Dismissed (3)

Class Actions in Québec: Consumer Protection 

Leon’s Furniture Limited v. Option Consommateurs2020 QCCA 44 (39132)
Leon’s Furniture Limited is a retailer of furniture, home electronics and household appliances. In 2001, Leon’s concluded an agreement with CitiFinancière Canada inc., now the Respondent Fairstone Financial Inc., by which Fairstone would become its financing company across the country. Although the agreement between the companies was silent on the possibility of Fairstone charging fees to Leon’s customers, the financing contract signed by customers provides for such a possibility. At the end of 2008, Fairstone announced to Leon’s it had decided to charge customers an annual fee of $21. In the Spring of 2009, Fairstone informed clients of the annual fee but offered them the possibility to fully reimburse the balance of their account to avoid paying the fee. Leon’s received a copy of the notice sent by Fairstone to clients as well as related copies of documents intended to inform customers and sellers of the change that occurred in the terms and conditions of credit. In May 2009, fees were charged to new clients as well as actual clients with a balance of $450 or more in their account. In November 2009, Leon’s ceased its business relationship with Fairstone. In November 2009, Option consommateurs and Mrs. Noël de Tilly, as the representative plaintiff, filed an application for authorization to institute a class action against Leon’s seeking the reimbursement of the fee charged by Fairstone as well as damages based on the alleged non-compliance of Leon’s advertisement with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and related regulations. On June 21, 2012, the trial judge authorized the class action and dismissed the application to dismiss in part based on res judicata. In November 2012, Option consommateurs and Mrs. Noël de Tilly filed their originating application and Leon’s filed an originating application for recourse in warranty against Fairstone. The Superior Court granted the class action and the recourse in warranty. The Qué. C.A. granted in part the appeal files by Leon’s and Fairstone and dismissed the cross appeal filed by Option consommateurs. Leon’s and Option consommateurs filed separate applications for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada naming each other as Respondents as well as Fairstone. Mrs. Noël de Tilly is also a Respondent in the application filed by Leon’s. “The motion for leave to intervene filed by Groupe BMTC inc. is dismissed. The motion for leave to intervene filed by Brick Warehouse LP is dismissed. The application for leave to appeal, filed by Leon’s Furniture Limited…is dismissed with costs to Option Consommateurs and Chantal Noël de Tilly. The application for leave to appeal, filed by Option Consommateurs…is dismissed with costs in favour of Leon’s Furniture Limited and Fairstone Financial Inc.”

Criminal Law: Fraud 

Tran v. R., 2019 ONCA 919 (39219)
The Applicant Ms. Tran was indicted on a number of insurance fraud and other counts connected to services she performed while holding herself out to be a qualified health care provider. After a trial of more than 70 days, Ms. Tran was convicted of two counts of fraud over $5K; two counts of fraud under $5K (s. 380(1) (b)); one count of attempting to obstruct justice (s. 139(2) ); one count of forgery (s. 366(1) (a)); and one count of causing someone to use a forged document (s. 368(1) (b)). She was sentenced to 14 months in jail. Ms. Tran appealed her convictions and her sentence. She argued (1) the trial judge erred in refusing to grant her request for an adjournment of the trial after she discharged her counsel; (2) the trial judge erred in ordering her detention to ensure attendance at trial; (3) a number of the counts of the indictment were “void for vagueness” and her convictions on these counts were accordingly unreasonable and not supported by the evidence; and (4) the trial judge reversed the burden of proof. The C.A. dismissed all four grounds of appeal. “The motion for an extension of time to serve and file the application for leave to appeal is granted.  The motion to file a lengthy memorandum of argument is granted. The motion for an appointment of an amicus curiae is dismissed. The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed.”

Municipal Law in Québec: Zoning 

Municipalité de Saint-Roch-de-Richelieu v. Champag Inc., 2020 QCCA 613 (39236)
The Respondent was a company that cultivated mushrooms. It applied to the Applicant municipality for permits to build agricultural buildings that were to be used to produce a substrate for growing mushrooms. These permits were denied by the municipality’s building and environment inspector on the basis the activity proposed by the Respondent constituted an industrial use and did not meet the criteria established in the municipality’s zoning by‑law. The Qué. Superior Court dismissed the Respondent’s application for judicial review, concluding the Respondent’s proposed activity for the site could not be considered agricultural. The Qué. C.A. allowed the Respondent’s appeal and ordered the municipality to issue the permit, concluding the application judge had erred in taking neither the nature nor the purpose of the proposed activity into account. “The application for leave to appeal…is dismissed with costs.”