Fédération, (2012) 328 B.C.A.C. 295 (CA)

Judge:Newbury, Low and Groberman, JJ.A.
Court:Court of Appeal of British Columbia
Case Date:May 10, 2012
Jurisdiction:British Columbia
Citations:(2012), 328 B.C.A.C. 295 (CA);2012 BCCA 422
 
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Fédération des parents v. B.C. (2012), 328 B.C.A.C. 295 (CA);

    558 W.A.C. 295

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Temp. Cite: [2012] B.C.A.C. TBEd. OC.043

Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique (appellant/plaintiff) v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia and The Minister of Education of the Province of British Columbia (respondents/defendants)

Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Hélène Reid, Paul Rostagno, Annette Azar-Diehl, Pierre Massicotte, Line Beauchemin, Alain Milot, Mélanie Boucher, Valérie Walters, Caroline Bédard, Lise Buitendyk, Isabelle Chenail, Kim Gerry, Louise Baldo, Nicole Leblanc, Guy Bourbeau, Suzanne Martin, Lise Séguin, Kim Davis, Valérie Sicotte, Chantal Ricard, Nadie Savard, Marie-Christine Wilson, Stéphane Perron, Marie-Nicole Dubois, Bruno Calvignac, Carine Hutchinson, Jackie Pallard, Kathleen Bayzand, Guy Champoux, Rachel Chirico, Cate Korinth, Ann Quarterman, and Caroline Rousselle (plaintiffs)

(CA039395; 2012 BCCA 422)

Indexed As: Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Newbury, Low and Groberman, JJ.A.

October 26, 2012.

Summary:

The Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF), the Fédération des Parents Francophones de Colombie-Britannique (Fédération) and 33 individual parents brought an action against the Province of British Columbia and the Minister of Education (collectively, the Province) alleging violations of the Province's obligations under s. 23 of the Charter. The Province sought to have the CSF and the Fédération removed as plaintiffs because they lacked standing.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a decision reported [2011] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1219, held that the CSF was a proper party, but the Fédération should not be granted standing. The Fédération appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and set aside the order removing the Fédération as a plaintiff.

Civil Rights - Topic 8583

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Who may raise Charter issues (incl. standing) - [See Practice - Topic 266 ].

Practice - Topic 266

Persons who can sue and be sued - Legal personality - Unincorporated bodies or associations - Public interest standing (incl. requirements of) - The Conseil Scolaire Francophone (BC), the Fédération des Parents Francophones (BC) (Fédération) and 33 parents sued British Columbia, alleging violations of language rights (Charter, s. 23) - The Fédération was a not-for-profit organization of member associations representing the parents of children who were attending or would attend schools run by the Conseil - At issue was whether the Fédération had standing - The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the Fédération did not have direct interest in the matter and was, therefore, not entitled to private interest standing (i.e., the rights belonged to the individual parents, not the Fédération) - However, the Fédération was entitled to public interest standing on the basis of the more flexible test favoured by the Supreme Court of Canada in Downtown Eastside Sex Workers v. Canada (2012) - See paragraphs 1 to 38.

Cases Noticed:

Canada (Attorney General) et al. v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. et al., [1981] 6 W.W.R. 473; 30 B.C.L.R. 230; 127 D.L.R.(3d) 493 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 8].

Vo v. Gibson (1989), 39 B.C.L.R.(2d) 37; 36 C.P.C.(2d) 316 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 8].

McLeod Lake Indian Band v. British Columbia (1997), 46 B.C.L.R.(3d) 129 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 8].

Doucet-Boudreau et al. v. Nova Scotia (Minister of Education) et al., [2003] 3 S.C.R. 3; 218 N.S.R.(2d) 311; 687 A.P.R. 311; 2003 CarswellNS 375; 2003 SCC 62, refd to. [para. 10].

Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2012), 434 N.R. 257; 325 B.C.A.C. 1; 553 W.A.C. 1; 2012 SCC 45, refd to. [para. 17].

Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2008), 90 B.C.L.R.(4th) 177; 2008 BCSC 1726, refd to. [para. 21].

Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada et al., [1992] 1 S.C.R. 236; 132 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 25].

Counsel:

R.W. Grant, M.C. Power and L.J. Wihak, for the appellant;

V.L. Jackson, J.G. Penner and K.A. Wolfe, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 10, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia, before Newbury, Low and Groberman, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The following decision was delivered for the court by Groberman, J.A., on October 26, 2012.

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