Pierre-Michel Lajeunesse, et al. v.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Canadian charter (Non-criminal) - Freedom of association (s. 2(d)), Civil procedure, Judgments and orders.


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Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Freedom of association - Right to strike - Civil procedure - Application for adjournment - Judgments and orders - Whether appellants may appeal from interlocutory decision of Court of Appeal judge under section 40(1) of Supreme Court Act - Whether interlocutory decision denying application for adjournment was made judicially and whether it was ill-founded in law, in particular in that it impaired right to strike of appellants guaranteed by section 2(d) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This case relates to the strike of Les avocats et notaires de l’État québécois (“LANEQ”), which began on October 24, 2016. On October 23, 2016, the day before the strike began, the Administrative Labour Tribunal (Essential Services Division) (“ALT”) issued a decision determining which essential services LANEQ’s members must maintain during the strike. The services determined by the ALT to be essential included applications for postponement, in respect of which the following appears in an appendix to the decision: [TRANSLATION] “A lawyer who is responsible for a case scheduled for a strike day must apply for a postponement and must conduct the hearing should the court dismiss the application for postponement”. LANEQ then filed an application for judicial review of the ALT’s decision on the ground, among others, that the ALT had [TRANSLATION] “failed to analyze the requested essential services in relation to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada [in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4, [2015] 1 S.C.R. 245]”.

The appellant lawyers, Pierre-Michel Lajeunesse and Annick Marcoux, who are members of LANEQ, are counsel for the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (now the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (“CNESST”)) in a case concerning the CNESST’s financing system. In that case, the Quebec Superior Court dismissed an application for judicial review of a decision of the Commission des lésions professionnelles. The case was appealed to the Quebec Court of Appeal, and the hearing of the appeal was scheduled for December 6, 2016. On November 8, 2016, the appellant lawyers applied to Justice Julie Dutil, who chaired the panel of the Court of Appeal that was responsible for the case, to postpone the December 6, 2016 hearing in light of their right to strike.