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 - 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.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

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.

Lower Court Rulings

March 24, 2015
Superior Court of Quebec

2015 QCCS 1135, 500-17-080929-147
Application by 1068754 Alberta Ltd. contesting formal demand for documents made by Agence du revenu du Québec to bank branch outside Quebec dismissed
January 8, 2018
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2018 QCCA 8, 500-09-025203-159
Appeal dismissed