Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, contract law, law of options, courts, common law, doctrine, Supreme Court of Canada


Little attention is devoted to the law of options in major Canadian texts on contract law or in periodical literature. One might, therefore, assume that the law in this area is well settled and that few major cases come before the courts. However, a review of appellate decisions in Canada indicates significant judicial interest in the topic which would challenge those assumptions. In fact, appellate courts in various common law jurisdictions continue to struggle with many doctrinal issues related to this specialized type of contract. This article provides a comprehensive review of the law of options in Canada, and identifies and discusses a number of the current doctrinal debates. In particular, it reviews and challenges certain fundamental doctrinal changes that appear to have been made by the Supreme Court of Canada in Sail Labrador v The Challenge One. The author suggests an alternative basis on which the Court could have achieved the same result while preserving the commercial certainty requirements which underlie the core of option law.

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Contracts Commons