Recent Court of Appeal Case: “Information cannot be unlearned and documents cannot be unread”

By Ashley KandestinDe Grandpré Chait In its first decision to be published in 2016, Uber Canada inc. c. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2016 QCCA 1, the Court of Appeal granted Uber’s requête en entiercement, ordering that seized documents be impounded pending the outcome of a hearing on the validity of the warrants which allowed for the document’s seizure. In May 2015, Revenue Quebec obtained warrants under the Tax Administration Act to seize computers, cellphones, tablets and documents (the “Seized Property”) from the Montreal offices of Uber, based on a sworn statement presented to the Court of Quebec alleging that information contained in the Seized Property would prove that Uber violated fiscal laws. Following the execution of those warrants, Uber brought a certiorari application before the Superior Court seeking to quash the warrants, based on provisions of the Code of Penal Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure as well as… Lire la suite

Discriminatory Provisions of the Federal Indian Act Declared Unconstitutional for a Third Time

By Ashley Kandestin In a recent Superior Court ruling, Justice Chantale Masse declared unconstitutional sections 6(1)a), c) and f) as well as 6(2) of the Indian Act. These sections, she found, violated section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Descheneaux c. Canada (Procureur general), 2015 QCCS 3555 is an historic decision, one that will likely, after two previous legislative amendments to the above-mentioned provisions, abolish the vestiges of gender inequality in the registration of status Indian. In her concluding statements, Justice Masse cautions the legislator to adopt a liberal reading of her decision when it once again amends the newly unconstitutional sections of the Indian Act. At the very least, Justice Masse calls for a reading more liberal than the one taken by the legislature following McIvor v. Canada (Registrar of Indian Affairs), 2009 BCCA 153, a 2010 decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (the… Lire la suite

Revisiting the Basic Principles of Contract Formation

By Ashley KandestinMitchell Gattuso In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada emphasized that the “meeting of the minds” principle underpins article 1385 C.c.Q as the basic rule for the formation of contracts in Quebec civil law (Québec (Agence du Revenu) c. Services Environnementaux AES inc., 2013 SCC 65). The Court distinguished between the negotium – the agreement into which the parties to a contract intended to enter – and the instrumentum  –  the oral or written declaration of the intended agreement.  This distinction is important given the commercial realities surrounding contractual negotiations, which are often protracted over long periods of time. Sometimes, what a party believed it was agreeing to is not actually reflected in the final draft of the written document eventually signed by the parties. The Court of Appeal re-examined these basic principles, as argued by the parties in the recent case of Canada (Attorney General) c. Groupe… Lire la suite

Acting as “Prête-Nom” for a Debtor Does Not Automatically Render You Co-Debtor of a Loan

By Ashley Kandestin Mitchell Gattuso In Sarai c. Kaur, 2015 QCCS 1148, Mr. Sarai (the“Plaintiff”) lent $140,000 to Mr. Singh for an alleged five-year term withoutinterest. Given that his bank had a 21-day freeze policy on deposits, Mr. Singhhad the loaned money transferred to his mother’s bank account, Mrs. Kaur, in orderto have quicker access to the money. Some 6 years later, the Plaintiff sued Mr.Singh and Mrs. Kaur, alleging that they should be held jointly and severally liablefor the repayment of the $140,000 five-year term loan. Granting Mrs. Kaur’s motion under 165 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure, the Courtdismissed the Plaintiff’s action against her, despite the finding thatshe may have acted as the “prête-nom” for her son. The Court noted that nolegal relationship existed between Mrs. Kaur and the Plaintiff given the lackof evidence to the effect that Mrs. Kaur ever agreed to become a co-debtor withher… Lire la suite

« Trucs et astuces de la magistrature » : entrevue avec l’honorable Martine L. Tremblay

Par Ashley KandestinMitchell GattusoAdmise au Barreau en 1983, l’honorable Martine L. Tremblay s’est spécialisée en litige, œuvrant principalement dans les domaines de disputes commerciales, droit bancaire, responsabilité civile et assurances, jusqu’à sa nomination à la Cour du Québec en 2012. En tant qu’avocate, l’honorable Tremblay s’est démarquée par son implication au sein du Barreau du Québec et du Barreau de Montréal ainsi que sur le plan social et communautaire. Elle partage maintenant quelques trucs et astuces acquis dans les salles d’audience. Quels sont les traits essentiels d’un bon acte de procédure?Un bon acte de procédure est bien structuré et concis. Pour qu’il soit bien structuré, il faut avoir pris le temps d’élaborer une théorie de la cause. Si la théorie de la cause est bien cernée, la concision s’ensuit. Je prends aussi l’opportunité de donner un avis aux jeunes plaideurs : Il ne faut pas avoir peur de l’oralité. L’oralité… Lire la suite

Passing the “Article 29 and 511 Test”

By Ashley Kandestin Mitchell Gattuso In Compagnie Minière IOC inc. (Iron Ore Company of Canada) c. Uashaunnuat (Innus de Uashat et de Mani-Utenam), 2015 QCCA 2, a recent judgment rendered on a motion for leave to appeal of an interlocutory judgment, the Honourable Geneviève Marcotte reviews the limited instances enabling the Court of Appeal’s ability to grant such motions. The case itself deals with a claim by First Nations bands against the defendant companies for damages of $900 000 000. The basis of the plaintiffs’ claim is that their aboriginal title and ancestral and treaty rights – which have yet to be established – have been violated by the defendants. An application for a declaratory judgment recognizing their rights and an injunction also form part of the plaintiffs’ suit.  The defendant companies presented a motion to dismiss the suit based on articles 165(4), 4.1 and 4.2 CCP. Among other reasons,… Lire la suite