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Inventory of Reforms

Alberta Class Proceedings Act


New legislation introducing a class actions regime in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal.

Permanent implementation


Court of Queen’s Bench
Court of Appeal

Body Responsible:
Government of Alberta

December 2000: Final Report released by ALRI
2003: Class action legislation introduced
April 2004: Alberta Class Proceedings Act came into force

Alberta Class Proceedings Act (updated 2011)
Alberta Law Reform Institute Final Report 2000
Andrew D. Little, Alberta’s New Class Proceedings Act Proclaimed in Force Osler (22 April 2004).

The Alberta Law Reform Institute issued a report in December 2000 containing detailed recommendations for class action reform, suggesting that legislation be adopted.

On April 1, 2004, the Alberta Class Proceedings Act came into force.

The phenomenon of many individuals having the same or similar claims against one or more defendants is a modern reality. If dealt with on an individual basis, this litigation can be costly, complex and cumbersome. As they have in other jurisdictions, lawsuits involving large numbers of claimants are being brought in a wide variety of cases. Recent Alberta examples include the much-publicized wrongful sterilization litigation, the residential school litigation and the pine shakes litigation. Examples elsewhere include cases involving defective consumer or industrial products, misrepresentation of products or services, securities breaches, mass disasters and creeping disasters (such as injury to health over a prolonged time period or environmental damage), to name but a few. Courts in Alberta face the challenges of the growing complexities of litigation.

Description of Reforms:

Alberta Class Proceedings Act

In order to be certified by the court as a class action in an Alberta proceeding:

Under the new Alberta Act, certification is not barred solely because:

Alberta’s New Act

Alberta has not provided much legislative guidance on numerous procedural issues that have arisen on certification motions elsewhere in Canada, such as:

Alberta’s New Act

2000 Report

The report contained the following recommendations:

We also make recommendations for defendant class actions. These recommendations a re based o n the plaintiff class action provisions, but with certain modifications to take into account differences in the position of plaintiffs and defendants in litigation.

Final Report at xxiii-xxiv.

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Apr 09, 2013