Action des Nouvelles Conjointes du Québec v. Canada, 2004 FC 797

JudgeBlais, J.
CourtFederal Court (Canada)
Case DateApril 27, 2004
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations2004 FC 797;(2004), 253 F.T.R. 258 (FC)

Action des Nouvelles Conjointes v. Can. (2004), 253 F.T.R. 258 (FC)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2004] F.T.R. TBEd. JN.027

l'Action des Nouvelles Conjointes du Québec (plaintiff) v. Her Majesty the Queen (defendant)

(T-1473-03)

l'Après-Rupture, Fathers Are Capable Too: Parenting Association, Legal Kids (plaintiffs) v. Her Majesty the Queen (defendant)

(T-1474-03; 2004 FC 797)

Indexed As: Action des Nouvelles Conjointes du Québec v. Canada

Federal Court

Blais, J.

June 1, 2004.

Summary:

The plaintiff organizations were registered companies with objectives related to family law matters. The plaintiffs brought actions against Canada that alleged that ss. 16 and 26.1 of the Divorce Act and the Guidelines adopted under the latter section, violated, inter alia, the Charter. Canada sought to strike out the statement of claim on the basis that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

A Prothonotary of the Federal Court, in a decision reported at 242 F.T.R. 284, allowed the motion. The plaintiffs appealed.

The Federal Court dismissed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 8583

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Who may raise Charter issues (incl. standing) - The plaintiff organizations were registered companies with objectives related to family law matters - The plaintiffs brought actions against Canada that alleged that ss. 16 and 26.1 of the Divorce Act and the Guidelines adopted under the latter section, violated, inter alia, the Charter - Canada sought to strike out the statement of claim on the basis that the plaintiffs lacked standing - A Prothonotary allowed the application - There was at least one other reasonable and effective way of submitting the plaintiff's argument, namely in a divorce action between individual litigants in the Superior Court - The plaintiffs appealed - The Federal Court dismissed the appeal, holding, inter alia, that the plaintiffs lacked standing and the Federal Court, although having a narrow jurisdiction in divorce matters, was not the appropriate forum to adjudicate the matter - See paragraphs 24 to 48.

Courts - Topic 4206

Federal Court of Canada - Jurisdiction - Particular matters - Divorce (incl. custody) - [See Civil Rights - Topic 8583 ].

Practice - Topic 219

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals and corporations - Status or standing - Validity or interpretation of legislation - [See Civil Rights - Topic 8583 ].

Practice - Topic 2201

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Jurisdiction - The Federal Court held that Federal Court Rule 221 provided a basis in law for striking out a statement of claim where the plaintiffs lacked standing - See paragraph 23.

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Failure to disclose a cause of action or defence - The plaintiff organizations were registered companies with objectives related to family law matters - The plaintiffs brought actions against Canada that alleged that ss. 16 and 26.1 of the Divorce Act and the Guidelines adopted under the latter section, violated, inter alia, the Charter - Canada sought to strike out the statement of claim on the basis that the plaintiffs lacked standing - A Prothonotary allowed the application - The Federal Court dismissed the plaintiffs' appeal - The court held, inter alia, that the plaintiffs did not have a reasonable cause of action where they lacked standing; some of the issues had already been settled in law; the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of specific fact situations, both in Charter challenges and divorce proceedings; the facts presented by the plaintiffs were of a general nature and gave a partial view of reality; and their reasoning ran counter to the development of family law both through legislation and case law - See paragraphs 49 to 60.

Cases Noticed:

Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada et al., [1992] 1 S.C.R. 236; 132 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 15].

Canada v. Aqua-Gem Investments Ltd., [1993] 2 F.C. 425; 149 N.R. 273 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Munzel v. Canada (1998), 153 F.T.R. 249 (T.D. Protho.), refd to. [para. 23].

Thorson v. Canada (Attorney General), [1975] 1 S.C.R. 138; 1 N.R. 225, refd to. [para. 24].

McNeil v. Board of Censors (N.S.), [1976] 2 S.C.R. 265; 5 N.R. 43; 12 N.S.R.(2d) 85; 6 A.P.R. 85, refd to. [para. 24].

Borowski v. Canada (Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance), [1981] 2 S.C.R. 575; 39 N.R. 331; 12 Sask.R. 420, refd to. [para. 24].

Daniels et al. v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development), [2002] 4 F.C. 550; 220 F.T.R. 41 (T.D. Protho.), refd to. [para. 25].

Friends of the Island Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works) et al. (1993), 61 F.T.R. 4 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 30].

Finlay v. Canada, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 607; 71 N.R. 338, refd to. [para. 33].

Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada (Attorney General) (2004), 315 N.R. 201; 183 O.A.C. 1; 2004 SCC 4, refd to. [para. 34].

EGALE Canada Inc. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (2003), 182 B.C.A.C. 35; 300 W.A.C. 35 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 35].

Environmental Resource Centre et al. v. Canada (Minister of the Environment) et al. (2001), 214 F.T.R. 94 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 37].

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (2001), 199 F.T.R. 274 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 38].

Human Rights Institute of Canada et al. v. Canada (Minister of Public Works and Government Services) et al., [2001] F.T.R. Uned. 131; 1 F.C. 475 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 38].

Harris v. Minister of National Revenue, [2000] 4 F.C. 37; 256 N.R. 221 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 39].

Whalley v. Barsalou (1990), 114 N.B.R.(2d) 384; 289 A.P.R. 384 (Q.B. Fam. Div.), refd to. [para. 42].

Koch v. Koch (1985), 43 Sask.R. 230 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 42].

Thurber v. Thurber (2002), 322 A.R. 242 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 42].

G.B. v. M.B.; Droit de la famille - 955 (SOQUIJ), [1991] Q.A. No. 202 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 42].

Qually v. Qually (1987), 61 Sask.R. 188 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 42].

Kelman v. Stibor, [1998] O.J. No. 2999 (C.J.), refd to. [para. 42].

Michie v. Michie (1997), 162 Sask.R. 1 (Q.B. Fam. Div.), refd to. [para. 42].

Souliere v. Leclair (1998), 59 O.T.C. 293 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 42].

Massingham-Pearce v. Konkolus (1995), 170 A.R. 10 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 42].

Dirk v. Dirk, [2002] Sask.R. Uned. 124 (Q.B. Fam. Div.), refd to. [para. 42].

Keyes v. Keyes (1995), 107 Man.R.(2d) 88; 109 W.A.C. 88 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 42].

Hockey v. Hockey (1989), 35 O.A.C. 257 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 42].

Reza v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 394; 167 N.R. 282; 72 O.A.C. 348, refd to. [para. 46].

Williamson v. Williamson, [1977] 1 F.C. 38 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 47].

Zacks v. Zacks, [1973] S.C.R. 891, refd to. [para. 53].

Young v. Young et al., [1993] 4 S.C.R. 3; 160 N.R. 1; 34 B.C.A.C. 161; 56 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 54].

MacKay et al. v. Manitoba, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 357; 99 N.R. 116; 61 Man.R.(2d) 270, refd to. [para. 55].

Talsky v. Talsky, [1976] 2 S.C.R. 292; 7 N.R. 246, refd to. [para. 56].

Moge v. Moge, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 813; 145 N.R. 1; 81 Man.R.(2d) 161; 30 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 60].

Statutes Noticed:

Federal Court Rules, 1998, rule 221 [para. 23].

Counsel:

Gerald D. Chipeur and Ivan Bernardo, for the plaintiff;

Pascale-Catherine Guay and André Lespérance, for the defendant.

Solicitors of Record:

Chipeur Advocates, for the plaintiff;

Morris Rosenberg, Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the defendant.

This appeal was heard at Montreal, Quebec, on April 27, 2004, by Blais, J., of the Federal Court, who delivered the following decision on June 1, 2004.

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2 practice notes
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