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3.7 Weight or Probative Value
3.7.3 Probative Value of Presumptions
18.104.22.168 Factual Presumptions
A presumption is an inference established by a court or tribunal from a known fact to an unknown fact.562 Citation A juridical act cannot be established by factual presumption. For example, a loan (which is a juridical act) cannot be inferred from the fact that an employee obtained a sum of money after he or she was dismissed. Physical facts from which another fact is inferred must be established by testimonial evidence.
A court shall only take serious, precise and concordant presumptions into consideration. Such presumptions cannot be based on pure hypothesis or speculation, vague suspicions or mere conjecture. The known indices need only make probable the existence of an unknown fact; they need not rule out any other possibility.
The Quebec Court of Appeal has articulated the hallmarks of factual presumptions that could apply in all provinces:
[Translation] Presumptions are serious when the links between the known fact and unknown fact are such that the existence of the former establishes the existence of the latter by powerful induction. They are precise when that which is induced from the known fact tends directly and especially to establish the disputed unknown fact...Finally, they are concordant when, as a whole, and by virtue of their agreement, they tend to establish the fact in issue, whether they stem from a common origin or from different origins.563 Citation