Meerman v. Canada (May 9, 2019 – 2019 FCA 119, Dawson, Woods (Author), Rivoalen JJ. A.).
Précis: The taxpayer did not report slightly more than one million dollars of income during the period 2006-2011. He was assessed on this income (which included opening otherwise statute-barred years) and gross negligence penalties were imposed. The taxpayer, who was self-represented, claimed that the amounts in questions were not taxable income, but rather proceeds of a “non-commercial personal endeavour” [para. ]. The Tax Court Judge dismissed his appeal and he appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal on a number of grounds, all of which were rejected. Thus the appeal was dismissed with costs fixed in the amount of $1,700 inclusive of disbursements and applicable taxes.
Decision: Most of the grounds of appeal were dismissed on the basis of well known law. The only real point of interest is the taxpayer’s argument that the Crown should not have been permitted to cross-examine him on his association with the well-known anti-tax group, Paradigm Education Group. The Court was clearly not sympathetic to this line of argument:
 Mr. Meerman also submits that the trial judge erred by permitting the respondent to introduce a new issue which was not in the pleadings. Mr. Meerman described the issue as “allegations of OPCA litigant against the Appellant” (appellant’s memorandum at para. 54). Mr. Meerman submits that he was taken by surprise at the Tax Court that this issue was being raised, that he did not have an opportunity to adequately respond, and that this resulted in a breach of natural justice.
 The alleged new issue came up during cross-examination of Mr. Meerman in which the respondent questioned him concerning information that he may have learned from his association with a group known as Paradigm Education Group. In argument, the respondent pointed out similarities between the main argument made by Mr. Meerman in this appeal and arguments previously advanced by Paradigm that were criticized in the well-known decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571, 543 A.R. 215, at para. 89.
 Contrary to Mr. Meerman’s submissions, the “allegations of OPCA litigant” was not a new issue raised by the respondent for the first time at the Tax Court hearing. It was merely support for the main issues in the appeal, including whether Mr. Meerman had an intent to profit, and whether false statements in the tax returns were made knowingly or in circumstances amounting to wilful blindness. There was no breach of natural justice.
Thus the appeal was dismissed with costs fixed in the amount of $1,700 inclusive of disbursements and applicable taxes.
Comment: For those readers not familiar with the taxpayer’s use of the phrase “OPCA litigant”, Wikipedia provides the following definition (among other unrelated meanings) of the abbreviation OPCA: Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments, a term used by some judges and legal scholars to refer to arguments used in litigation related to the freemen on the land, sovereign citizen, redemption movement, tax protester conspiracy arguments, and similar movements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPCA