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Facts[]

Mr. M made a promise to Ms. A to pay the balance outstanding on the mortgage of her home in England if she moved to Canada to live with him with a view of marrying him. She moved to Canada, but he refused to pay her mortgage and the relationship became stormy. He loaned her 100,000 on a promissory note. She applied those funds to her mortgage. He kicked her out of his house. She sued him, claiming estoppel as a cause of action because she relied, and acted upon his promise. She was unsuccessful at trial, which she appealed.

Issue[]

  1. Is estoppel a cause of action in Canada where there is no pre-existing legal relationship?

Decision[]

Appeal dismissed.

Reasons[]

Counsel for Ms. A tries to claim that estoppel should be recognized as a cause of action in Canada as it has been in other countries. However, Huddart, writing for the court, denies this and says that it is only a defence. Further, there were no intentions for this to be a legal relationship, so there was never a binding agreement.

Ratio[]

Estoppel is not a cause of action in Canada where there is no pre-existing legal relationship.

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