August 12, 2020
Eastern Infrastructure Inc. (re), 2020 NSSC 220
In this NSSC bankruptcy motion decision, the trustee in bankruptcy, the principal of a bankrupt company, and a creditor, disagreed as to who may attend a trustee’s examination before the Registrar under section 163(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Royal Bank sought to attend but not to participate in the examination; the trustee took no position; the bankrupt’s principal (being the witness to be examined) objected.
The Registrar rejected authority to the effect that non-parties should be excluded, in part, based on the development of the open court principle, since the prior case had been decided.
The Registrar ruled that a matter before the court should prima facie be open to all, particularly where a proposed attendee is not seeking to lengthen, intervene, examine, or otherwise participate in the process – in other words, to be a bystander (officious or otherwise).