1068754 Alberta Ltd. as sole trustee of the DGGMC Bitton Trust v. Agence du revenu du Québec
(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)
Financial institutions - Banks, Taxation, Procedure, Search and seizure (s. 8) - Financial institutions - Banks - Taxation - Procedure - Search and seizure - Whether a provincial statute, in and of itself and without any cross-jurisdictional formality, may authorize the administrative seizure of information and documents from an account maintained at a bank branch located in a foreign jurisdiction - Under banking law: (a) the statutory framework that governs seizures on banks; (b) whether a bank branch is deemed an entity distinct from the bank itself for the purpose of all seizures - Tax Administration Act, CQLR, c. A 6.002, s. 39 - Bank Act, S.C. 1991, c. 46, s. 462.
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The Agence du revenu du Québec sought bank documents relating to DGGMC, a trust of which 1068754 Alberta Ltd. was the sole trustee. The documents in question were held by a branch of the National Bank of Canada located in Calgary. DGGMC was being audited under Quebec’s Taxation Act (CQLR, c. I-3) because the Agence suspected that it was required to pay taxes in Quebec. The Superior Court dismissed 1068754 Alberta Ltd.’s application to quash the demand for documents made by the Agence. It found that the demand was not a seizure. In its view, though the demand had to be communicated to the branch of the account under the Bank Act, it was the bank as a whole, not the branch as a separate legal entity, that was notified. The Court of Appeal dismissed 1068754 Alberta Ltd.’s appeal, holding that the demand for documents was a seizure but that it did not have extraterritorial effect under the applicable provision of the Bank Act. Moreover, the Agence had not exceeded its jurisdiction.
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