We have in-depth knowledge of legal environmental issues. Here is a sample of our publications and presentations.

Class Actions

Despite certain Quebec Court of Appeal decisions attempting to restrict the authorisation of class actions, the Quebec Superior Court maintains a liberal interpretation of the authorisation criteria in finding identical, similar or related questions of law or fact and in determining the appropriateness of the class representative.

« Commentaire sur la décision Jacques c. Petro-Canada – Interprétation libérale de l’intérêt pour agir et de l’identification des dommages en matière de recours collectifs », October 2010.

Environmental Liability - Civil Law

Statutes and regulations are not the only sources of environmental liability. Civil law rules provide for environmental obligations such as the preservation of water quality and quantity, property restoration, the warranty of quality of things sold and neighbourhood annoyances. In certain circumstances, the corporate veil may be pierced to impose a company's civil liability upon its shareholders, its directors, its officers.

« Le nouveau Code civil du Québec et l’environnement », November 1994.

Carbon Regulation

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions can be documented by the person generating them and may be validated and verified by experts. Offsets equivalent to such reductions are sold and purchased on regulated and voluntary markets. The issue of ownership rights over the reductions and offsets is central to any transaction and could be affected by future carbon regulation.

« Les réductions d’émissions de gaz à effet de serre : des biens ou du vent? », November 2002.

Environmental Liability – Lenders

Security interests granted on real property can be affected by environmental liabilities. The lender who sends a prior notice of the exercise of hypothecary rights and who calls for the surrender of the secured property exposes itself to such liability. The degree of exposure varies according to the type of hypothecary recourse exercised.

« Les créanciers garantis au Québec : pas de sauf-conduit environnemental », April 2005.

Environmental Disclosure

The expectations and behaviour of the reasonable investor are evolving. The decision to purchase, sell or hold securities issued by public companies is increasingly influenced by environmental information. The securities regulators have expressed their expectations as to the content of material environmental disclosure by public companies.

« Environmental Disclosure by Public Companies », December 2010.

Employment law

The Superior Court concludes that the remittance of a letter of resignation by the President and Chief of Exploitation of a major company of financial services was voluntary. The president had not been constructively dismissed despite disagreements on incentive compensation which led him to resign. In any event, the numerous failures regarding regulatory compliance for which the company was held liable under the direction of the President and the absence of implementation of sufficient corrective measures constitute a serious reason for dismissal.

« Commentaire sur la décision De Montigny c. Valeurs mobilières Desjardins – Danger accru pour le cadre supérieur d'être congédié pour un motif sérieux lorsque l'employeur sent que lien de confiance est rompu », January 2012.

The Superior Court reflects on proper compensation by way of notice when there is employment termination without serious reason. Important amounts are awarded to compensate the loss of discretionary bonuses which were paid after the termination of applicants.

« Commentaire sur la décision Gilman c. Fieldturf Tarkett Inc. – La Cour supérieure ordonne le paiement de bonis substantiels à titre d'indemnisation pour absence de préavis », October 2012.

Wastewater Treatment Systems

The Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) were adopted on June 28, 2012 by the Federal government by virtue of the Fisheries Act. The regulations apply to wastewater system depositing a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit or discharge of the eleterious substance may enter any such water.

« Nouveau modus operandi en matière de protection de l’environnement? », May 2013.

Mining Act

On December 5, 2013, Bill n° 70 was presented to the National Assembly, following several unsuccessful attempts at modernizing the Mining Act. (QLR c M-13.1) ("the Act"). The Act to amend the Mining Act (2013, chapter 32) (hereinafter "Bill n° 70") was assented to and came into force, with certain exceptions, on December 10, 2013.

« La Loi modifiant la Loi sur les mines », March 2014.