Federal government overstepped its authority, says Quebec Court of Appeal

In a ruling hailed as a victory for federalism, the Quebec Court of Appeal struck down dozens of provisions of the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act it deemed to be unconstitutional because it encroached on provincial jurisdictions.

“If we want to demonstrate that federalism is capable of working, then it must be capable of respecting the jurisdiction of provinces – this was a wise ruling,” remarked Jocelyne Provost, the Quebec Crown prosecutor who successfully argued the case before the appellate court.

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High court refuses to hear Moroccan immigration case

The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the case of two Moroccans who accused the Quebec government of discrimination in its handling of immigration applications from the North African country. As is usually the case, the high court did not give reasons for its decision.

Khadija Goumbarak and Mohamed Tayouri filed applications for a Québec selection certificate in the class subject to the list of occupations in demand.  Between the time they filed their applications and the time those applications were considered, the list was amended, and the occupations for which they were allegedly qualified were withdrawn from the list.  Their applications were rejected because they also could not meet the requirements in the “employability and occupational mobility” class.  Goumbarak and Tayouri filed a motion for declaratory judgment to quash the decision of the Quebec Minister of Relations with Citizens and Immigration on the grounds that they had, inter alia, acquired rights at the time they filed their applications and were the victims of discrimination on the basis of their Moroccan citizenship.  The Superior Court dismissed the motion.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

I’ve written about the Quebec court of appeal ruling, and you can read it here.

Quebec Court of Appeal shuns strict approach towards sex offender registration

Trial judges considering a Crown’s request to apply an order that requires an offender to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (“SOIRA”) should consider on a case-by-case basis the impact registration would have on the offender while weighing public interest to determine gross disproportionality, the Quebec Court of Appeal found in a ruling that steers away from a more rigid interpretation of reporting obligations.

In a 32-page ruling, dealing with four concurrent cases that challenged the constitutionality of s.490 of the Criminal Code, the court held that a stiff interpretation of what constitutes public interest would be unfair as it would be almost impossible for a convicted sex offender to establish that, if the order were made, the impact on them (including their privacy or liberty) would be grossly disproportionate to the public interest in protecting society.

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Cuckold loses bid to strike his name off child’s birth certificate

A man who discovered that he was not the biological father of a child lost his bid before the Quebec Court of Appeal to strike his name off the child’s certificate and invalidate his bond of filation with the child.

The Rimouski businessman, who had a seven-year common-law relationship that lasted between December 1998 and June 2005, discovered from acquaintances, shortly after being separated, that it was unlikely he was the father of the child born in 2002. On January 2007, a DNA test concluded that, with a probability greater than 99.99 per cent, that he was not the biological father of the child.

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Insurers risk hefty bill if they (erroneously) conclude they have no duty to defend

Insurance companies who conclude that they have no duty to defend an insurer facing an action, and by extension no obligation to indemnify, risk being surprised with a hefty bill, following a ruling by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In a ruling that repeatedly hammers the distinction between a liability insurer’s duty to defend with its obligation to indemnify, the appeal court warns insurance companies that it cannot come to the hasty conclusion that it has no duty to indemnify simply because it has no duty to defend.

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Quebec Appeal Court overturns ruling dealing with Mulroney-Schreiber affair

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that temporarily suspended a civil suit launched by German-Canadian lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber against former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney until the so-called Oliphant inquiry delivered its final report.

Schreiber filed a suit based on a verbal contract he alleges he reached with Mulroney in Hull, a town located across from the nation’s capital. But the 74-year old deal maker sought to suspend the suit, arguing that his examination before a public inquiry could cause him harm as Mulroney could use information obtained in the course of examination against him. Continue reading “Quebec Appeal Court overturns ruling dealing with Mulroney-Schreiber affair”

Quebec minister has wide powers over immigration rules appeal court

The Quebec government has wide discretionary powers to issue selection certificates to foreign nationals seeking to settle permanently in the province, according to two rulings issued concurrently in related matters by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Indeed, the Court points out that under the Act respecting immigration to Québec (the Act), the Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities can issue selection certificates to applicants who do not satisfy conditions and selection of criteria established by government policy, or refuse applicants who meet the conditions. Continue reading “Quebec minister has wide powers over immigration rules appeal court”