Browsing Category

Quebec

Barreau du Quebec In the know Quebec

More than half of Quebec Bar members are women

The number of lawyers in Quebec has grown by 17 per cent over the past decade, with women leading the charge and now representing more than half of the Quebec Bar, according to a survey by the Quebec legal society.

There are 26,512 lawyers enrolled in the Quebec Bar, as of March 31, 2017, compared to 22,575 in 2008, according to a French-language report entitled “Sous la loupe de la diversité 2017” that was published by the Barreau du Québec.

It’s no wonder why young Quebec lawyers face bleak prospects. Even the new president of the Quebec Bar, Paul-Matthieu Grondin, remarked recently that it boiled down to a matter of supply and demand. A troubling report by the Young Bar of Montreal revealed last year that Quebec law students are having a harder time finding articling positions, getting paid less for them, and receiving fewer job offers after articling, and it urges the provincial law society to establish “reasonable” and variable quotas to curb the “uncontrolled” rising number of lawyers in the province.…

Continue Reading

Class actions Quebec Spotlight

Bell Canada facing yet another class action

Barely a week after Bell Canada’s wireless provider was compelled to pay $1.6 million to some 76,000 clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear its appeal, the telecommunication giant now faces another potentially costly legal battle after Quebec Superior Court authorized a class action over fee increases on internet, mobile, telephone, television services.

Joseph Frainetti, the class action’s representative plaintiff, alleges that Bell made unilateral changes to contracts without providing clear notifications beginning in April 2012. Frainetti maintains Bell infringed article 11.2 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act by unilaterally increasing service charges and advising him of the changes in his monthly bill while his contract was in effect. Frainetti argues that under article 11.2 written notification of all fee increases during a contract must be provided at least 30 days before the changes go into effect.…

Continue Reading

Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Telecom giants must pay millions following SCC’s refusal to hear appeals

Telecommunication giants Bell Mobility and Rogers Communications must pay millions of dollars to clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear their appeals.

More than 166,000 Rogers’ clients who were charged early cancellation fees between 2007 and 2010 stand to share $26.7 million while 76,000 Bell Mobility clients are expected to divvy up $1.6 million – minus legal fees.

In a case dealing with contract for services, early cancellation fee clauses, abusive clauses and the right of unilateral resiliation under the Quebec Civil Code, the Quebec Court of Appeal held in two separate decisions that the two telecom companies overcharged clients who were billed early cancellation fees.…

Continue Reading

Criminal justice Quebec

Delays in criminal trials cut by nearly half in Quebec

A 20-year old man from Western Quebec who was accused of assault causing bodily harm while he was a teenager is the latest to have benefitted from a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delays.

More recently still, a week after Khalid Gakmakge was refused a stay for a 2011 murder he is accused of committing, a Sri Lankan man charged with killing his wife in Quebec five years ago has been deported after the charge against him was stayed because his constitutional right to a timely trial was delayed.

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark R. v. Jordan decision a year ago, approximately 1,766 motions to stay because of unreasonable delays have been filed across the country, with 204 having been granted and 333 dismissed, according to figures obtained by Canadian Press. The remainder are either before the courts, forsaken by defence, or resolved on other grounds.

While the figures may appear to be disturbing, a Dalhousie University law professor who conducted a review of stay applications in the six months following the Jordan, found that there has only been a slight increase in the number of applications filed, most of whom have taken place in Ontario.…

Continue Reading

Canada Quebec Supreme Court of Canada

Bars lobbying prime minister over appointment of next chief justice

The tussle over the appointment of the new Chief Justice of the nation’s highest court has begun, with both the Bar of Montreal and the Canadian Bar Association penning letters in a bid to sway Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Not surprisingly the new head of the Montreal Bar is calling on Trudeau to respect “tradition” and appoint a Supreme Court judge from Quebec as the top court’s next chief justice.

In a brief letter sent to Trudeau, the president of the Bar of Montreal, Brian Mitchell, underscored the importance of rotating the appointment of chief justice between judges trained in common law and those from Quebec with a background in civil law. Mitchell also said that it is important to alternate between a French-speaking and English-speaking chief justice.…

Continue Reading

Aboriginal law Quebec

Appeal court postpones ruling that would have suspended Indian status registrations

The Quebec Court of Appeal granted a safeguard order today that temporarily postpones a court ruling that would have suspended new Indian status registrations as of July 4th.

Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Nicholas Kasirer granted the Attorney General of Canada leave to appeal from a June 27th decision that refused to extend for a second time the suspension of its August 3, 2015 judgment that found that the principal registration provisions of the Indian Act were invalid because it breached s.15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.…

Continue Reading

Aboriginal law Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

New Indian status registrations in jeopardy

A suspension on new Indian status registrations could begin new week unless the Quebec Court of Appeal issues a safeguard order that would temporarily suspend a ruling that ordered the federal government to correct discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act that infringe the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Masse dismissed a motion earlier this week to extend Parliament’s deadline for eliminating sex discrimination from the registration provisions in the Indian Act. Ottawa had already received a couple of extensions.…

Continue Reading

Court of Quebec Quebec Quebec Superior Court

Number of photo radar tickets issued in Quebec has dramatically plunged

The number of photo radar tickets that have been issued has dramatically plunged over the past couple of months following two decisions that called into question the rules around the province’s use of the automated speed and red-light enforcement technology.

According to figures compiled by the Quebec transport ministry that the French-language tabloid Le Journal de Québec obtained through access-to-information requests, only 309 photo radar tickets were issued in May 2017 compared to 41,721 in November 2016. Government coffers have borne the brunt: In November 2016 the provincial government was able to recoup $5.4 million compared to a meagre $95,000 in May 2017.

“It’s been quite a while since we have received requests to challenge photo radar tickets,” told me a Montreal lawyer working for a law firm that specializes in challenging tickets.…

Continue Reading

On the move Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Quebec Superior Court

Federal government announced two new appointments as well as a reshuffle in the Quebec courts

Barely a week after Quebec Minister of Justice Stephanie Vallée called on the federal government yet again to quickly appoint 10 new Superior Court justices in the province, the federal government announced two new appointments as well as a shake-up in the Quebec courts.

The latest appointments still falls short of what the Quebec government has been demanding. The president of the Quebec Bar, Paul-Matthieu Grondin, said in a tweet published shortly after the nominations that "the federal government MUST appoint judges to the Quebec Superior Court. Yesterday's appointments are far from enough."

Still, the new appointments and the reshuffle is nevertheless widely expected to make a dent in the backlog of cases that have plagued the Quebec criminal justice system, particularly since the landmark Jordan decision by the Supreme Court of Canada issued last summer.…

Continue Reading