Dugalin v. Canada (Attorney General) is another example of a limitations motion properly brought under r. 21.01(b). The Statement of Claim pleaded facts determinative of the limitations defence.
Dugalin v. Canada (Attorney General) is another example of a limitations motion properly brought under r. 21.01(b). The Statement of Claim pleaded facts determinative of the limitations defence.
Curtis v. The Bank of Nova Scotia is a recent authority for the principle that removing a claim from a pleading causes the limitation period to continue running. A plaintiff can’t reintroduce the claim if the limitation period has expired:
 Mr. Curtis’ present Further Fresh As Amended Statement of Claim contains a series of paragraphs concerning what Mr. Curtis calls “bad faith breach of contract.” Having reviewed these paragraphs, I have concluded that they are primarily a reintroduction of the wrongful and constructive dismissal claim Mr. Curtis voluntarily removed from his pleading in January, 2016 almost four years ago. As such, its reintroduction at this point represent a violation of the two year limitation period under the Limitations Act, namely the introduction of a cause of action long after the expiration of the limitation period. Whether Mr. Curtis originally pleaded this cause of action is immaterial. He removed it in January, 2016, four years ago, and cannot now reintroduce it.
The decision in Kaynes v. BP, PLC is a rare example of a limitation defence appropriately determined on a r. 21(1)(a) motion:
 In my opinion, as explained below, there are no material facts that could be pleaded or any discoverability issues that could or would postpone the running of the limitation period for the fraudulent misrepresentation cause of action. It is plain and obvious that all of the possible claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster were discovered by June 1, 2012. In my opinion, as explained below, the case at bar is one of those cases where pursuant to rule 21.01 (1)(a), the court can and should strike a claim as statute barred.
The decision also provides an excellent overview of the distinction between the cause of action and the claim in the limitations scheme:
 Before the enactment of the current Limitations Act, 2002, a limitation period commenced when a cause of action accrued and when the cause of action was discovered.
 There are over a hundred causes of action and there were rules for when a cause of action accrued and rules about when an accrued cause of action was discovered. Prior to the enactment of s. 5(1)(a)(iv) of the current Limitations Act, 2002, the judge-made discoverability principle governed the commencement of a limitation period. The discoverability principle stipulated that a limitation period begins to run only after the plaintiff has the knowledge, or the means of acquiring the knowledge, of the existence of the material facts that would support a claim for relief; i.e. knowledge of the factual constituent elements of a cause of action. The discoverability principle conforms with the idea of a cause of action being the fact or facts which give a person a right to judicial redress or relief against another.
 A cause of action is a set of facts that entitles a person to obtain a judgment in his or her favour from a court exercising its common law, equitable or statutory jurisdiction. In Ivany v. Financiere Telco Inc., and 1309489 Ontario Inc. v. BMO Bank of Montreal, Justice Lauwers observed that the idea of cause of action is used in two related senses: (1) it identifies a factual matrix from which claims or complaints arise; and (2) it identifies the legal nature of those claims, which is the nominal or technical meaning of cause of action.
 With the enactment of the Limitations Act, 2002, a limitation period commences when a “claim” is discovered”. The words “cause of action” do not appear in the Act, and the goal of the legislators was that for the purpose of determining when a limitation period began to run, “claim” and “claim” discovery would replace cause of action accrual and cause of action discovery.  This goal, however, was not achieved and the case law continues to use the idea of a cause of action in association with the idea of a “claim” under the Act. Under the Act, a claim is discovered on the earlier of two dates: the day on which a plaintiff either knew or ought to have known the constitutive elements of the claim and that a proceeding in Superior Court would be an appropriate means to seek a remedy.
 This continued connection between the ideas of claims as defined by the Limitations Act, 2002 and causes of action as understood under statutes and in law and equity is understandable, because civil procedure requires a plaintiff to plead the material facts of a viable cause of action and just pleading that the defendant’s conduct harmed the plaintiff does not provide the plaintiff with a remedy for his or her legal grievance or give the defendant notice of the cause of action that he or she must defend.
 Section 1 of the Limitations Act, 2002 defines “claim” to mean: “a claim to remedy an injury, loss or damage that occurred as a result of an act or omission”. A claim is a function of cause of action, which is the fact or facts which give a person a right to judicial redress or relief against another. In Lawless v. Anderson, the Court of Appeal stated at paras. 22-23:
- The principle of discoverability provides that “a cause of action arises for the purposes of a limitation period when the material facts on which it is based have been discovered, or ought to have been discovered, by the plaintiff by the exercise of reasonable diligence. This principle conforms with the generally accepted definition of the term “cause of action” — the fact or facts which give a person a right to judicial redress or relief against another”….
- Determining whether a person has discovered a claim is a fact-based analysis. The question to be posed is whether the prospective plaintiff knows enough facts on which to base an allegation of negligence against the defendant. If the plaintiff does, then the claim has been “discovered”, and the limitation period begins to run: seeSoper v. Southcott(1998), 1998 CanLII 5359 (ON CA), 39 OR (3d) 737 (C.A.) and McSween v. Louis (2000), 2000 CanLII 5744 (ON CA), 132 OAC 304 (C.A.).
 Although functionally closely related to causes of action, a claim as defined under the Limitations Act, 2002 is somewhat different from a cause of action. A cause of action has discrete constituent elements. For example, as noted above, negligent misrepresentation has five specific constituent elements, but a claim under the Limitations Act, 2002 has just two generic elements; namely: (1) and act or omission of misconduct; and (2) injury, loss or damage caused by the misconduct. Strictly speaking, the application of the Limitations Act, 2002 does not require identifying the cause of action, it requires only determining whether the plaintiff has discovered wrongful conduct and harm for which a lawsuit would be appropriate to remedy the harm. Another difference between claims and causes of action is that all claims have the element of damages, but some causes of action are actionable without damages having occurred. The cause of action for contract, for instance, requires a contract and a breach of the contract; damages, which typically do occur when a contract is breached, are, however, not a constituent element of the cause of action for breach of contract. Another difference is that no causes of action have appropriateness of a lawsuit as a constituent element, which is a factor in what counts for a discovered claim under the Limitations Act, 2002. A subtle deviation between claim and cause of action is that discovery of a claim under the Limitations Act, 2002 requires the plaintiff to have knowledge of an occurrence of injury caused by the defendant’s misconduct for which a law suit would be an appropriate means to seek a remedy, but discovery of a cause of action under the common law requires the plaintiff to have knowledge that the defendant’s conduct occasioned the material facts of the constituent elements of a particular cause of action.
 All of the above reveals that the relationship between claim and cause of action is subtle and sometimes confusing. When a proceeding would be an appropriate means to seek to remedy, it is not enough for the plaintiff to just plead a claim as defined under the Limitations Act, 2002, he or she must still plead a reasonable cause of action. To assert a cause of action so as to interrupt a limitation period, the pleading must allege the facts necessary to identify the constituent elements of the cause of action.
 With some statutory adjustment, the discoverability principle continues to operate for claims, and the principle has been codified by the Limitations Act, 2002. Discoverability has been adjusted by s. 5(1)(a)(iv), and thus subject to s. 5(1)(a)(iv), a limitation period commences at its earliest when the plaintiff discovers the underlying material facts or, alternatively, when the plaintiff ought to have discovered those facts by the exercise of reasonable diligence, but because of s. 5(1)(a)(iv), discoverability may be postponed.
 Under the Limitations Act, 2002, the discoverability of a claim for relief involves the identification of the wrongdoer, and also, the discovery of his or her acts or omissions that constitute liability. It is not enough that the plaintiff has suffered a loss and has knowledge that someone might be responsible; the identity and culpable acts of the wrongdoer must be known or knowable with reasonable diligence.
 For the limitation period to begin to run, it is not necessary that the plaintiff know the full extent or quantification of his or her damages; rather, the period begins to run with the plaintiff’s subjective or objective appreciation of being damaged, i.e., of being worse off than before the defendant’s conduct.
 Section 5(1)(a)(iv) of the Limitations Act, 2002 adjusts the operation of the discoverability principle, and s. 5(1)(a)(iv) can have the effect of delaying the commencement of the running of limitation period. Where a person knows that he or she has suffered harm; i.e., when the plaintiff knows the elements of ss. 5(1)(a)(i),(ii), and (iii), the delay lasts until the day when a proceeding would be an “appropriate” means to remedy the harm having regard to the nature of the injury, loss or damage.
 The appropriateness factor of 5(1)(a)(iv) introduces some uncertainty in the operation of the Limitations Act, 2002 but it also introduces some flexibility and fairness in the application of the discovery principle, which presumptively operates against the claimant as soon as a cause of action becomes objectively apparent. In Markel Insurance Co. of Canada v. ING Insurance Co. of Canada, the Court of Appeal held that for s. 5(1)(a)(iv) to have a delaying effect, there must be a juridical reason for the person to wait; i.e., there must be an explanation rooted in law as to why commencing a proceeding was not yet appropriate. Appropriateness must be assessed on the facts of each particular case, including taking into account the particular interests and circumstances of the plaintiff.
 Subject to the adjustment made by s. 5(1)(a)(iv), with respect to the basic limitation period of two years under the Limitations Act, 2002, a claim is “discovered” on the earlier of the date the claimant knew – a subjective criterion – or ought to have known – an objective criterion – about the claim. Pursuant to s. 5(2) of the Act, the discovery of a claim presumptively occurs for the plaintiff on the date of the act or omission, but the plaintiff may rebut the presumption by demonstrating that he or she could only have reasonably discovered the underlying material facts after the date of the act or omission.
This is the impact of the distinction:
 Applying these principles to the circumstances of the immediate case, pursuant to the Limitations Act, 2002 around June 1, 2010, presumptively and also subjectively and objectively factually, Mr. Kaynes discovered he had a “claim” against BP. He subjectively knew that BPs misconduct had caused him harm and he knew that court proceedings would be appropriate. For the purpose of the commencement of limitation periods, it was not necessary for Mr. Kaynes to put a cause of action name to his “claim”. Whatever way the statement of claim was later framed to name a cause of action, the “claim” to which the cause of action was connected had been discovered in 2010 and the limitation period clock was running.
 In other words, having discovered a “claim” in 2010, Mr. Kaynes had two years to plead the misconduct connected to the claim by pleading the material facts of negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent, misrepresentation, an oppression remedy, nuisance, or whatever. For the purpose of commencing a proceeding, however he might label his claim as a cause of action in a statement of claim, the limitation period for the “claim” was running by June 1, 2010. As it happened, albeit late, in November 2012, Mr. Kaynes pleaded a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation in Ontario, and he gave his claim a cause of action name, but regardless of its name in accordance with the principles of the Limitations Act, 2002, the negligent misrepresentation claim was already statute barred. A fraudulent misrepresentation claim had it been pleaded in November 2012 in Ontario would also have been statute barred.
The court also found that uncertainty as regards forum does not impact on appropriateness (consistent with Lilydale Cooperative Limited v. Meyn Canada Inc., which held similarly but isn’t cited in the decision):
 In a creative argument, Mr. Kaynes, however, argues that his April 2012 action in Alberta was a timely claim in Alberta, with which I would agree, and until the Alberta court declined to take jurisdiction with respect to that claim, which did not occur until November 2012, it could not be said that a claim in Ontario had been discovered until November 2012. In this regard, he submits that under s. 5 (1)(a)(iv) of Ontario’s Limitation Act, 2002, it was only after Alberta declined to take jurisdiction that it could be said that proceedings in Ontario were appropriate and thus until the November decision in Alberta, the claim in Ontario had not been discovered.
 This argument, however, does not work because the appropriateness of a proceeding in Ontario is not determined by the inappropriateness of a proceeding somewhere else. If any, the decision in Alberta, confirmed that Ontario was the appropriate forum for proceedings against BP.
Here’s an interesting question: can you add a defendant to a proceeding with leave to plead a limitations defence and then move to correct the misnaming of that defendant as a John Doe (and avoid the limitations defence)? Yes, held the court in Janet Campagiorni et al. v. Lyne Legare et al.
The plaintiffs obtained leave to add a defendant to their proceeding with leave to the defendant to plead a limitations defence. The added defendant moved for judgment on the limitations defence; in response, the plaintiffs moved to correct the misnaming of the defendant as John Doe (that is, they had originally named John Doe as a defendant to the proceeding, and took the position that John Doe was actually the defendant they had added). The defendant opposed the misnomer motion as an abuse of process: it was an “improper attack” on the court’s order adding the defendant. The court rejected the argument:
 The plaintiff brings a cross motion for misnomer on the basis that the pleadings be corrected to accurately reflect the correct name of a party identified but misnamed in the litigation from the outset. Dr. Bednar argues this motion should be dismissed as an abuse of process and is nothing more than an improper attack on the previous order of this court to add Dr. Bednar as a defendant on the condition that a limitation defence was still a live issue at a later date.
 The courts have made it abundantly clear that litigants may not have endless opportunities to seek the same remedy using different legal arguments in front of different triers of fact. See Alberta v. Pocklington Foods Inc., 1995 ABCA 111, at para. 8.
 I am of the view this is a different situation even though the issue may become moot depending on the decision of the trial judge on the issue of discoverability regarding the appropriate limitation period. I prefer the reasoning in Loy-English v. Fournier, 2018 ONSC 6212. In that medical malpractice case John Doe was in the claim as a defendant for various allegations of negligence. When the names of the doctors were eventually discovered the presumptive limitation period had expired, and a summary judgment motion was brought. The court concluded that a misnomer motion could have been brought at the same time as the summary judgment motion, putting all issues and all remedies clearly before the court. The court found that the suggestion that the failure to bring a misnomer motion was an abuse of process, was not valid and stated at para. 14, “the plaintiff is entitled to take all reasonable steps to preserve her rights against the expiry of a limitation period”. The court further added “taking various parallel prophylactic steps to avoid the application of the Limitations Act was not an abuse of process or in any event was not worthy of an extreme sanction such as a stay of proceedings.” See: Loy-English v. The Ottawa Hospital et. al., 2019 ONSC 6075, at para. 28. Further the court stated at para. 14, “Even if the manner in which this litigation has been pursued is characterized as abusive, the response should be proportionate and does not follow that loss of the right to litigate is a proportionate remedy.” I agree and any sanction required can ultimately be dealt with by way of costs.
The defendant in Anisman v. Drabinsky argued that the plaintiff could not argue discovery in response to a limitations defence because he hadn’t served a Reply pleading the material facts of discovery. The court rejected this (very optimistic argument) argument:
 Finally, Defendants’ counsel submits that the Plaintiff’s factum makes improper reference to his response to the Defendants’ limitation argument. It is the Defendants’ position that since the Plaintiff never issued a Reply pleading in response to the limitation point raised in the Statement of Defence, the Plaintiff is prohibited from arguing any defence to the limitation challenge. Defendants’ counsel therefore asks that those paragraphs be struck from the Plaintiff’s factum.
 The Plaintiff may not have a pleading to support his point, but there is evidence in the record that has been fairly adduced that supports it. The Court of Appeal has expressly held that under such circumstances it would be an error to proceed on the basis suggested by Defendants’ counsel: “Again, this was a summary judgment motion, the resolution of which depended on a consideration of the evidence adduced by the parties, and not their pleadings:” Collins v Cortez, 2014 ONCA 685, at para 12. The Plaintiff here seeks summary judgment, and it is incumbent on me to consider the record as a whole rather than to focus narrowly on the pleadings alone. I therefore find no reason to redact or excise any portion of the evidentiary record or any factum.
 The Statement of Claim herein was issued on June 18, 2019, some 3 years and 9 months after the impugned transfer of title. Defendants’ counsel submits that the 2-year limitation period under the Limitations Act, 2002 was missed by the Plaintiff. Defendants’ counsel further submits that the Defendants having pleaded a limitation defence, it was incumbent on the Plaintiff to serve a Reply pleading. He argues that failing that, the Plaintiff is foreclosed from including anything in the present Motion Record by way of a response to the limitation defence. Counsel for the Defendants relies on Rule 25.08 for the proposition that a Reply pleading is necessary in these circumstances. That Rule provides:25.08 (1) A party who intends to prove a version of the facts different from that pleaded in the opposite party’s defence shall deliver a reply setting out the different version, unless it has already been pleaded in the claim.
(2) A party who intends to reply in response to a defence on any matter that might, if not specifically pleaded, take the opposite party by surprise or raise an issue that has not been raised by a previous pleading shall deliver a reply setting out that matter…
 It is evident from the wording of both parts of Rule 25.08 that it is the element of surprise that determines whether or not a Reply is required. That is, the Defendants must not be taken by surprise by facts of which they were unaware. This court has long noted that, “[i]f a limitation defence is raised, the plaintiff should, where appropriate, serve a reply raising any facts and contentions relied upon to rebut the defence and pleading the basis for any discretion that the court may have in the matter”: D.S. Park Waldheim Inc. v Epping (1995), 1995 CanLII 7091 (ON SC), 24 OR (3d) 83 (Gen Div), quoting Graham Mew, The Law of Limitations (Markham: Butterworths, 1991), p. 54. This is particularly the case where “the plaintiff…relies on…the doctrine of discoverability…[which] depends on an unresolved question of fact”: Epping, at 85. The Plaintiff makes a number of arguments in response. In the first place, he submits that there is nothing in his response to the limitation point that will take the Defendants by surprise. Secondly, he contends that the cause of action pleaded in the Statement of Claim was not discovered by him until substantially later, and that there was nothing in the conduct of the parties that would have tipped him off that a transfer of title had taken place with respect to the Property. The Plaintiff points out that the Statement of Claim herein was served with a Certificate of Pending Litigation, which the Plaintiff had obtained on an ex parte basis at the outset. Since the Certificate was obtained without notice to the Defendants, the Plaintiff also served them at the same time with his Motion Record in support of the Certificate, as required. That Motion Record contained an affidavit sworn by the Plaintiff setting out how he had discovered the transfer of title. At paragraph 8 of his affidavit, served together with the Statement of Claim on June 25, 2019, the Plaintiff stated:On September 11, 2015, shortly after my request for payment of August 24, 2015, Mr. Drabinsky transferred his interest in his house at 478 Spadina Road (the ‘Property’) to his wife. I learned of this transfer on April 20, 2019, before I examined Mr. Drabinsky in aid of execution.
 The circumstances and date of discovery – i.e. that he first learned of the transfer when he searched title in preparation for an examination in aid of execution on the judgment he had obtained on November 15, 2018 – are the crucial facts on which the Plaintiff relies in responding to the limitation defence. It is this brief statement of fact that would likely have been contained in a Reply had one been served. Given that it was contained in the package of materials served together with the Statement of Claim and Certificate of Pending Litigation, the Defendants were on notice in much the same way as they would have been had the sentence been repeated in a Reply pleading. It is the Defendants’ position that if the relevant facts did not find their way into a Reply, they are to be ignored in assessing the merits of the limitation defence. I do not accept that position. To ignore what was in the Plaintiff’s motion record and affidavit because it was not repeated in a Reply would be to elevate form over substance to an unacceptable degree: Marshall v Watson Wyatt & Co., 2002 CanLII 13354, at para 25 (Ont CA). As is evident from the narrative in Part II above, prior to the examination in aid of execution there was nothing to prompt the Plaintiff to search title of the Property. Mr. Drabinsky consistently lead him to believe that he would be receiving payment imminently, and even provided him with replacement cheques when the previous ones became stale-dated. Further, Mr. Drabinsky was more than just another debtor; he was a rather renowned debtor who was very much in the public eye. It did not occur to the Plaintiff (or, presumably, to any other creditors) that Mr. Drabinsky would be denuding himself of substantial assets such as the Property. As the Plaintiff submits, there is only a duty to investigate when there is something that leads one to investigate: Fennell v Deol, 2015 ONSC 4835, para 8.
Ironically, the issue was moot because the plaintiff was seeking to recover land, which means the ten-year RPLA limitation period applied.
The Superior Court decision in Scalabrini v. Khan holds that the test for adding a plaintiff to a proceeding after the presumptive expiry of the limitation period is the same as adding a defendant:
 The respondents argued that the test in Morrison is not applicable to a case such as this one where it is a plaintiff rather than defendant for whom leave is sought to be added. I see no basis for applying a different limitations test for leave to add a plaintiff than for leave to add a defendant. However, I do see a difference in the required findings and proof that would be needed to support a decision to deny leave to add a plaintiff (or defendant) on limitation grounds than would be needed to grant leave in the face of a limitations argument. If the master in this case had decided that Cinzia’s claims were statute barred and could not proceed, the Court of Appeal’s directive in Morrison that there be a finding that her claims had been discovered more than two years before the motion was brought makes sense because that decision would put an end to her claims.
The Superior Court in Barker v. Barker is perhaps the most extreme example of an eleventh-hour motion to amend to plead discoverability. The plaintiffs moved in the third week of trial to amend their Statement of Claim to plead reliance on ss. 5 and 16 of the Limitations Act in response to the defendants’ limitations defence (the decision is silent on why the plaintiffs chose to amend their Statement of Claim rather than file a Reply). Justice Morgan didn’t find that the delay was fatal to the motion:
 Whether or not the motion to amend would have been better brought before trial began rather than in its third week, what is clear is that the limitations issues, including as the Court of Appeal says, the application of section 16(1)(h.2) and the doctrine of discoverability, come as no surprise to the Defendants. They knew these issues were raised by the Plaintiffs in the 2017 motion before Perell J. Plaintiffs’ counsel has reproduced in their motion record copies of the factums from the 2017 motion, where these issues were argued for many paragraphs by both sides. As indicated above, the Defendants all knew that the 2018 judgment of the Court of Appeal had specifically reserved these issues for a later date, mentioning the trial itself as the likely time for canvassing section 16(1)(h.2) and discoverability.
 Although mid-trial pleadings amendments are not encouraged as a matter of case management, Rule 26.02(c) provides that a pleading may be amended at any time, without limitation, with leave of the court. Moreover, the amendment rule is written in mandatory language. Rule 26.01 provides that, “On motion at any stage of an action the court shall grant leave to amend a pleading on such terms as are just, unless prejudice would result that could not be compensated for by costs or an adjournment.” Accordingly, a party seeking to prevent a pleading from being amended “must establish a link between the non-compensable prejudice and the amendment. It must show that the prejudice arises from the amendment”: Iroquois Falls Power Corp. v Jacobs Canada Inc., 2009 ONCA 517 (CanLII), at para 20.
The decision is also noteworthy for its consideration of the role of discoverability in a laches analysis. It is impossible to assess the impact of delay in suing without knowing when the plaintiff first ought to have known of the claim:
 Embedded in this argument is the idea that different questions would be asked in an equitable laches case than in a statutory limitation case. More specifically, it assumes that discoverability, which is an integral part of a limitation period analysis both at common law and under statute, is not at issue in a laches analysis. That sounds somewhat plausible at first blush – after all, the equitable doctrine of laches is, like all doctrines of equity, related to but different in nuance from limitation periods as its nearest relative at law. Limitation periods are hard numerical rules while laches is a principle that requires a weighing of the competing equities: Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada (Attorney General), 2013 SCC 14 (CanLII),  1 SCR 623, at paras 145-6. That difference, however, is not always as substantive as it may appear.
 Almost a century ago, English legal scholar John Brunyate stated, “since delay by a plaintiff who has been ignorant of his right of action will not amount to laches, we should expect that…time will not run until the plaintiff is aware of his right of action.” Limitation of Actions in Equity (London: Stevens & Sons, 1932), c. 2, cited approvingly in M(K) v M(H), 1992 CanLII 31 (SCC),  3 SCR 6. We need not delve into legal history to see that that logic makes sense. It would be impossible to evaluate the equities of a delay in bringing an action without knowing when the Plaintiff first realized he or she had been wronged.
 In fact, the weighing of equities in a laches analysis specifically involves asking whether the claimant has acquiesced in the delay, which in turn involves evidence of the claimant’s state of mind and level of knowledge of the facts on which the cause of action is premised: Manitoba Metis Federation, at para 147. One can’t acquiesce in something one hasn’t discovered. It is little surprise, therefore, that the Supreme Court of Canada has indicated that the equitable doctrine of laches essentially mirrors the common law doctrine of discoverability: “It is not enough that the plaintiff knows of the facts that support a claim in equity; she must also know that the facts give rise to that claim”: M(K), supra, citing Re Howlett,  Ch. 767.
 The Supreme Court in M(K) has specifically confirmed with respect to discoverability and laches that “both doctrines share the common requirement of knowledge on the part of the plaintiff.” The indicia of that knowledge – what did the Plaintiff know with respect to the alleged wrongs and his legal rights and when did he know it – will be the subject of discovery under both rules. It defies logic and the nature of the two very similar legal principles to say that a Defendant knew full well he had to discover on the issue of laches, but that he is greatly disadvantaged to now learn that he also had to discover on the issue of discoverability. The information sought and the questions asked will be virtually the same.
This analysis came in the context of a rather astonishing (and unsuccessful) argument by the Crown. It denied having notice that discoverability was in issue despite having asked questions about discoverability on examination for discovery. The Crown explained this contradiction by throwing a junior under the bus: apparently, the junior went rogue and asked the discoverability questions without instructions:
 Turning to the discoverability doctrine, Defendants’ counsel contend that they have not had an opportunity to examine the Plaintiffs for discovery on the discoverability issue. They submit that at this late date, with the trial already underway, the motion to amend must either be dismissed outright or granted together with an adjournment of the trial so that further discovery can be conducted. Otherwise, they say, they are made to essentially defend a trial by ambush.
 Counsel for the Plaintiffs responds with some incredulity. Plaintiffs’ motion record contains over a thousand pages of discovery transcripts in which the discoverability issue was explored with various Plaintiffs by Defendants’ counsel. Plaintiffs’ counsel point out that Defendants’ counsel canvassed everything from the dates that the Plaintiffs first contacted their present counsel, to previous complaints and law suits brought by any number of Plaintiffs, to the Plaintiffs’ awareness of and access to duty counsel while at Oak Ridge in the 1970s, to the letter writing campaigns engaged in by several of the Plaintiffs over the decades seeking to put a stop to the kind of acts in issue in this litigation. In addition, in the affidavits sworn by each of the Plaintiffs for the 2017 motion, and which by agreement of the parties now form part of the trial record, the Plaintiffs each provide information on the dawn of this case and how and when they personally became involved or realized that they could engage in a legal action.
 Counsel for the government of Ontario at discoveries asked a number of the Plaintiffs for undertakings with respect to these issues, and followed up on those requests by sending Plaintiffs’ counsel an undertakings chart listing and describing each of the outstanding answers. The chart divided the outstanding undertakings into three categories, listing each of the undertakings as going to either “Liability”, “Damages”, or “Discoverability”. The label of this third category was not a Freudian slip; a perusal of the undertakings falling under this heading reveals precisely the kind of questions one would ask in order to unearth the opposing side’s discoverability position. Various Plaintiffs responded by indicating when in the past they learned about, and with whom and when in the past they had spoken about, the prospect of a law suit relating to their Oak Ridge experiences.
 Defendants’ counsel responds by conceding that all of those questions were indeed asked, but says that they were for the most part meant to address the issue of laches as it pertains to the equitable claim of breach of fiduciary duties. It is the Defendants’ position that discoverability under the Act or at common law is a response to a defense which places an onus on the Plaintiff, and so it did not have to be canvassed at discoveries (or addressed at trial) if the Plaintiff did not specifically plead it.
 At the same time, it is the Defendants’ position that with respect to the claim of breach of fiduciary duties the doctrine of discoverability does not apply either at common law or under the pre-Act limitations statutes in force in Ontario, but that the equitable doctrine of laches applies. Defendants’ counsel concedes that the onus is on the Defendant to establish the unfair delay on which the laches principle is premised. Accordingly, counsel for the Defendants explains that in their view, discoverability does not have to be explored in pre-trial examinations if the Plaintiff has not bothered to plead it, but laches has to be explored because it is clearly relevant and the Plaintiff need not plead it.
 Interestingly, counsel for the Defendants conceded in argument that examinations on the issue of discoverability were in fact conducted with respect to 7 of the 28 Plaintiffs. Defendants’ counsel’s explanation for this is that, apparently, a very diligent young lawyer for the government of Ontario conducted the discoveries on those individual Plaintiffs, and was foresightful enough to pose questions exploring the discoverability issue. As for the rest of the individual Plaintiffs, other lawyers on the Defendants’ counsel team conducted those discoveries and the discoverability questions were not asked. Accordingly, the Defendants are not seeking to eliminate the doctrine of discoverability from the analysis of the limitation period with respect to 7 of the 28 Plaintiffs, but are seeking to eliminate it with respect to the remaining 21 Plaintiffs.
 With respect, this position is not tenable. In the first place, counsel for Ontario asked for undertakings regarding discoverability from 13 of the Plaintiffs. If only 7 Plaintiffs were questioned about discoverability, how is it that undertakings were extracted from 6 more of them? Perhaps others on the Defendants’ counsel team were more foresightful and diligent than they have been given credit for.
 But that is only part of the point. If the Defendants’ position is to be taken seriously, the young lawyer who supposedly on his or her own asked about facts going to the discoverability issue would have been fishing for information that, in the Defendants’ view, he or she had no right to ask about. Not surprisingly, Plaintiffs’ counsel did not object to this line of questioning and provided answers that now satisfy the Defendants such that they are not discounting the discoverability doctrine with respect to those 7 deponents. What was wrongful from the Defendants’ point of view when it was done has suddenly become rightful now that it helps explain some of the discoverability questions which the Defendants did in fact explore with the Plaintiffs.
 Furthermore, if one lawyer on the Defendants’ team knew about the discoverability doctrine, they all knew about the discoverability doctrine. In order to put an opponent on notice in litigation, one conveys the notice to opposing counsel – any number of them or any one of them will do. If one member of a law firm of record has notice, or one member of the Ministry of the Attorney General is aware of an issue in the action, they all are presumed to have notice and be aware of the issue. The young lawyer who asked discoverability questions is not being presented as a rogue acting beyond his retainer; quite the opposite. He is being presented as a perhaps more thorough or diligent version of all the other Defendants’ lawyers.
 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.
The Court of Appeal decision in Morrison v. Barzo sets out in detail the test for adding a party to a proceeding after the presumptive expiry of the limitation period. It’s now the leading decision on the subject.
To obtain leave, the plaintiff must first rebut the presumption in s. 5(2) of the Limitations Act by leading evidence as to the date of subjective discovery. The plaintiff doesn’t need to show evidence of due diligence; due diligence is immaterial to subjective discovery:
 The evidentiary burden on a plaintiff seeking to add a defendant to an action after the apparent expiry of a limitation period is two-fold. First, the plaintiff must overcome the presumption in s. 5(2) that he or she knew of the matters referred to in s. 5(1)(a) on the day the act or omission on which the claim is based took place, by leading evidence as to the date the claim was actually discovered (which evidence can be tested and contradicted by the proposed defendant). The presumption is displaced by the court’s finding as to when the plaintiff subjectively knew he had a claim against the defendants: Mancinelli, at para. 18. To overcome the presumption, the plaintiff needs to prove only that the actual discovery of the claim was not on the date the events giving rise to the claim took place. It is therefore wrong to say that a plaintiff has an onus to show due diligence to rebut the presumption under s. 5(2): Fennell, at para. 26.
Second, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie discovery argument by leading evidence as to why the claim couldn’t have been discovered through reasonable diligence:
 Second, the plaintiff must offer a “reasonable explanation on proper evidence” as to why the claim could not have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence. The evidentiary threshold here is low, and the plaintiff’s explanation should be given a “generous reading”, and considered in the context of the claim: Mancinelli, at paras. 20 and 24.
This is not a due diligence analysis. While a plaintiff’s due diligence is relevant to the finding under s. 5(1)(b), the absence of due diligence is a not a separate basis for dismissing a claim as statute-barred. This is so whether the expiry of the limitation period is at issue in a motion for summary judgment or in a motion to add a defendant.
When a claimant ought reasonably to have discovered a claim requires an evidentiary foundation. The court can’t say merely that the claim was discoverable before the expiry of the limitation period without explaining why. It may be that the court can only determine when discovery ought to have occurred at a later stage of the proceeding. In such a case, the motion to add the defendant should be granted, with leave for the defendant to plead a limitation defence:
 Reasonable discoverability of a claim under s. 5(1)(b) that precludes adding a party contrary to s. 21(1) requires an evidentiary foundation. The court must be satisfied that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s circumstances ought to have discovered the claim, and the date of such reasonable discovery must be determined. It is not sufficient for the court to say that the claim was discoverable “before the expiry of the limitation period”, without explaining why. It may be that the date of reasonable discoverability can only be determined at a later stage in the proceedings, at trial or on a summary judgment motion. In such a case, the motion to add the defendant should be granted, with leave for the defendant to plead a limitation defence: Mancinelli, at paras. 31 and 34.
Conceptually, I recognise the distinction between the court assessing the plaintiff’s due diligence in investigating the claim against the proposed defendant, and the court assessing whether the plaintiff could through reasonable diligence have discovered the claim against that defendant. However, in practice, I suspect this is a distinction without a difference. In both cases, the plaintiff will lead evidence of the steps taken to investigate the claim—due diligence—and argue that she did what was reasonable to investigate the claim and still didn’t discover it. The proposed defendant will lead evidence of some other step the plaintiff could have taken and argue that it was a reasonable step and would have led to discovery. And so the adequacy of due diligence is always in issue.
The Court also make important points about the findings that are necessary in a limitations analysis. The court must identify the claims in question, and then find when they were discovered. This requires a specific finding of fact that answers the question asked by s. 5(1)(b):
 Instead, the motion judge was required, after clearly defining the nature of the claims against the respondents on the evidence, and after finding no actual knowledge of the claims, to make a specific finding of fact as to when a reasonable person “with the abilities and in the circumstances” of the appellants “first ought to have known of the matters referred to in clause (a)”.
In Lyall v. Whitehead the court denied summary judgment on a limitations defence because it would only partially dispose of the action. The limitations defence was not readily bifurcated from the merits. This gave rise to the potential for duplicative results and credibility issues:
 In an attempt to persuade me that partial summary judgment is appropriate the defendant relies upon the decision of Justice Myers in Mason v. Perras Mogenais, 2018 ONSC 1477 (CanLII) (“Mason”). Justice Myers held that discrete issues, like limitation periods, which do not overlap with the merits that are left for trial, are suitable for partial summary judgment motions. I do not read Mason to stand for the proposition that partial summary judgment motions are appropriate in each and every case that involves a limitation period issue. In Mason, partial summary judgment was granted in circumstances where the case was brought to an early end, in totality, against one of the defendants. In my view, that situation is more akin to a summary judgment motion than a partial summary judgment motion since the action was brought to an end against that defendant. That is certainly not the case here. As discussed below, the clear potential for duplicative results and major credibility issues in this case are outside the realm of what Justice Myers considered appropriate in Mason.
 I agree with the plaintiffs that, whether the action succeeds or not, the dominant narrative of the broader underlying claim concerns the defendant’s conduct as Estate trustee and whether he breached his fiduciary duties to the plaintiffs. Even if the partial summary judgment motion was successful, the matter would move on to trial with several other significant issues and claims in play which raises the legitimate specter of inconsistent decisions. The facts underpinning the allegations the defendant seeks to dismiss are too deeply intertwined with the facts underpinning the remaining causes of action. It is not appropriate to grant summary judgment in this type of situation.
 This case falls entirely within the ambit of cases discussed in Baywood and Butera. In this regard I am mindful of the reasoning in Butera, which makes it clear that a motion for partial summary judgment should be considered a rare procedure that is reserved for an issue or issues that may be readily bifurcated from those in the main action and may be dealt with expeditiously and in a cost effective matter. As stated in Butera, such an approach is entirely consistent with the objectives set out by the Supreme Court in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 (CanLII). I entirely agree, and in any event, the decision is binding upon me.
 In my view, this is exact type of case warned against by the Court of Appeal in Baywood. In this case, credibility is extremely important. As stated in Baywood, voluminous affidavit evidence can obscure the affiant’s authentic voice. That has happened here. I received the evidence in a decontextualized manner and to make any findings on credibility in this fashion would result in fundamental unfairness in a way it will not likely occur at trial where the trial judge will see all of the evidence. Put another way, I cannot make credibility findings on the issues before me without also impacting the trial judge’s ability to independently assess the facts at trial. The trial judge’s credibility findings will be based on a set of facts broader than mine, but will also inherently include those that the defendant has put before me. They are not readily bifurcated from the broader underlying claim.