In Uniprix v. Gestion Gosselin et Bérubé Inc., 2015 QCCA 1427, the Quebec Court of Appeal addressed the previously unanswered question of whether the non-renewal clause in a fixed term contract may be stipulated to be for the benefit only of one of the contracting parties, such that in the eyes of the other contracting party the contract may in effect become perpetual.… Continue Reading
Today we comment on a recent judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal adding to the infinite quest for a fair balance between freedom of speech and protection of reputation. This case reiterates the fine line between a reasonably fair and a defamatory comment. Clients questioning the appropriateness of comments they are about to make in the public sphere are welcome to seek our opinion. As one of the parties in this case submitted a leave application to the Supreme Court of Canada, this case is being closely monitored.… Continue Reading
Anyone involved or interested in commercial real estate should be aware of the relatively recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Société en commandite Place Mullins v Services immobiliers Diane Bisson inc, mentioned briefly in two prior blog posts, here and here. Although the Supreme Court reviewed a decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal involving a standard brokerage agreement in Quebec, the decision may arguably have wider application, including in Alberta.
In a unanimous decision authored by Wagner J. the Court explains well what constitutes an “agreement to sell” in the context of a … Continue Reading
I can’t predict the future and I don’t have respect for people who try to.
-Jackie Mason (1931-)
As part of the Appeals Monitor’s annual attempt to give lawyers something to talk about over the holidays other than the two traditional Canadian touchstones (weather and hockey), we are proud to once again this year present our top ten anticipated appeals for the new year. Of course, we can’t control what the judges will actually do with these cases, but we think these are the ones worth watching.
The forum in which to litigate is a difficult decision in any case that crosses provincial or national borders. It is even more complicated in claims against the federal government. The Federal Court has exclusive jurisdiction in some cases; in others, the Federal Court and the provincial Superior Court in which the claim “arises” have concurrent jurisdiction. Where the jurisdiction is concurrent and the plaintiff elects to sue in Superior rather than Federal Court, the question becomes: in which province does the claim “arise”?
The question is further complicated where there are multiple causes of action asserted. One claim may … Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of Canada recently released an important decision regarding the preliminary dismissal of cases, this time through the doctrine of stare decisis, which dictates that a precedent case rendered by a higher court binds a lower court’s decision. In Attorney General of Canada v. Confédération des syndicats nationaux, 2014 SCC 49 (“CSN 2014”), Justices Lebel and Wagner, writing for a unanimous Court, confirmed that the action of the plaintiffs unions had no reasonable chance of success and should be dismissed based on stare decisis. The Court’s decision, in a case originating from Quebec, … Continue Reading
On February 11, 2014, the Quebec Court of Appeal rendered its judgment in Succession Huppé c. Valeurs mobilières Banque Laurentienne, 2014 QCCA 294 confirming a judgment of the Superior Court which had rejected an investor’s claim against his investment advisor and the latter’s brokerage firm because the investor had waited too long before denouncing the renegade.
Mr. Huppé was a Hydro-Québec retiree. At the beginning of December 1999, he entrusted a portfolio worth some $319,222 to one Mr. Duplessis of Valeurs Mobilières Banque Laurentienne (VMBL), whom he authorized to effect securities transactions in his name with the account which Mr. … Continue Reading
On February 20, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal from the first decision from the Québec Court of Appeal on the statutory secondary market liability regime adopted in 2007, pursuant to a reform of the Quebec Securities Act, R.S.Q. c. V-1.1 (“QSA”).
Under the QSA, Theratechnologies inc. (“Thera”) is a reporting issuer which must comply with continuous disclosure obligations. In 2009, Thera filed an application to the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to commercialize a major drug called Tesamoreline. In the course of the approval process, on May 25, 2010, the FDA … Continue Reading
In order to help lawyers argue about cases at holiday parties, the Appeals Monitor is happy to once again present our countdown of the most significant civil appeals of 2013 that are sure to impact Canadian businesses. Watch out soon for a review of the upcoming appeal decisions that are likely to be big stories in 2014
Sable Offshore Energy: Is a settlement with one defendant really without prejudice?
Sable Offshore Energy Inc. v. Ameron International Corp., previously reported on here, is a significant development in the law of settlement privilege and will affect legal strategy … Continue Reading
It is now easier for Parliament to enact legislation to override judicial decisions that it does not like. The Supreme Court has held that declaratory legislation –i.e. legislation that “clarifies” already existing legislation– can apply retroactively and can circumvent the binding directives of an appellate court. In Régie des rentes du Québec v. Canada Bread Company Ltd., 2013 SCC 46, the majority of the Supreme Court has begun to water down the principles of res judicata.
The appellant, Régies des rentes du Québec (“Régie”), is a government agency responsible for applying Quebec’s Supplemental Pension … Continue Reading
Last week, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal from an important Quebec Court of Appeal decision on labour standards, which may bring significant changes in the interpretation of the law on notices of termination (or délai-congé) for employment contracts.
In the facts of the case, Mr. Guay (hereinafter “the employee”) worked for Asphalte Desjardins Inc. (hereinafter “the employer”) from 1994 to 2008, moving up through the company ranks and ending up as a project manager. In February 2008, when the employee presented his employer with a resignation letter intending to leave on March 7, 2008, the employer unsuccessfully tried… Continue Reading
On July 17, 2013, the Quebec Court of Appeal rendered its first decision on the statutory secondary market liability regime adopted in 2007 pursuant to a reform of the Quebec Securities Act (“QSA”). Although the QSA regime facilitates a plaintiff’s burden, it also imposes an authorization process under which a claimant must establish that its action is brought in good faith and has a reasonable possibility of success. In Theratechnologies inc. v. 121851 Canada inc., 2013 QCCA 1256 (“Theratechnologies”), the Court of Appeal upheld the Superior Court’s decision to authorize a claim pursuant to… Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments this week in four interrelated cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions, and reserved judgment in each.
The four copyright cases, which canvas a variety of issues under the Copyright Act, arise from the decision of the Québec Court of Appeal in France Animation v. Robinson, 2011 QCCA 1361. Robinson alleged that Cinar’s cartoon Robinson Sucroë was a copy of his own work Robinson Curiosité. The trial judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal upheld the Superior Court’s finding that an original work existed and was infringed … Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments this week in two cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions, and reserved judgment in each.
The first is an appeal from Guay Inc. c. Payette, 2011 QCCA 2282, in which the Quebec Court of Appeal held that restrictive covenants which precluded the appellant from competing with or soliciting customers of the respondent for five years after termination of his employment were valid, notwithstanding the trial judge’s findings below that the appellant had been wrongfully dismissed by the respondent and that the covenants were too broad to be enforced.… Continue Reading
The Supreme Court of Canada (Deschamps, Abella, Cromwell JJ.) has granted leave in a pension litigation case, in which the Court could potentially revisit the principles underlying democratic dialogue. This case may offer the Supreme Court the opportunity to provide an updated statement on the doctrines of retroactivity and res judicata, particularly on the differences between the authority of final judgments and the “cogency” of final judgments. It may also explain the impact of an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the status of a case. This appeal may also deal with… Continue Reading
In the context of an arrangement plan pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, a financial institution was granted a superpriority on all moveable and immoveable debtors’ assets following an additional $2,150,000 loan to the debtor, in order to allow it to complete some construction projects it had already started and for which it already owed $720,000 to construction subcontractors and providers.
The same financial institution was already a creditor for more than $4,000,000 guaranteed by hypothecs on various immoveable properties belonging to the debtor.… Continue Reading
When do parties qualify as federal transportation undertakings for purpose of s. 92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867? The Supreme Court of Canada will answer this question in the Tessier case, for which it recently granted leave to appeal.
The appeal comes before the Supreme Court from the ruling of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Tessier ltée c. Québec (Commission des lésions professionnelles). The applicant carried on the business of renting cranes for various purposes within Quebec, including the loading and unloading of ships, along with road transportation and maintaining and repairing equipment. A small
The decision in Automobile Cordiale Ltée v. DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc., J.E. 2010-164 raises the question of the implicit obligation of good faith and loyalty in an exclusive dealership contract.
Automobile Cordiale Ltée (the Franchisee) and DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. (the Franchisor) entered into an agreement in 1994 whereby the Franchisee was granted exclusive right to sell and lease Jeep and Eagle vehicles in the city of St-Jérôme. Between 1996 and 2003, three dealerships located near St-Jérôme sold and leased Jeep vehicles although they had no rights with respect to the Jeep banner. The Franchisee advised the Franchisor of such behaviour … Continue Reading
On January 29, 2010, the Appeal division of the Court of Quebec determined that Credit Ford Canada Ltd. did not have to include the $1,170,000,000 worth of retractable shares issued in its paid-up capital (and thus be taxed on it) and could, instead, consider it as a long-term debt. This decision alone made a $2,416,767 difference in the tax payable by Credit Ford Canada Ltd. to the Quebec government for the 2001 year only (other contestations had been filed for the 2002 and 2003 years as well).
The appeal was mainly decided on the fact that the Quebec Taxation