Supreme Court of Canada sides with Antigua over registration of judgment in Ontario

·1 min read

OTTAWA — A Caribbean-based company has lost its fight in the Supreme Court of Canada to have Ontario register a judgment enforcing an order of the British Privy Council against Antigua and Barbuda.

From 1971 to 2007, H.M.B. Holdings Ltd. owned a large beachfront property on the Island of Antigua that had been developed as a resort hotel.

H.M.B. wanted to rebuild the resort after it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1995 but the Antiguan government had other ideas and expropriated the land in 2007.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, a court of final appeal for the Caribbean nation, ordered Antigua to compensate the company in 2014.

Two years later, H.M.B. brought an action in British Columbia to enforce the judgment in that province and, when Antigua did not defend this action, the B.C. Supreme Court granted default judgment.

However, the company did not succeed in having Ontario register the B.C. judgment, as the Ontario courts ruled that Antigua was not carrying on business in B.C. — a condition under Ontario's Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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