The Deputy Judge had incorrectly taken the position that the 90-day period in s. 165(1) and the one-year extension period in ss.166.1(7)(a) and 166.2(5)(a) only began to run at the time that the taxpayer understood the meaning and significance of a notice of assessment that had been received by him many years previously. Nadon J.A. stated (at p. 6895):
"As this Court has held on numerous occasions, when a taxpayer is unable to meet the deadline prescribed by the Act, even by reason of a failure with the postal system, neither the Minister nor the TCC can come to his help ... . Hence, if a postal failure cannot save a taxpayer, he will not be saved by his failure to grasp the significance of a notice of assessment served on him."
Since the taxpayer had been neither diligent nor reasonable in the way he conducted himself following the service of the notice of assessment, it was not necessary to consider the doubtful proposition that the taxpayer could rely on the discoverability rule, i.e., the rule, which was developed entirely in the field of torts, that time will not start to run until a person has fully and clearly appreciated his or her legal rights.