Dupond v. City of Montreal, (1978) 19 N.R. 478 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 19, 1978
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1978), 19 N.R. 478 (SCC);1 ACWS 210;5 MPLR 4;[1978] SCJ No 33 (QL);1978 CanLII 201 (SCC);19 NR 478;84 DLR (3d) 420;[1978] 2 SCR 770

Dupond v. Montreal (1978), 19 N.R. 478 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Dupond v. City of Montreal

Indexed As: Dupond v. City of Montreal

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

January 19, 1978.

Summary:

This case arose out of a claim by a resident of the City of Montreal that a Montreal by-law was invalid. The by-law granted the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal authority to prohibit the holding of assemblies, parades and gatherings if the Executive Committee had reason to believe that the public peace or safety was endangered. The trial court declared that the by-law was unconstitutional. The City of Montreal and the Attorney General for Quebec appealed to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The Quebec Court of Appeal set aside the judgment of the trial court and declared that the by-law was valid. The petitioner and the Attorney General of Canada appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the by-law was valid as a police regulation of a merely local character. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the by-law was a matter of a merely local nature within the meaning of s. 92(16) of the British North America Act. The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the suppression of conditions likely to favour the commission of crimes was a matter within provincial competence - see paragraphs 8 to 25.

Laskin, C.J.C., Spence and Dickson, JJ., dissenting, in the Supreme Court of Canada, would have allowed the appeal and would have restored the judgment of the trial court. Laskin, C.J.C., Spence and Dickson, JJ. agreed with the trial judge that the by-law was unconstitutional as being a matter in relation to criminal law, a federal power - see paragraphs 75 to 91.

Constitutional Law - Topic 7516

Enumeration in s. 92 of the British North America Act - Matters of a local or private nature, s. 92(16) - The City of Montreal enacted a by-law which granted the Executive Committee authority to prohibit the holding of assemblies, parades and gatherings if the Executive Committee had reason to believe that the public peace or safety was endangered - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the by-law was valid as a police regulation of a merely local character - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the by-law was a matter of a merely local nature within the meaning of s. 92(16) of the British North America Act - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the suppression of conditions likely to favour the commission of crimes was a matter falling within provincial competence - See paragraphs 8 to 25.

Constitutional Law - Topic 6453

Enumeration in s. 91 of the British North America Act - Criminal law - Elements of a criminal law - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a provincial enactment does not become a matter of criminal law merely because it consists of a prohibition and makes it an offence for failure to observe the prohibition - See paragraph 18.

Constitutional Law - Topic 2566

Determination of validity of statutes - Evidence and proof - Burden of proof - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that where an enactment is prima facie validly enacted, the onus of invalidity rests upon the party asserting the invalidity - See paragraph 21.

Constitutional Law - Topic 7806

Fundamental freedoms - General principles - Power to abridge fundamental freedoms - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that none of the fundamental freedoms are beyond the reach of competent legislation - See paragraph 34.

Constitutional Law - Topic 7844

Fundamental freedoms - Freedom of speech - What constitutes speech - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a demonstration was not a form of speech - See paragraph 34.

Constitutional Law - Topic 7966

Fundamental freedoms - Freedom of assembly and association - Public meetings - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the right to hold public meetings in a public place is unknown to English law and, accordingly, such a right did not become a part of the Canadian Constitution under the preamble of the British North America Act - See paragraph 34.

Cases Noticed:

Ville de Montreal v. X, [1970] R.L. 276, refd to. [paras. 8, 45].

Hodge v. The Queen (1883-84), 9 A.C. 117, folld. [paras. 15, 52]; dist. [paras. 78, 95].

Adoption Act, In re, [1938] S.C.R. 398, folld. [paras. 16, 53].

Bédard v. Dawson, [1923] S.C.R. 681, folld. [paras. 16, 53]; dist. [paras. 89, 106].

Di Iorio v. Warden, Jail of Montreal and Brunet (1977), 8 N.R. 361; 73 D.L.R.(3d) 491, folld. [paras. 16, 53].

R. v. Campbell, [1962] O.R. 1134, folld. [paras. 17, 54].

Race Track and Betting, Re (1921), 61 D.L.R. 504, dist. [paras. 20, 57].

District of Kent v. Storgoff (1963), 38 D.L.R.(2d) 362, dist. [paras. 20, 57].

Johnson v. Attorney General of Alberta, [1954] S.C.R. 127, dist. [paras. 20, 57]; folld. [paras. 81, 98].

Union St-Jacques de Montréal v. Bélisle (1874-75), 6 A.C. 31, folld. [paras. 21, 58].

Provincial Secretary of Prince Edward Island v. Egan, [1941] S.C.R. 396, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Validity of Section 92(4) of the Vehicles Act, 1957 (Sask.); [1958] S.C.R. 608, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Smith v. The Queen, [1960] S.C.R. 776, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Stephens v. The Queen, [1960] S.C.R. 823, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Lieberman v. Regina, [1963] S.C.R. 643, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Fawcett v. Attorney General of Ontario, [1964] S.C.R. 625, folld. [paras. 24, 61].

Mann v. The Queen, [1966] S.C.R. 238, folld. [paras. 24, 61]; refd to. [paras. 80, 97].

Saumur v. City of Quebec, [1953] 2 S.C.R. 299, refd to. [paras. 26, 63]; folld. [paras. 86, 103].

Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. v. City of Montreal, [1955] S.C.R. 799, refd to. [paras. 26, 63]; dist. [paras. 88, 105].

Switzman v. Elbling, [1957] S.C.R. 285, refd to. [paras. 26, 63]; dist. [paras. 88, 105].

Alberta Press Act Case, [1938] S.C.R. 100, refd to. [paras. 32, 69].

Lewis, ex parte (1888), 21 Q.B.D. 191, refd to. [paras. 34, 71].

Attorney General of Manitoba v. Manitoba Licence Holders' Association, [1902] A.C. 73, folld. [paras. 78, 95].

City of Toronto v. Virgo, [1896] A.C. 348, refd to. [paras. 79, 96].

Union Colliery Co. v. Bryden, [1899] A.C. 580, folld. [paras. 80, 97].

O'Grady v. Sparling, [1960] S.C.R. 804, refd to. [paras. 80, 97].

Attorney General of Ontario v. Koynok, [1941] 1 D.L.R. 548, folld. [paras. 81, 98].

District of Kent v. Storgoff (1963), 38 D.L.R.(2d) 362, folld. [paras. 82, 99].

Statutes Noticed:

British North America Act 1867, sect. 91(27), sect. 92(16).

Authors and Works Noticed:

Jennings, W. Ivor, The Right of Assembly in England, (1931-32), 9 New York University Law Quarterly Review, page 217 [paras. 33, 70].

Goodhart, A.L., Public Meetings and Processions, (1937), 6 Cambridge Law Journal, page 175 [paras. 34, 71].

Jodouin, André, La liberté de manifester, (1970), vol. 1, Revue Générale de Droit, Uni. of Ottawa, page 9 [paras. 37, 71].

Counsel:

Paul Ollivier, Q.C., for the Attorney General for Canada;

Pierre Langevin, for Claire Dupond;

Michel Cote, Q.C., Andre Tremblay and N. Lacroix, for the City of Montreal;

Louis Payette, for the Attorney General for Quebec;

William Henkel, Q.C., for the intervenant Attorney General for Alberta.

This appeal was heard by LASKIN, C.J.C., MARTLAND, JUDSON, RITCHIE, SPENCE, PIGEON, DICKSON, BEETZ and de GRANDPRE, JJ., at Ottawa, Ontario on April 27 and 28, 1977.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered on January 19, 1978 and the following opinions were filed:

BEETZ, J. - see paragraphs 1 to 37 (English language judgment) and paragraphs 38 to 74 (French language judgment).

LASKIN, C.J.C., dissenting - see paragraphs 75 to 91 (English language judgment) and paragraphs 92 to 108 (French language judgment).

MARTLAND, JUDSON, RITCHIE, PIGEON and de GRANDPRE, JJ. concurred with BEETZ, J.

SPENCE and DICKSON, JJ. concurred with LASKIN, C.J.C.

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