jaime Gray of Yan Muirhead represented the plaintiff.

The reasons for judgment of Master Harper are available here.