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Archives - June 2021

  • Friedman v. R. – FCA:  Court declines to set aside compliance order – subsection 231.7(1)
    Jun 01, 2021 By Bill Innes

    Précis: Mr. and Mrs. Friedman received requests for information which they did not provide to CRA. CRA then moved in the Federal Court for a compliance order under subsection 231.7(1) which was granted. The Friedmans argued in the Federal Court that the compliance order should not be granted on two bases: [11] The Friedmans initially challenged the request for information on the basis that the procedure under subsection 231.1(1) infringed their right to liberty, and their protection against self-incrimination pursuant to sections 7, 11(c), and 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter). Subsequently, they applied for and were granted leave to plead that the Federal Court should follow another Federal Court decision on the same issue, Canada (National Revenue) v. Lin, 2019 FC 646 [Lin], in which the Federal Court dismissed an application for a compliance order pursuant to subsection 232.7(1). In that case, the Court found that “the Letters are addressed to both the individuals and their connected entities. The entities are not specified, and it is not clear who is being audited - the individual Respondents or unnamed entities”: Lin at para. 31. Their arguments were unsuccessful in the Federal Court and they appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. Pelletier J.A. writing for the Court rejected the argument based on a failure to follow the Lin decision because the Judge had correctly distinguished the Lin case. He also rejected the self-incrimination arguments at this stage of proceedings based in part on the Jarvis decision and in part on the absence of a sufficient factual record. Thus the appeal was dismissed with costs. While the Minister asked for additional costs based on the Friedmans having abandoned some of their constitutional arguments at the last minute Pelletier J.A. found that the mischief involved was not such as to merit an increased costs award.
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