Godbout v. Longueuil (Ville), (1997) 219 N.R. 1 (SCC)

JudgeCory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 31, 1997
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1997), 219 N.R. 1 (SCC)

Godbout v. Longueuil (1997), 219 N.R. 1 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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Temp. Cite: [1997] N.R. TBEd. OC.021

Ville de Longueuil (appelante/intimée dans le pourvoi incident) v. Michèle Godbout (intimée/appelante dans le pourvoi incident) et Procureur général du Québec (mis en cause)

(24990)

Indexed As: Godbout v. Longueuil (Ville)

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier,

Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.

October 31, 1997.

Summary:

Godbout worked for the City of Longueuil as a radio operator for the city police force. As a condition of obtaining permanent em­ployment, she signed a declaration promis­ing that she would establish her principal residence in the city and that she would continue to live there as long as she remained in the city's employ. The decla­ration also provided that if she moved out of the city for any reason, she could be ter­minated without notice. Godbout moved to a neighbouring municipality. She was dis­missed. She sued for damages and reinstate­ment, questioning the legality and the con­stitutionality of the City's obligation of resi­dence.

The Quebec Superior Court, in a judgment reported [1989] R.J.Q. 1511; 48 M.P.L.R. 307; 12 C.H.R.R. D/141, dismissed the action. Godbout appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a judg­ment dated September 14, 1995 and reported [1995] R.J.Q. 2561; 31 M.P.L.R.(2d) 130, allowed the appeal. The court awarded $10,763.47 in damages for lost income between Godbout's dismissal and the trial. The court indicated in its reasons that it could not award damages for loss of income between the trial and the appeal because the amount had not been correctly established. The court's formal judgment, however, did not contain this conclusion. Godbout sought a rectification of the formal judgment and asked for a conclusion awarding her the "interim damages". On November 15, 1995, the court issued a rectification but confirmed its conclusion to decline an award for "interim damages". The City appealed. Godbout cross-appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal and the cross-appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 686

Liberty - Principles of fundamental justice - Deprivation of - What constitutes - [See Civil Rights - Topic 725 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 725

Liberty - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Liberty defined - Godbout worked for the City of Longueuil as a radio operator for the city police force - One of her employment conditions was that she es­tablish residence in the city and maintain it there for as long as she worked for the City - Godbout moved to a neighbouring municipality - She was dismissed - She sued for damages and reinstatement, al­leging that her right to choose her place of residence had been violated - The action was allowed on appeal - Damages were awarded - The Supreme Court of Canada, per La Forest, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., concurring), stated: (1) the right invoked by Godbout was comprised within the right to liberty under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; (2) the City's obligation of residence was a "deprivation" of Godbout's right to liberty, and (3) this "deprivation" contra­vened "the principles of fundamental jus­tice" - The other justices declined to decide the issue on the basis of s. 7 - See paragraphs 44 to 78, 99, 106.

Civil Rights - Topic 726

Liberty - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of liberty - What constitutes - [See Civil Rights - Topic 725 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 7125

Federal or provincial legislation - Particu­lar rights - Right to privacy - Godbout worked for the City of Longueuil as a radio operator for the city police force - One of her employment conditions was that she establish residence in the city and maintain it there for as long as she worked for the City - Godbout moved to a neigh­bouring municipality - She was dismissed - She sued for damages and reinstatement, alleging that her right to choose her place of residence had been violated - The action was allowed on appeal - Damages were awarded - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the City's obligation of residence violated the right to privacy guaranteed by s. 5 of Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and was not justified under s. 9.1 - See paragraphs 79 to 90, 98 to 103, 106 to 119.

Civil Rights - Topic 7168

Federal or provincial legislation - Appli­cation - Exceptions - Legislative limits to rights and freedoms - The City of Longueuil invoked s. 9.1 of Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the three following "public interest" objectives to justify its obligation of resi­dence for City employees (and thereby limit the right to privacy afforded by s. 5): (1) maintenance of a high standard of municipal services; (2) stimulation of local business and municipal taxation revenue; (3) physical proximity of workers - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the municipality's obligation of residence was not justified - La Forest, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., concurring), stated that the first two objectives were not so significant or pressing as to justify overriding the right to privacy afforded by s. 5 of the Charter - As for the third ob­jective, La Forest, J., was unable to con­clude that it was either rationally con­nected to the end sought to be achieved or proportional to it - Major, J. (Lamer, C.J.C., and Sopinka, J., concurring), dis­agreed with La Forest, J., with respect to the first two objectives and stated that there was no evidence in the present case to support the three objectives the munici­pality sought - See paragraphs 89, 90, 106 to 119.

Civil Rights - Topic 8301.3

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - General - Application - Municipalities - The Supreme Court of Canada, per La Forest, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., concurring), stated that the Charter applied to municipalities - Cory, J. (Gonthier and Iacobucci, JJ., con­curring), stated: "This court has recognized that the Charter can be applicable to mu­nicipal by-laws." - See paragraphs 29 to 43, 104.

Municipal Law - Topic 1125

Employees - Dismissal - Damages for wrongful dismissal - [See Civil Rights - Topic 7125 ].

Quebec Procedure - Topic 7992

Appeal - Evidence - Additional evidence - The Quebec Court of Appeal awarded a wrongfully dismissed employee damages for lost income between her dismissal and the trial - The court declined to award damages for loss of income between the trial and the appeal because the amount had not been correctly established - The plaintiff appealed - She argued that the court erred in refusing to allow her to introduce evidence at the appeal hearing in respect of the interim damages - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal, holding that the Quebec Court of Appeal's decision did not result from a procedural error - See paragraphs 91, 94 and 95.

Quebec Procedure - Topic 8085

Appeal - Powers of the Court of Appeal - Make any order necessary to safeguard the rights of the parties - The Quebec Court of Appeal awarded a wrongfully dismissed employee damages for lost income between her dismissal and the trial - The court declined to award damages for loss of income between the trial and the appeal because the amount had not been correctly established - The plaintiff appealed - She invoked art. 523 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Que.) and argued that the court erred: (a) in failing to request that the parties submit additional argument in respect of the interim damages claim, and (b) in failing to remand the matter to the Superior Court to be decided there - The Supreme Court of Canada declined to interfere - See paragraphs 91, 96.

Quebec Procedure - Topic 9216

Res judicata - Issues decided in prior proceedings - The Quebec Court of Appeal awarded a wrongfully dismissed employee damages for lost income between her dismissal and the trial - Also, in its reasons, the court declined to award damages for loss of income between the trial and the appeal because the amount had not been correctly established - The latter conclusion did not, however, appear in its formal judgment, hence rectification - The defendant argued that there was no need to issue a rectification - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the argument, holding that the rectification did not amount to "re-examining a matter that was already res judicata" - See paragraphs 91 and 92.

Cases Noticed:

McDermott v. Nackawic (Town) (1988), 89 N.B.R.(2d) 333; 226 A.P.R. 333; 53 D.L.R.(4th) 150 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

Villa v. Brasserie Labatt ltée, [1995] R.J.Q. 73; 67 Q.A.C. 22 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 19, 103].

McKinney v. University of Guelph et al., [1990] 3 S.C.R. 229; 118 N.R. 1; 45 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 30].

Harrison v. University of British Columbia; Connell v. University of British Columbia, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 451; 120 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 30].

Douglas/Kwantlen Faculty Association v. Douglas College, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 570; 118 N.R. 340, refd to. [para. 30].

Stoffman et al. v. Vancouver General Hospital et al., [1990] 3 S.C.R. 483; 118 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 30].

Dolphin Delivery Ltd. v. Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 580, Peterson and Alexander, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 573; 71 N.R. 83, refd to. [para. 30].

Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211; 126 N.R. 161; 48 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 32].

Klein and Dvorak v. Law Society of Upper Canada (1985), 8 O.A.C. 161; 50 O.R.(2d) 118 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 33].

Ramsden v. Peterborough (City), [1993] 2 S.C.R. 1084; 156 N.R. 2; 66 O.A.C. 10, refd to. [para. 36].

McCutcheon v. Toronto (City) (1983), 41 O.R.(2d) 652 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 38].

Arcade Amusements Inc. v. Montreal (City), [1985] 1 S.C.R. 368; 58 N.R. 339, refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Sharma (D.), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 650; 149 N.R. 161; 61 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Greenbaum (M.), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 674; 149 N.R. 114; 61 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 39].

Kruse v. Johnson, [1898] 2 Q.B. 91 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 39].

Halifax (City) v. Read, [1928] S.C.R. 605, refd to. [para. 39].

Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, consd. [para. 40].

Ector v. Torrance (City) (1973), 514 P.2d 423 (Cal. Sup. Ct.), consd. [para. 46].

Kennedy v. Newark (City) (1959), 148 A.2d 473 (N.J.), refd to. [para. 46].

McCarthy v. Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (1976), 424 U.S. 645 (U.S. Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 46].

Sheena B., Re, [1995] 1 S.C.R. 315; 176 N.R. 161; 78 O.A.C. 1, consd. [para. 49].

B.(R.) v. Children's Aid Society of Metro­politan Toronto - see Sheena B., Re.

R. v. Lyons, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309; 80 N.R. 161; 82 N.S.R.(2d) 271; 207 A.P.R. 271, refd to. [para. 49].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335, refd to. [para. 49].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, refd to. [para. 49].

R. v. Morgentaler, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1, consd. [para. 51].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; 88 N.R. 205; 71 Sask.R. 1, refd to. [para. 51].

Meyer v. Nebraska (1923), 262 U.S. 390, refd to. [para. 51].

Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), 268 U.S. 510, refd to. [para. 51].

Reference Re Compulsory Arbitration, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313; 74 N.R. 99; 78 A.R. 1, refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Mills, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 863; 67 N.R. 241; 16 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Rahey, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 588; 75 N.R. 81; 78 N.S.R.(2d) 183; 193 A.P.R. 183, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Richard (R.), [1996] 3 S.C.R. 525; 203 N.R. 8; 182 N.B.R.(2d) 161; 463 A.P.R. 161, refd to. [para. 57].

Reference Re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act (B.C.), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486; 63 N.R. 266, consd. [para. 60].

Pearlman v. Manitoba Law Society Ju­dicial Committee, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 869; 130 N.R. 121; 75 Man.R.(2d) 81; 6 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 61].

Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [1993] 3 S.C.R. 519; 158 N.R. 1; 34 B.C.A.C. 1; 56 W.A.C. 1, consd. [para. 63].

Thomson Newspapers Ltd. v. Director of Investigation and Research, Combines Investigation Act et al., [1990] 1 S.C.R. 425; 106 N.R. 161; 39 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 63].

R. v. Jones, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 284; 69 N.R. 241; 73 A.R. 133, refd to. [para. 63].

Chiarelli v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 711; 135 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 63].

Cunningham v. Canada, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 143; 151 N.R. 161; 62 O.A.C. 243, refd to. [para. 63].

Fraternal Order of Police, Youngstown Lodge No. 28 v. Hunter (1975), 360 N.E.2d 708 (Ohio Ct. App.), certiorari denied (1976), 424 U.S. 977, refd to. [para. 72].

Detroit Police Officers Ass'n v. Detroit (City) (1971), 190 N.W.2d 97 (Mich. Sup. Ct.), appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question (1972), 405 U.S. 950, refd to. [para. 72].

Hanson v. Unified School District No. 500, Wyandotte City, Kan. (1973), 364 F. Supp. 330 (D. Kan.), refd to. [para. 72].

Andre v. Board of Trustees of Maywood (Village) (1977), 561 F.2d 48 (7th Cir.), refd to. [para. 72].

Salem Blue Collar Workers Ass'n v. Salem (City) (1994), 33 F.3d 265 (3rd Cir.), refd to. [para. 72].

Donnelly v. Manchester (City) (1971), 274 A.2d 789 (N.H. Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 73].

Métropolitaine (La), compagnie d'as­surance-vie v. Frenette, Hôpital Jean-Talon et un autre, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 647; 134 N.R. 169; 46 Q.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 79].

Reid v. Belzile, [1980] C.S. 717 (Que.), refd to. [para. 83].

Centre local de services communautaires de l'Érable v. Lambert, [1981] C.S. 1077 (Que.), refd to. [para. 83].

Cohen v. Queenswear International Ltd., [1989] R.R.A. 570 (Que. S.C.), refd to. [para. 83].

Gazette (Division Southam Inc.) v. Valiquette, [1997] R.J.Q 30 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 83].

Chaussure Brown's Inc. et al. v. Québec (Procureur général), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 712; 90 N.R. 84; 19 Q.A.C. 69, refd to. [paras. 90, 108].

Ford v. Québec (Procureur général) - see Chaussure Brown's Inc. et al. v. Québec (Procureur général).

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239, refd to. [para. 90].

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

Construction Gilles Paquette ltée v. Entre­prises Végo ltée, [1997] 2 S.C.R. 299; 212 N.R. 212, refd to. [para. 96].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 7 [para. 44]; sect. 32(1) [para. 29].

Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, R.S.Q. 1977, c. C-12, sect. 1, sect. 3, sect. 5, sect. 6 [para. 8]; sect. 9.1 [para. 89].

Code of Civil Procedure (Que.), R.S.Q. 1977, c. C-25, art. 523 [para. 96].

International Covenant on Civil and Po­litical Rights, Can. T.S. 1976, No. 47, art. 12(1) [para. 55].

Longueuil, Act to Amend the Charter of the City of, S.Q. 1982, c. 81, sect. 3 [para. 7].

Longueuil, Charter of the City of, L.R.Q. 1977, c. C-19, sect. 52.2 [para. 7]; sect. 52.13 [para. 26].

Longueuil (Ville), Resolutions, resolutions CE-84-1491, CM-84-1286 [para. 2].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Chevrette, F., La disposition limitative de la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne: le dit et le non-dit, in De la Charte québécoise des droits et libertés: origine, nature et défis, 1989, p. 71 [para. 89].

Hampton, T.A., An Intermediate Standard for Equal Protection Review of Munici­pal Residence Requirements (1982), 43 Ohio St. L.J. 195, p. 211 [para. 58].

Lefebvre, B., Quelques considérations sur la notion d'ordre public à la lumière du Code civil du Québec, in Développe­ments récents en droit civil, 1994, pp. 149 to 160 [para. 27].

Molinari, P.A., and Trudel, P., Le droit au respect de l'honneur, de la réputation et de la vie privée: aspects généraux et applications, in Formation permanente du Barreau du Québec, Application des Chartes des droits et libertés en matière civile, 1988, p. 197 [para. 83].

Myers, R.S., The Constitutionality of Continuing Residency Requirements for Local Government Employees: A Sec­ond Look (1986), 23 Cal. W.L. Rev. 24, generally [para. 72].

Myers, R.S., Municipal Employee Resi­dency Requirements and Equal Protec­tion (1974-1975), 84 Yale L.J. 1684, Note, generally [para. 72].

Singleton, T.J., The Principles of Funda­mental Justice, Societal Interests and Section 1 of the Charter (1995), 74 Can. Bar Rev. 446, generally [para. 63].

Counsel:

Jean-Jacques Rainville and Réjean Rioux, for the appellant/respondent on cross-appeal;

France Saint-Laurent and Richard Bertrand, for the respondent/appellant on cross-appeal;

Isabelle Harnois, for the mis en cause.

Solicitors of Record:

Dunton Rainville, Montreal, Quebec, for the appellant/respondent on cross-appeal;

Trudel Nadeau Lesage Larivière & As­sociés, Montreal, Quebec, for the re­spondent/appellant;

Department of Justice, Sainte-Foy, Que­bec, for the mis en cause.

This appeal was heard on May 28, 1997, by Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered in both official languages on Oc­tober 31, 1997 and the following opinions were filed:

La Forest, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 97;

Cory, J. (Gonthier and Iacobucci, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 98 to 105;

Major, J. (Lamer, C.J.C., and Sopinka, J., concurring) - see paragraphs 106 to 119.

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