Hare v Hare (2006), 83 OR (3d) 766 (Ont. CA) (s. 24, Transition Provisions)

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The Limitations Act, 2002, came into force on January 1, 2004.  Under the Act, the former general limitation period of 6 years was repealed subject to the transition provisions contained in section 24.  The applicability of the transition provisions was considered by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Hare v. Hare (2006), 83 OR (3d) 766, a 2-1 decision related to demand obligations.

Application of the Transition Provisions

In order for the transition provisions in section 24 to apply, section 24(2) provides that two conditions must be met. First the claim must be based on an act or omission that took place before January 1, 2004.  Second, no proceeding must have been commenced in respect of the claim before that date. 

Expiry of Former Limitation Period Before January 1, 2004

Under section 24(3), if the former limitation period (i.e. the limitation period that applied in respect of the claim before January 1, 2004) expired before January 1, 2004, no proceeding can be commenced in respect of the claim.

Former Limitation Period Did Not Expire Before January 1, 2004 and no Limitation Period Under the Act would apply were the Claim based on Events That Took Place on or After That Date

Under section 24(4), if the former limitation period did not expire before January 1, 2004 and if no limitation period under the Act would apply were the claim based on an act or omission that took place on or after January 1, 2004, there is no limitation period.

Former Limitation Period Did Not Expire Before January 1, 2004 and a Limitation Period Under the Act would apply were the Claim based on Events that took place on or After That Date                                                 

Section 24(5) provides guidance with respect to determining whether a former a limitation period or the Act applies in situations where the former limitation period did not expire before January 1, 2004 and a limitation period under the Act would apply were the claim based on an act or omission that took place on or after that date. Whether a former limitation period or the Act applies depends on when the claim was discovered.  Section 24(5) provides two rules to determine the applicable limitation period.  First, if the claim was not discovered before January 1, 2004, the Act applies as if the act or omission had taken place on that date.  Alternatively, if the claim was discovered before January 1, 2004, the former limitation period applies. 

No Former Limitation Period and if a Limitation Period Under the Act Would Apply Were the Claim Based on Events that Took Place on or After January 1, 2004

Section 24(6) becomes relevant in situations where there is no former limitation period but a limitation period under the Act would apply were the claim based on an act or omission that took place on or after January 1, 2004.  In such circumstances, section 24(6) provides two rules.  First, if the claim was not discovered before January 1, 2004, the Act applies as if the act or omission took place on January 1, 2004.  Alternatively, if the claim was discovered before January 1, 2004, there is no limitation period.