Is a plaintiff's new statement of claim that describes the nature of their employment contract relevant to a whistleblowing claim?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from McNeill v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, 2012 ONSC 241 (CanLII):

However, after reviewing the new statement of claim I am of the view that a small portion of it does plead facts that are not germane to any of the claims still being pursued by the plaintiff. These portions add no clarity to the claims before the court, and in fact confuse the issues because the allegations address matters that are either irrelevant to the claims or relevant only to a wrongful dismissal action. The plaintiff's counsel argued that it may be important to describe the nature of the employment contract in detail because the damages for the whistleblowing claim may be affected by whether the plaintiff is characterized as an independent contractor or an employee. He provided no authority for such a proposition. It must be remembered that R. 25.06 (1) requires a precise statement of facts that are material. In this case the claim is already quite extensive and advances multiple claims that have not been pled with particular clarity. I am satisfied that the test set out in Jourdain v. Ontario has been met by the defendant, in that a fair trial will be delayed by the pursuit of issues and evidence related to allegations that are irrelevant to the causes of action as pled. I am satisfied that leaving the pleading as it is will increase the cost and time having to be devoted to this action by both parties, and that removing even these few portions of the claim will contribute to a more expeditious determination of the proceeding on its merits.

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