Humane Society – Federal Court of Appeal states that Rule 317 applications cannot be used for fishing expeditions

Federal Court Rule 317 provides that “A party may request material relevant to an application that is in the possession of a tribunal [e.g., CRA] whose order is the subject of the application….” In denying further documents to a Rule 317 applicant, who had already received a tribunal record of more than 1500 pages, as well as 1907 pages under an Access to Information Act request, Webb JA stated:

…[A] bald assertion of bias is not sufficient and cannot support an order for production of documents to allow the appellant to go on a fishing expedition to see if something can be found to support the allegation of bias.

…Counsel for the appellant was unable to identify any document in the voluminous motion record that could support the allegation of bias. It, therefore, seems clear that the appellant was on a fishing expedition. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Humane Society of Canada Foundation v. Canada (National Revenue), 2018 FCA 66 under Federal Court Rules, Rule 317.