Jevco Insurance Company v. Hang (2022 ONSC 4961)

The insurer brought an urgent motion for a stay of the scheduled hearing due to counsel’s unavailability to attend the hearing. Justice London-Weinstein applied the three-prong test from RJR MacDonald v. Canada (Attorney General) and concluded that a stay was not warranted. The insurer demonstrated that there was a serious issue to be tried, and that a party ought to have the right to select counsel of its choice. Counsel’s unavailability for a hearing was a factor in favour of the insurer. However, Justice London-Weinstein was not satisfied that there was irreparable harm to the insurer if the stay was not granted, but noted that the hearing adjudicator retained the right to adjourn the hearing if the appearance of fairness had been compromised. Justice London-Weinstein also noted that the insurer and its counsel did not provide any evidence that other lawyers at the firm were unable to step in and argue the case. Finally, the balance of convenience favoured the claimant, as the matter had been filed more than 500 days prior, and the claimant was going without benefits. The public also had an interest in the courts and tribunals functioning in an orderly manner.