An application for extension of time to file a GST appeal to the Tax Court of Canada succeeded solely because the Court of Quebec had reached the same conclusion in a parallel Quebec Sales Tax appeal. Houda International said it instructed its lawyers to file appeals for GST and QST assessments, but they were not filed on time; Houda was granted an extension from the Court of Quebec in its QST appeal on the basis that it was not at fault for its lawyer’s failure to timely file an appeal. Its parallel application in the Tax Court of Canada from a GST assessment, was granted on the basis that the two statutory extension tests were essentially the same, and the doctrine of “abuse of process” prevented relitigation of an issue already decided in another court. Boyle J stated (at para. 21):
I am satisfied that the matter before this Court has already been addressed by the Cour du Quebec and should not be relitigated before this forum as that might result in a different outcome.
He further found (at para. 22) that “judicial comity” would be further grounds to avoid duplicating the litigation and avoid potential conflicting decisions:
According to the doctrine of judicial comity, reasoned judgments of such courts or judges should be deferred to in the absence of exceptional circumstances.