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Kucera v. Qulliq Energy Corporation

Kucera v. Qulliq Energy Corporation

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Published by NunatsiaqNews
Judgment from Justice Susan Cooper on lawsuit against QEC launched by Sarah Kucera
Judgment from Justice Susan Cooper on lawsuit against QEC launched by Sarah Kucera

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: NunatsiaqNews on Jan 22, 2014
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02/19/2014

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nunavuumi iqkaqtuijikkut
NUNAVUT COURT OF JUSTICE
La Cour de justice du Nunavut
Citation:
Kucera v. Qulliq Energy Corporation 
, 2014 NUCJ 02
 
Date: 20140117 Docket: 08-10-749-CVC Registry: Iqaluit Plaintiff: 
Sarah Kucera
-and- Defendant:
Qulliq Energy Corporation
 
 ________________________________________________________________________ Before: The Honourable Madam Justice S. Cooper Counsel (Plaintiff): Phillip G. Hunt Counsel (Defendant): Richard M. Beamish Location Heard: Iqaluit, Nunavut Date Heard: June 10-13, 2013 Matters: Common law constructive dismissal. 
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
(NOTE: This document may have been edited for publication)
 
I. INTRODUCTION
[1] The Plaintiff [Kucera] was hired as Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer [the President] of the Qulliq Energy Corporation [QEC] effective July 1, 2009. QEC is a crown corporation responsible for the delivery of electrical power to the territory. Kucera worked for QEC until early August, 2010, at which point the employment relationship came to an end. Kucera claims that she was constructively dismissed from her position while QEC claims that through her conduct Kucera repudiated the employment contract and, as a consequence, was dismissed for cause.
A. Preliminary Matters
[2] An issue arose when counsel sought to cross-examine a witness
on an evidence summary, commonly called a “will say”,
provided in accordance with Rule 326 of the
Rules of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories
, R.N.W.T. R-010-96, as duplicated for Nunavut by s. 29 of the
Nunavut Act 
, S.C. 1993, c.28
 
[
Rules
]. A discussion of the purpose and proper use of evidence summaries is worthwhile. [3] Rule 326 provides as follows:
(2)
 
Where an action has been entered for trial, each party shall, on or  before the tenth day before the trial, serve on every other party an evidence summary in respect of each witness intended to be called on any issues of fact to be decided at the trial. (3)
 
Subject to subrule (4), the intended witness shall sign the evidence summary and verify the truth of its contents.
 
[4] Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are two of the few  jurisdictions that require the exchange of evidence summaries prior to trial. In 2003, the Committee of the Alberta Law Reform Institute,
 Alberta Rules of Court Project 
, considered recommending the use of evidence summaries. The Committee reviewed the use of evidence summaries in foreign jurisdictions and noted that in some instances evidence summaries actually replace oral evidence in chief, thereby expediting the trial process. In considering the use of evidence summaries in the Northwest Territories, the Committee noted that they do not replace oral evidence and that if they were not provided or did not fairly represent the evidence given by the witnesses, the opposing side might be granted an adjournment of the trial. The Committee recommended incorporating a practice similar to that of the Northwest Territories. In doing so, the Committee noted that the purpose in exchanging evidence summaries is to preve
nt “ambush” at trial
.
1
 [5] Pursuant to the
Rules
, an evidence summary must be signed by the witness and acknowledged as being true. In
Nunavut (Director of Child and Family Services)
 v.
S.Q and L.K.
, 2013 NUCJ 5, 2013 NUCJ 05 (CanLii), the court found that evidence summaries that were contained in a trial brief rather than as stand-alone documents verified to be true by the witness did not comply with Rule 326. This suggests that verification by the witness is an important aspect of evidence summaries.
1
 
Alberta Law Reform Institute, “Discovery and Evidence issues: Commission Evidence, Admissions, Pierringer Agreements and Innovative Procedures”
 Alberta Rules of Court Project, Consultation  Memorandum No. 12.7 
 (July 2003), online: University of Alberta <http://www.law.ualberta.ca/alri/docs/cm12-7.pdf>.

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