One rule, for the "special case", recognizes that sometimes the parties may agree on the facts so that the Court need simply decide a question of law.
If the Court decides that hearing the case in this simplified way may end all or part of the appeal, or greatly shorten the hearing or save costs, the judge may hear it and make a judgment. (See the General Procedure Rules, rr. 59-61.)
A second rule allows the Court to decide a question of law, fact or mixed law and fact before the hearing if (a) either party raised the issue in its "pleadings" (i.e., the taxpayer's Notice of Appeal, the Crown's Reply and the taxpayer's "Answer") and (b) hearing the case in this simplified way may end all or part of the appeal, or greatly shorten the hearing or save costs. (See the General Procedure Rules, r. 58.)
In this case, Justice Woods refused to let the Appellant challenge contradictions in the Government's position because (a) the issue wasn't raised in the pleadings; it was a new issue and (b)"the Proposed Question has no reasonable chance of success, and therefore it does not satisfy the condition in s. 58(1)(a) that it may dispose of the proceeding, shorten the hearing, or save costs." (Paras. 31 and 42.)
These rules can be helpful, especially in more complicated cases. This decision is helpful for explaining the purpose of the preliminary question rule, r. 58. For example Justice Woods explained the "raised by the pleadings" restriction:
"the Proposed Question must be properly raised as an issue in the pleading. For reasons of fairness, issues in an appeal are generally limited to those that are raised in the pleadings. The language used in paragraph 58(1)(a) ensures that this principle is not by-passed by bringing a motion under this provision. It is not an appropriate use of s. 58(1)(a) to raise a new issue through this procedure." (Para 31.)
See Sentinel Hill Productions IV Corporation v. The Queen, (2013 TCC, Woods)