The second problem is that the Attorney General seeks to use a r. 21.01(1)(a) motion to assert the Limitations Act defence that it has not pleaded. That rule involves the determination of a question of law raised in a pleading, and it is clear that the application of the Limitations Act is not a matter of law. This point has been made by this court on several occasions. For example, in Beardsley this court stated as follows, at paras. 21-22:
The motion to strike based on the expiry of a limitation period could only be made pursuant to rule 21.01(1)(a), which provides that a party may move for the determination of a question of law “raised by a pleading”. The expiry of a limitation period does not render a cause of action a nullity; rather, it is a defence and must be pleaded.
Plaintiffs would be deprived of the opportunity to place a complete factual context before the court if limitation defences were determined, on a routine basis, without being pleaded. Adherence to rules that ensure procedural fairness is an integral component of an appearance of justice. The appearance of justice takes on an even greater significance where claims are made against those who administer the law.
 Despite these remarks, this court stated in Beardsley that it would be “unduly technical” to require a statement of defence to be delivered if “it is plain and obvious from a review of the statement of claim that no additional facts could be asserted that would alter the conclusion that a limitation period had expired”: at para. 21. To the extent that this comment created an exception, it was extremely limited in scope, as the example given makes clear: the expiry of the two-year limitation period under the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H. 8, in connection with a claim for property damage only, in circumstances in which the panel noted that the discoverability rule clearly did not apply.
 Although this court has not categorically precluded the use of r. 21.01(1)(a) on limitations matters in subsequent cases, in several cases it has sought to discourage its use. In Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1352 v. Newport Beach Development Inc., 2012 ONCA 850 (CanLII), 113 O.R. (3d) 673, at para. 116, Laskin J.A. said that a defendant could move to strike a claim based on a limitation defence“[o]nly in the rarest of cases” if the defendant has yet to deliver a statement of defence. A fuller explanation was provided in Salewski v. Lalonde, 2017 ONCA 515 (CanLII), 137 O.R. (3d) 762, at para. 42, in which the panel stated that “this court’s comment in Beardsley” had “likely been overtaken by the enactment of the Limitations Act, 2002”. The court in Salewski further limited the effect of the Beardsley comment by stating that it “was never intended to apply to a case that is legally or factually complex”: at para. 42.
 Significantly, the panel in Salewski stated at para. 45 that, because the basic limitation period is now premised on the discoverability rule, the application of which raises mixed questions of law and fact, “[w]e therefore question whether there is now any circumstance in which a limitation issue under the Act can properly be determined under rule 21.01(1)(a) unless pleadings are closed and it is clear the facts are undisputed”.
 The situation contemplated in Salewski – the close of pleadings and the absence of any factual dispute – is very narrow, and this court has continued to discourage the use of r. 21.01(1)(a) motions on limitations matters. In Brozmanova v. Tarshis, 2018 ONCA 523 (CanLII), 81 C.C.L.I. (5th) 1, at para. 19, this court emphasized that “[t]he analysis required under s. 5(1) of the Limitations Actgenerally requires evidence and findings of fact to determine. It does not involve a ‘question of law’ within the meaning of rule 21.01(1)(a).” Justice Brown described reliance on r. 21.01(1)(a) to advance a limitation period defence as “a problematic use of the rule”, one that risks unfairness to a responding plaintiff: at paras. 17, 23.