Questioning of Government Ministers Denied in Court of Appeal Win for CBM

In Forsyth v LC, 2024 ABCA 14, CBM Lawyers’ Damian Shepherd successful represented two former government Ministers in their appeal of a lower court ruling requiring them to attend Questioning in a class action. The action was tort litigation against the Crown. 

The Alberta Court of Appeal confirmed the following two part test that must be met in order to question a Minister or former Minister:

[23]           The law is clear. The onus is upon the party applying to question a Minister or former Minister of the Crown to meet the two intertwined criteria:

1.      special circumstances exist requiring the questioning of the Minister or former Minister; and

2.      the Minister or former Minister is the person best informed to answer the questions to be posed.

These criteria must be strictly adhered to. If these criteria are proven, there is a shift of the evidentiary burden to the Crown to satisfy the Court that there are persons equally well informed.