Accounting Canada Quebec Quebec Superior Court

News roundup – Alcoa charged, accountant sues tax man, & slow justice

Following an investigation by Transport Canada, the world’s leading producer of aluminum has been charged with two counts of failing to ensure the health and safety of a man who died in an accident at the Alcoa smelter in Baie Comeau, Quebec, some 400 km northeast of Quebec City.

Dany Boulianne, 30, was killed after a one-tonne weight fell on him while he was helping load a ship at the company’s harbour facilities. A second worker, 57, suffered a heart attack at the same time while trying to help Boulianne, and died later in hospital. A third man was also injured during the incident. Transport Canada, Quebec’s workplace safety commision and provincial police have launched separate investigations into the deaths.

Besides being accused of failing to ensure the health and safety of Boulianne, Alcoa has been charged with neglecting to inform the employee of the risks he faced, according to a report by French-language news broadcaster Radio-Canada. The company, if found guilty, faces fines up to $100,000 for each count.

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A lawsuit was filed by an accountant against Canada Revenue Agency, accusing the tax department of wrongly and unfairly linking him and his spouse to illegal activities. In his lawsuit, the former agency accountant alleges he is being harassed, has been the subject of a tax audit for nearly two years, and might have been denied his Charter rights to defend himself appropriately. Madan Kehar, now a consultant, also alleges that his reputation is on the line.

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The federal government is defending itself against a lawsuit launched by seven Inuit taken from their homes in the 1950s and 1960s to live with foster families in the hope of assimilating them into Canadian culture by relying on the Limitations Act, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer. The suit, filed in 2008, seeks compensation from the federal government.  and hoping to reach an out-of-court settlement. “They aren’t prepared to allow the file to get before a judge,” Steven Cooper said. “They’ve indicated that they intend to rely on the Limitations Act and not allow us to get to court on its merits, and for that reason we haven’t been able to advance the case beyond the initial stages.”

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People from the Eastern Townships, a tourist region in south-eastern Quebec, seeking the prompt and efficient delivery of justice are having their patience tested ever since a Quebec Superior Court judge has begun working part-time. The fault lays with the federal minister of justice who has inexplicably failed to appoint a new judge, says the head of the Bedford law society, René Sévigny. Even the coordinating judge of the region is at a loss to explain what is going on. “The delays are inexplicable, unjustified, and indefensible,” Justice Martin Bureau.

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Pétrolia, an oil and gas exploration company, has launched a $350,000 defamation suit against Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil that appeared last December.

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