Tim Ludwig Professional Corporation v. BDO Canada LLP, 2017 ONCA 292:
Of the Law Societies of Upper Canada and Nunavut
Tim Ludwig Professional Corporation v. BDO Canada LLP, 2017 ONCA 292:
Redstone Enterprises Ltd. v. Simple Technology Inc., 2017 ONCA 282:
 Deposits are commonplace in the operation of the market, especially for larger assets such as residential and commercial real estate. Their purpose was explored at learned length by Newbury J.A. speaking for a five-person panel in Tang v. Zhang, 2013 BCCA 52, 359 D.L.R. (4th) 104. At issue in the case was the forfeiture of a deposit of $100,000 on a residential real estate purchase of slightly more than $2 million. The trial judge relieved against forfeiture on the basis that the vendor had been able to re-sell the property for more than the original purchase price so that he had not suffered any loss. The court of appeal reversed the trial decision.
 While Newbury J.A. rejected the argument that simply labelling a payment as a deposit immunized it against the court's equitable jurisdiction to relieve from forfeiture, she declined relief. She distilled several relevant principles from English and Canadian case law, at para. 30. Two are especially pertinent to this appeal:
A true deposit is an ancient invention of the law designed to motivate contracting parties to carry through with their bargains. Consistent with its purpose, a deposit is generally forfeited by a buyer who repudiates the contract, and is not dependant on proof of damages by the other party. If the contract is performed, the deposit is applied to the purchase price;
The deposit constitutes an exception to the usual rule that a sum subject to forfeiture on the breach of a contract is an unlawful penalty unless it represents a genuine pre-estimate of damages. However, where the deposit is of such an amount that the seller's retention of it would be penal or unconscionable, the court may relieve against forfeiture….
 The decision of this court in Peachtree II Associates-Dallas L.P. v. 857486 Ontario Ltd. (2005), 76 O.R. (3d) 362 (C.A.), leave to appeal refused,  S.C.C.A. No. 420, is instructive, even though it involved stipulated penalty clauses, not deposits. The case explored the distinction between penalties and forfeitures.
 Justice Sharpe noted, at paras. 31-32:
[C]ourts should, if at all possible, avoid classifying contractual clauses as penalties and, when faced with a choice between considering stipulated remedies as penalties or forfeitures, favour the latter.
[C]ourts should, whenever possible, favour analysis on the basis of equitable principles and unconscionability over the strict common law rule pertaining to penalty clauses.
Accordingly, he pointed out that: "the strict rule of the common law refusing to enforce penalty clauses should not be extended" (at para. 33). The reason, he explained, is "the policy of upholding freedom of contract" (at para. 34).
 Justice Sharpe continued, noting that: "Judicial enthusiasm for the refusal to enforce penalty clauses has waned in the face of a rising recognition of the advantages of allowing parties to define for themselves the consequences of breach" (at para. 34). He cited in support Dickson J., who decried the prohibition of penalties as "blatant interference with freedom of contract", and advocated treating both penalties and forfeitures under the rubric of unconscionability: Elsley v. J.G. Collins Insurance Agencies Ltd.,  2 S.C.R. 916 at p. 937, 83 D.L.R. (3d) 1, 1978 CarswellOnt 1235, at para. 47 (WL Can).
 The point is well made in Union Eagle Ltd. v. Golden Achievement Ltd.,  UKPC 5,  A.C. 514, by Lord Hoffmann for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council said, at p. 519 (A.C.)
[I]n many forms of transaction it is of great importance that if something happens for which the contract has made express provision, the parties should know with certainty that the terms of the contract will be enforced. The existence of an undefined discretion to refuse to enforce the contract on the ground that this would be "unconscionable" is sufficient to create uncertainty. Even if it is most unlikely that a discretion to grant relief will be exercised, its mere existence enables litigation to be employed as a negotiating tactic.
 I would agree that the finding of unconscionability must be an exceptional one, strongly compelled on the facts of the case.
R.A v. S.K. and D.K. 2017 NUCJ 5:
 In Nunavut there are two ways of adopting a child. One way is in accordance with Inuit custom. This does not involve the Courts or any government agencies. If a child has been adopted in accordance with Inuit custom, an adoptive parent may apply for a certificate recognizing the adoption. This is done pursuant to the ACARA, by providing certain information to a Custom Adoption Commissioner and requesting a Certificate. The Commissioner reviews the information and if he or she is satisfied that the child was adopted in accordance with Inuit custom, a Certificate recognizing the adoption is issued. The Certificate is registered with the Nunavut Court of Justice and is enforced as an order of the Court. The Certificate facilitates the issuance of birth certificates and other similar documentation.
 An adoption may also proceed under the Adoption Act, SNWT, 1998, c 9 (Nu) [Adoption Act]. The Adoption Act provides for departmental adoptions (where the child is in the permanent care of social services), step-child adoptions (where the adopting parent is a step-parent) and private adoptions (adoptions arranged between the birth parents and the adoptive parents). The majority of adoptions done under the Adoption Act are private adoptions.
 A private adoption under the Adoption Act requires that the Director of Adoptions be notified of the intention to place a child for adoption and requires that a pre-placement report be completed before the child can be placed. The biological parents must provide written consent to the adoption, after having received advice as to the legal effects of an adoption. The consent may be revoked within a specified time period.
 If a child from Nunavut is being adopted outside of the Territory, the child cannot be removed from the Territory until there is a pre-placement report and the approval of the Director of Adoptions. If the child to be adopted is aboriginal, the appropriate aboriginal organization, Qikiqtani Inuit Association [QIA], Kivalliq Inuit Association [Kivalliq KIA] or Kitikmeot Inuit Association [Kitikmeot KIA]) must be notified and consulted. Once a child has been placed for adoption and has been with the adoptive parents for at least 6 months, a Family Union Report is done by an adoption worker. References and criminal record checks are part of the placement process. Application is then made to the Nunavut Court of Justice to grant the Adoption Order.
 One of the distinctions between an aboriginal custom adoption and an adoption under the Adoption Act is the requirement for home studies and other checks to ensure the suitability of the adoptive parents.