This case was heard in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
The Duperes entered into an agreement to buy property from the Evanses. The buyers were aware that there had been some oil spillage on the property, and so the Agreement of Purchase and Sale included a condition stating that the vendors would obtain a certificate from an environmental assessor identifying the environmental condition of the property. The vendors obtained that certificate and the buyers moved forward with the purchase; however, after the buyers paid their deposit, the Department of Environment and Labour indicated that further testing would have to be done on the site before the Department could approve the environmental condition of the property. After learning this, the Duperes refused to go through with the closing, and they applied for the return of their deposit, arguing that the Evanses had either fraudulently or negligently misrepresented the property.
After the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia held that the Evanses had not misrepresented the property, the case came before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. There, the Court held that the adjudicator in the lower court had made errors in both fact and law when considering the case. After finding that the Evanses had failed to disclose important information to the environmental assessor who tested the site, the Court allowed the Duperes’ appeal and ordered that their deposit be returned to them.
To read about this case in the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia, go to Dupere v. Evans, 2005 NSSM 39 (CanLII).