Accounting, Canadian Charter, Court of Quebec, Quebec, Quebec Court of Appeal, Quebec Superior Court, White-collar crimes
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News roundup – Impaired driving, tax evasion & co-founder suing law firm

About 2,500 Quebecers are challenging impaired driving charges, a situation that is becoming “less and less manageable,” according to the Quebec Attorney General.

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Last fall, Court of Quebec Justice Pierre Lortie ruled that the new amendments dealing with impaired driving offences introduced by Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act, were unconstitutional as it infringed the presumption of innocence as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter). Judge Lortie also concluded that the provisions did not constitute reasonable limits as per s.1 of the Charter, and declared s. 258 c, d.01 and d.1 of the Criminal Code null and void.

All of which has thrown into doubt the fate of changes introduced two years ago by the federal government that strengthened drug-impaired driving rules.

The Quebec government has lodged a leave to appeal before the nation’s highest court. “There exists legal uncertainty over this issue,” said the attorney general.


A Montreal businessman linked to an ongoing tax evasion case involving Quebec’s construction industry has agreed to pay more than $1.2 million in fines, after pleading guilty to eight counts of tax evasion before Quebec Court Judge Salvatore Mascia in Montreal.

Francesco Bruno, owner of B.T. Ceramiques, admitted he used a numbered company to supply fake invoices between 2004 and 2008 to a pair of companies, Simard-Beaudry and Construction Louisbourg,  that were run by Montreal construction magnate Tony Accurso. The fake invoices, totalling approximately $2 million, allowed both companies to reduce revenues and lower federal taxes by at least $442,000.

In a separate case heard in court last December, Simard-Beaudry and Construction Louisbourg pleaded guilty to evading taxes, and were fined $4.1 million for tax fraud.

The case has led several investigations, including probes into construction magnate Tony Accurso and several Canada Revenue Agency employees.


When retirement is not handled well, things can go awry. A case in point is the case pitting André Joli-Cœur, co-founder of Joli-Cœur Lacasse, and the law firm itself.

In a rather unfortunate turn of events the case reached all the way to the Quebec Court of Appeal who ruled that the co-founder should have all the benefits accrued to existing partners.

This story I wrote provides a glimpse of what’s at stake when lawyers retire or are forced to retire.


Sometimes authorities just don’t know when to raise the white flag. A woman who won her case before Quebec Superior Court now faces new legal proceedings against her because the City of Sherbrooke refuses to admit defeat.

On May 2009, Marie-Pierre Gougne was fined $50 for having a kennel, a fine she successfully contested before municipal court. The city then filed an appeal before Superior Court, and lost again. The city is ostenibly threatening new legal action.

Gougne says she bought the property, located in a farming area, two years ago after obtaining assurances from the city that she could operate a kennel.

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