The court can 'certify' a proceeding as a class proceeding even though
- the relief claimed includes a claim for damages that would require individual assessment;
- the relief claimed relates to separate contracts involving different class members;
- different remedies are sought for different class members;
- the number or identify of each class member is not ascertained and may not be ascertainable; or
- the class includes a subclass whose members have claimed not shared by all class members.
Now one person can take the case forward on behalf of the others with the result that not only is it brought to the court's attention that this isn't just an isolated 'one-off' occurence or problem [and never underestimate the importance of that little tidbit], but also, if successful, the judgement and order against the defendant should benefit all members of the class, be it a declaration of rights or a montetary judgment.
Prior to this, Nova Scotians in such a situation could only proceed by way of a representative action, a much more cumbersome and less satisfactory route. One point to note, however, is that even though the Class Proceedings Act has been passed, to the best of my knowledge, it has not yet been proclaimed. That must still await the government's pleasure ... in other words, they will do it when they get around to it.