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Canadian Mining Companies: Is There Liability In Canadian Courts For Activity In Foreign Countries?

The Court's decision [in Choc v Hudbay Minerals] to dismiss the motion to strike has been heralded by some as confirmation of an expansion of the scope of liability of the activities of multinationals…The Court noted that the test to strike a claim, which must be based solely on a reading of the plaintiff's pleadings as presented, is stringent. In the specific circumstances, the Court noted that there are competing policy considerations in recognizing a duty of care between a Canadian company and individuals harmed by security personnel at its foreign operations. While the approach to claiming negligence was described as "novel", it does not therefore automatically mean that such a claim will be clearly unsustainable or untenable…The Hudbay decision does align with a recent trend, which is that courts in Canada appear to be taking an expansive view of their own jurisdiction in respect of events that take place outside of our borders…

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