MONTRÉAL, Sept. 20, 2023 /CNW/ - The Town of Hampstead and the Town of Mount Royal filed a lawsuit this morning in the Superior Court of Québec, in the District of Montréal, challenging provisions of Law 96, stating that the Government of Québec has ignored the rule of law and committed an egregious violation of the principal tenet of democracy, something to give considerable pause and concern to Quebecers of every stripe and of all linguistic backgrounds.
Lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Me Frédéric Bérard, Doctor at law, partner at the law firm of Gattuso Bouchard Mazzone S.E.N.C.R.L. and Director of the National Observatory on Language Rights at Université de Montréal, believes that the Government of Québec is in violation of key constitutional protections: "Democracy has always rested on the foundation of the rule of law, and disrespect for the latter usually leads to injustice and the institutionalized violation of fundamental rights. It's time to devote our efforts and energies to reversing this alarming trend" states Me Bérard.
Today's lawsuit is fundamentally different in scope and breadth from the lawsuit filed by twenty-three (23) other municipalities in the Province of Québec. The lawsuit, filed under Court file number 500-17-126959-231, is comprised of two (2) core arguments: "The purpose of this proceeding is to have the Superior Court clarify certain provisions of Law 96, and to declare invalid and inoperative the amending formula invoked by the Québec National Assembly to unilaterally amend the Constitution", says Me Bérard.
Me Bérard goes on to state that "(t)he importance of respecting the rule of law transcends questions of language, culture and religion. All Québec citizens have everything to gain from governmental power being exercised in accordance with established and applicable core principles".
Mayor Jeremy Levi, Mayor of the Town of Hampstead and a co-plaintiff to the lawsuit states: "I am very proud to stand as a Quebecer calling on our provincial Government to respect the Constitution, to respect the rule of law and to ensure that our fundamental rights and freedoms are not eroded by the whim of any legislature".
Mayor Peter Malouf, Mayor of the Town of Mount Royal and himself a co-plaintiff, believes that there is much at stake in this legal battle: "If we, as Quebecers, allow any Government to disregard the bedrock law of our Province, of our country, on any given issue, we slowly but surely give way to rulers ruling by decree".
Town of Hampstead: Founded in 1914, and with a population of just over 7,000 residents, it is an on-island suburb of Montréal, Québec, Canada and independent municipality bordering the municipality of Côte Saint-Luc and the Côte-des-Neiges?Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough of Montréal. On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002?2006 municipal reorganization of Montréal, it was merged with Côte-Saint-Luc and Montréal West and became the Côte-Saint-Luc?Hampstead?Montréal-West borough of the City of Montréal. However, after a change of provincial government and a 2004 referendum, all three were re-constituted as independent cities on January 1, 2006. According to the Office québécois de la langue française, Hampstead has been officially recognized as a bilingual municipality. Its current Mayor, Jeremy Levi, was elected to Town Council in 2021 (www.hampstead.qc.ca).
Town of Mount Royal: Founded in 1912, and with a population of close to 21,000 residents, it is an on-island suburban town located on the northwest side of the eponymous Mount Royal, northwest of downtown Montréal, on the Island of Montréal in southwestern Québec, Canada. It is completely surrounded by the city of Montréal. On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002?2006 municipal reorganization of Montréal, it was merged into Montréal and became a borough. However, after a change of provincial government and a 2004 referendum, it was re-constituted as an independent town on January 1, 2006. According to the Office québécois de la langue française, Mount Royal has been officially recognized as a bilingual municipality. Its current Mayor, Peter Malouf, was elected to Town Council in 2021 (www.ville.mont-royal.qc.ca).
Gattuso Bouchard Mazzone S.E.N.C.R.L.: Founded in 1991, GBM is a downtown corporate/ commercial law firm in Montréal, Québec specializing in business law. The firm has developed a solid reputation for both its transactional work and its litigation acumen. Over the last several years, the firm has grown its constitutional and administrative law practice, most recently and currently before the Québec Court of Appeal in its representation of the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (a union representing more than 60,000 teachers working in the education sector in Québec) in the latter's lawsuit against the Government of Québec, challenging the constitutionality of Law 21 (Act respecting the laicity of the State). (www.gattusogbm.com).
SOURCE Gattuso Bouchard Mazzone