Supreme Court of Canada visits Quebec City to hear two cases

Canada's highest court sits outside of Ottawa for the second time in its history

Supreme Court of Canada visits Quebec City to hear two cases

In this week’s court roundup, Quebec City welcomed the Supreme Court of Canada as it visited the city to hear two cases that originated from the Quebec Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, an international trade case was brought to the Federal Court of Appeal, and a breach of contract by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority was heard in the Federal Court.

Supreme Court of Canada

The case of His Majesty the King v. Pascal Breault was brought to the SCC to determine whether police must have an approved testing device with them when they order someone to provide a breath sample. The case stemmed from Pascal Breault’s refusal to provide a breath sample to a peace officer who demanded that he do so, even though an approved screening device was not in the officer’s possession then. The municipal court found Breault guilty of failing to comply with the officer’s demand. The appeal court reversed the ruling, saying that the officer’s demand was invalid, and consequently, Breault’s refusal to follow did not constitute a criminal offence. Labrecque Doyon Avocats represented Pascal Breault.

In Janick Murray-Hall v. Attorney General of Quebec, Janick Murray-Hall challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions in the Cannabis Regulation Act, which completely prohibited the possession of cannabis plants and the cultivation of cannabis for personal purposes in Quebec. The constitutionality of the law was upheld in the Quebec Court of Appeal. Murray-Hall elevated the matter to the SCC. Saraïlis Avocats was in court as the legal counsel of Janick Murray-Hall.

Federal Court of Appeal

Pharmaceutical companies, Janssen and Apotex, were involved in a patent case before the federal court of appeal. Belmore Neidrauer LLP acted on behalf of Janssen, while Goodmans LLP represented Apotex. Also involved in the suit were Pharmascience, represented by Fineberg Ramamoorthy LLP, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, represented by Aitken Klee LLP.

Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melancon LLP represented B. Erickson Manufacturing in its appeal of a tariff classification decision of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. In the Federal Court of Appeal, Erickson sought to set aside the Tribunal’s decision and, if necessary, refer the matter back for a new determination.  

Federal Court

Sutts Strosberg LLP, Falconer Charney LLP, Branch MacMaster LLP, and Bob Buckingham Law represented the plaintiffs in a proposed class action against the Crown and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. In 2012, a USB key device containing confidential personal information of approximately 5,000 Canadians who applied for pensions, disability benefits, old age security benefits, employment insurance or childcare tax credits was lost. The plaintiffs brought an action for breach of contract and warranty on behalf of all persons whose personal information was stored in the lost USB key. They claimed that due to the loss, they had suffered damages, including costs incurred in preventing identity theft and increased risk of future identity theft.

Gautam Associates acted for Surrey-based trucking company TSD Holding Inc. in an action for breach of contract against the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. TSD claimed that it purchased 25 trucks for $450,000 and five trailers for the price of $150,000, believing the assurance made by the Port that it would issue licenses to TSD’s trucks and trailers so that it may ship and receive cargo to and from the port. However, the Port later informed TSD that it would not be issuing any new licenses to it for any of their newly acquired trucks or trailers. Consequently, TSD filed a suit in the federal court against the Port, alleging that it has suffered and continues to suffer loss, damage, and expense as a result of the negligent misrepresentation of the Port.

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP represented Responsible Plastic Use Coalition, Dow Chemical Canada ULC, Imperial Oil, and Nova Chemicals Corporation in a suit against the federal government, challenging the joint decision issued by the Ministers of the Environment and Climate Change, and of Health to add “plastic manufactured items” in the list of toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The companies claimed, among others, that the “plastic manufactured items” do not fall within the definition of “substance” under the law. They questioned the constitutionality of the decisions and the jurisdiction over waste management. 

In intellectual property, RE/MAX LLC filed a suit for trademark infringement against Save Max Real Estate Inc. Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, and Goodmans LLP acted for the parties. Seylynn (North Shore) Development also sued for trademark infringement against Denna Homes Group. Seastone IP LLP and Wittman Robertson LLP acted as the parties’ legal counsel.

Under patent infringement actions, some of the notable law firms in court this week include Smart & Biggar for Unilin Beheer, Miller Thomson LLP for Floors@Work Inc., McCarthy Tetrault LLP for Farmers Edge Inc., and Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP for Farmobile.

Gowling also appeared for Millenium Funding Inc. in a copyright infringement suit against Bell Canada, represented by Sprigings Intellectual Property Law.

Finally, in immigration and refugee law, the firms present in court include Citylaw Group, Crossley Law, Korman and Korman LLP, Mithoowani Waldman Immigration, and Grice and Associates.

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