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This week at the SCC

March 27-31, 2017
|Written By Elizabeth Raymer

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear five appeals this week, the final week of the winter session. Four of the appeals are from Quebec, and two are employment-related.

March 27 – Quebec – Barreau du Québec v. Attorney General of Québec

Administrative law: Before the social affairs division of the Administrative Tribunal of Québec in proceedings between the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and individuals (the respondents) dealing with the granting of social assistance, the Minister filed motions for review with the ATQ that had been prepared, drawn up, signed and filed by an official of the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. The respondents concerned filed motions to dismiss those proceedings on the ground that they had not been drawn up by a member of the Barreau du Québec.

Read the Québec appellate court decision here.

Related legal briefs:

Le Barreau s’en va-t-en Cour suprême; Droit-Inc.

March 28  – British Columbia – British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk

Human rights, employment law: The applicant, Mohammadreza Sheikhzadeh Mashgoul, is a civil engineer who represented a consulting engineering firm on a road project and supervised work of a construction company where the respondent, Edward Schrenk, worked as foreman. Schrenk made derogatory statements about Mashgoul’s place of origin, religion and sexual orientation. Mashgoul filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal alleging discrimination with respect to employment; Schrenk and his employer argued that the complaint was not within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and did not constitute “discrimination in employment” within the meaning of s. 13(1) of the Human Rights Code because of the limited nexus between the conduct and employment.

Read the British Columbia appellate court decisions here.

Related news stories:

Employers told to pay attention as sexist, racist, discrimination cases increasing; The Province

Honour killings to voting rights: Hot-button issues coming up at Supreme Court; The Globe and Mail

March 29 – Quebec – Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance v. Émond and Foisy

Insurance law: In 2009 the applicant issued an accident insurance contract in the name of the late Sébastien Foisy, which provided, inter alia, for the payment of $56,000 if he died as a result of an accident. The succession of Foisy was the beneficiary of that payment. The day after the insurance contract was issued, Foisy was intercepted while riding his motorcycle at a high speed and died as a result of the ensuing police chase. The accident insurance contract stated there was no entitlement to payment under the contract “if the accident occurs while the insured is participating in any indictable offence or any act related thereto,” and the insurer refused to pay the indemnity to the succession of the deceased.

Read the Québec appellate court decision here.

March 30 – Quebec – Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail v. Caron

Employment law, Charter rights: The respondent, Alain Caron, developed a case of epicondylitis in the course of his work as an instructor, and was subsequently reduced to contract status which was terminated three years later. The CSST declared the respondent fit to return to his old job, but the employer successfully challenged that decision. Caron’s union argued that he was a person with a handicap within the meaning of section 10 of the Charter, but the CSST eventually concluded that the principle of reasonable accommodation could not be applied to disputes under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases because the provisions of that statute are accommodation measures specific to employment injuries. The Commission des lésions professionnelles confirmed the CSST’s decision and dismissed the respondent’s application to subject the employer to a duty of accommodation under the Charter.

Read the Québec appellate court decision here.

Related legal briefs:

An important decision of the Court of Appeal of Quebec changes the way the employer’s duty to accommodate applies to employment injuries; Lavery Lawyers

Supreme Court of Canada 2016 Year in Review; Supreme Advocacy LLP

March 31 – Quebec – Savard v. R.

Criminal law: Jean-Louis Savard was convicted of several counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency for acts committed against his nephews and his niece in the 1960s. He appealed the convictions, alleging that the trial judge had handed down an unreasonable verdict and made several other errors. The majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Chamberland J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial.

Read the Québec appellate court decision here.

Related news stories:

Jean-Louis Savard renter au pénitencier; Le Journal de Québec

Le prédateur sexuel Jean-Louis Savard remis en liberté; Le Quotidien


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