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No One is Perfect: Standard of Care Required of an Occupier is Reasonableness not Perfection

By Phoenix Howe, Student

In the recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Westerveld v Cineplex Entertainment Corp, 2022 CarswellAlta 920, Master Mattis provided a thorough review of the case law’s interpretation of the standard of care required of occupiers under the Occupiers’ Liability Act (OLA).

According to the 2004 Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Anderson v Canada Safeway Limited, it is a question of fact whether an occupier was negligent or failed in its duty to keep its premises reasonably safe from foreseeable risks.

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Swagar v Loblaws Inc. identified the standard of care required by an occupier under the OLA as reasonableness rather than perfection.  There is no duty on the occupier to take every possible precaution to remove every possible hazard. Constant vigilance is also not a requirement. An occupier is not required to remove every possibility of danger through the use of overly burdensome policies.


If you have any questions with respect to this bulletin, please contact Nabeel Peermohamed at or at 403.260.5301.


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