The traditional rationale of limitation statutes is based on certainty, evidentiary and diligence rationales. Madam Justice McLachlin, as she then was, for the majority in Novak v. Bond, 1999 CanLII 685 (SCC),  1 S.C.R. 808, considered the application of the limitation period in medical negligence matters and in doing so, cited La Forest J. in M. (K.) v. M. (H.), 1992 CanLII 31 (SCC),  3 S.C.R. 6 64. Statutes of limitations have long been said to be statutes of repose. . . The reasoning is straightforward enough. There comes a time, it is said, when a potential defendant should be secure in his reasonable expectation that he will not be held to account for ancient obligations. . . . The second rationale is evidentiary and concerns the desire to foreclose claims based on stale evidence. Once the limitation period has lapsed, the potential defendant should no longer be concerned about the preservation of evidence relevant to the claim. . . . Finally, plaintiffs are expected to act diligently and not “sleep on their rights”; statutes of limitation are an incentive for plaintiffs to bring suit in a timely fashion.
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