On May 6, 2020, reasons for judgment were released in Swereda (Re), a decision by Madam Justice Shergill.
The petition was originally brought seeking appointment of a committee for the person and estate of Ms. Swereda. It was opposed by the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT).
Tragically, Ms. Swereda passed away before the petition could be heard by the court.
The issue before Madam Justice Shergill was whether the petitioner was entitled to her costs on the basis that she brought the petition for the benefit, and in the best interests, of Ms. Swereda.
The PGT was opposing the application, and seeking its own costs. It alleged that the petition was not brought in the best interests of Ms. Swereda, but rather out of a desire for control.
Ultimately, the application for costs was successful. The court accepted the petitioner’s arguments that the petition was brought in the best interests of Ms. Swereda, and concluded that the petitioner was “a vocal and forceful advocate who at all times was trying to act in the Patient’s best interests”.
Further, that although the petitioner might have “ruffled a few feathers” with care workers, she “expended her own resources and a considerable amount of time taking care of Ms. Swereda’s interests, all without any obvious personal benefit.”
Many businesses have been forced to close, limit their hours, or reduce their capacity. Despite a vaccine, the economic impact will likely continue, particularly in the face of new strains of the virus.
On January 28, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court addressed “inadequacies in current legal responses to internet defamation and harassment” by creating a new tort of internet harassment and cyber bullying.
While the global pandemic has been incredibly disruptive, the Court is embracing these changes and the legal community is using the tools available to move matters through the court system despite challenges.