Compensation claims against provincial and federal governments are largely a product of the second half of the 20th century. The initial surge of cases after the enactment of the federal Crown Liability Act in 1953--mirrored also in developments at the provincial level-- were typically "private" tort claims. Indeed a significant percentage of claims against the federal government continue to be nothing more than automobile accident, occupier liability claims and lawsuits arising out of similar relatively minor bureaucratic error. Recently, however, as a result of both the imagination of litigators and the growth of the regulatory state, claims against governments have extended to claims for recovery of economic losses related to the negligent enforcement of building regulation, the negligent failure to resolve labour disputes in the federal civil service, the negligent regulation of financial institutions, and the failure to enact regulations establishing oil and gas royalties payable to Indian bands.
David Cohen, Government Liability for Economic Losses: The Case of Regulatory Failure, 20 Can. Bus. L.J. 215 (1992), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/444/.