Vidéotron ltée et Premier Choix: TVEC Inc. v. Industries Microlec produits électroniques Inc. et autres, (1992) 141 N.R. 281 (SCC)

JudgeGonthier and Stevenson, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateSeptember 24, 1992
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1992), 141 N.R. 281 (SCC);50 QAC 161;45 CPR (3d) 1;96 DLR (4th) 376;76 CCC (3d) 289;35 ACWS (3d) 792;[1992] CarswellQue 125;1992 CanLII 29 (SCC);141 NR 281;[1992] SCJ No 79 (QL);JE 92-1458;17 WCB (2d) 220;[1992] 2 SCR 1065

Vidéotron ltée v. Ind. Microlec (1992), 141 N.R. 281 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

....................

Vidéotron Ltée et Premier Choix: TVEC Inc. (appelantes) v. Industries Microlec produits électroniques Inc., Groupe Microlec Inc., Circuits Microlec Inc., Distributeurs Microlec Inc., André Duplessis, Jean-François Duplessis, Réjean Grondin, Jean Daigneault et René Gilbert (intimés)

(21882)

Indexed As: Vidéotron ltée et Premier Choix: TVEC Inc. v. Industries Microlec produits électroniques Inc. et autres

Supreme Court of Canada

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

Gonthier and Stevenson, JJ.

September 24, 1992.

Summary:

Vidéotron obtained a permanent injunction prohibiting Microlec from distributing decoders that descrambled Vidéotron's pay television signals. Microlec and its principals were then cited for contempt for having violated the injunction. One of Microlec's principals was called to testify at the con­tempt hearing. The witness objected on the ground that he could not be compelled to testify in a proceeding in which he was himself cited for contempt. The Quebec Superior Court, in an unreported judgment, allowed the objection. Vidéotron appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a judg­ment reported at [1990] R.J.Q. 703; 69 D.L.R.(4th) 519; 56 C.C.C.(3d) 436, dis­missed the appeal. Vidéotron appealed again.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 4422

Protection against self-incrimination - Proceedings to which protection applies - Contempt of court - Microlec and its principals were cited for contempt of court for having violated a permanent injunction issued by the Quebec Superior Court in a civil matter - One of the principals was called to testify at the contempt hearing - He objected on the ground that he could not be compelled to testify in a proceeding in which he was himself cited for con­tempt - The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the objection - See paragraphs 1 to 30.

Droits et libertés - Cote 4422

Protection contre le témoignage incrimi­nant - Procédures auxquelles s'applique la protection - Outrage au tribunal - [Voir Civil Rights - Topic 4422 ].

Contempt - Topic 5086

Practice - Evidence and proof - Privilege or protection against self-incrimination - Microlec and its principals were cited for contempt of court for having violated a permanent injunction issued by the Quebec Superior Court in a civil matter - One of the principals was called to testify at the contempt hearing - He objected on the ground that he could not be compelled to testify in a proceeding in which he was himself cited for contempt - The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the objection - See paragraphs 1 to 30.

Outrage - Cote 5086

Procédure - Preuve - Privilège ou protec­tion contre le témoignage incriminant - [Voir Contempt - Topic 5086 ].

Quebec Procedure - Topic 281

Contempt of court - General - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the uniqueness of contempt of court and its specificity in Quebec law as found under the Code of Civil Procedure and accom­panying jurisprudence - See paragraphs 8 to 27.

Québec: Procédure - Cote 281

Outrage au tribunal - Généralités - [Voir Quebec Procedure - Topic 281 ].

Quebec Procedure - Topic 290

Contempt of court - Whether person cited for contempt can be compelled to testify - Microlec and its principals were cited for contempt of court for having violated a permanent injunction issued by the Quebec Superior Court in a civil matter - One of the principals was called to testify at the contempt hearing - He objected on the ground that he could not be compelled to testify in a proceeding in which he was himself cited for contempt - The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the objection - See paragraphs 1 to 30.

Québec: Procédure - Cote 290

Outrage au tribunal - Contraignabilité à témoigner de la personne citée pour ou­trage - [Voir Quebec Procedure - Topic 290 ].

Cases Noticed:

Syndicat des employés de l'Hôpital St-Augustin (CSN) c. Procureur général du Québec, [1977] C.A. 539, refd to. [para. 4].

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Knapp v. Quebec Police Commission, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 618; 28 N.R. 541, refd to. [para. 4].

Société Radio-Canada c. Commission de police du Québec - see Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Knapp v. Quebec Police Commission.

Cotroni v. Quebec Police Commission and Brunet et al., [1978] 1 S.C.R. 1048; 18 N.R. 541, refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Wigglesworth, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 541; 81 N.R. 161; 61 Sask.R. 105; 24 O.A.C. 321; 45 D.L.R.(4th) 235, refd to. [para. 6].

Commission de transport de la Commu­nauté urbaine de Montréal c. Syndicat du transport de Montréal (C.S.N.), [1977] C.A. 476, refd to. [para. 8].

In re Storgoff, [1945] S.C.R. 526, refd to. [para. 8].

Minister of National Revenue v. Lafleur, [1964] S.C.R. 412, refd to. [para. 8].

United Nurses of Alberta v. Alberta (At­torney General), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 901; 135 N.R. 321; 125 A.R. 241, consd. [para. 10].

Imperial Oil Ltd. v. Tanguay, [1971] C.A. 109, refd to. [para. 16].

Toupin c. Longchamps, J.E. 90-818 (C.A. Qué.), refd to. [para. 16].

Simard c. Pavillon Charleroi Royer Inc., J.E. 79-188 (C.A. Qué.), refd to. [para. 16].

Restaurant Faubourg St-Denis Inc. c. Durand, [1990] R.J.Q. 1218 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 17].

Sporting Club du Sanctuaire Inc. et autres c. 2320-4365 Québec Inc., [1989] R.D.J. 596; 35 Q.A.C. 7 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 17].

Charlebois c. Bourbeau, [1979] C.A. 545, refd to. [para. 17].

Parent c. Perreault, [1979] C.A. 237, refd to. [para. 18].

Droit de la famille - 728, [1989] R.D.F. 671 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 18].

Daigle c. St-Gabriel de Brandon (Corp. municipale de la paroisse de), J.E. 91-195 (C.A. Qué.), refd to. [para. 18].

Comet Products U.K. Ltd. v. Hawkex Plastics Ltd., [1971] 2 Q.B. 67 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

MacNeil v. MacNeil (1975), 14 N.S.R.(2d) 398; 11 A.P.R. 398; 67 D.L.R.(3d) 114 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Apple Computer Inc. v. Mackintosh Com­puters Ltd. et al., [1988] 3 F.C. 277; 91 N.R. 154 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Lauréat Giguère Inc. v. Cie immobilière Viger Ltée, [1977] 2 S.C.R. 67; 10 N.R. 277, refd to. [para. 24].

Lapierre v. Québec (Procureur général), [1985] 1 S.C.R. 241; 58 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 24].

Vidéotron Ltée c. Industries Microlec produits électroniques Inc. et al., [1987] R.J.Q. 1246; 5 Q.A.C. 207 (C.A.), consd. [para. 35].

Vidéotron Ltée c. Industries Microlec produits électroniques Inc. et al., J.E. 86-1005 (S.C. Que.), refd to. [para. 35].

Poje v. Attorney General for British Co­lumbia, [1953] 1 S.C.R. 516, refd to. [para. 46].

British Columbia Government Employees Union v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 214; 87 N.R. 241; 71 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 93; 220 A.P.R. 93, refd to. [para. 46].

Laurentide Motels Ltd. et al. c. Beauport (Ville) et al., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 705; 94 N.R. 1; 23 Q.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 61].

Tucker v. Royal Trust Co., [1982] 1 S.C.R. 250; 40 N.R. 361, refd to. [para. 62].

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; 54 C.C.C.(3d) 417, consd. [para. 66].

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; 33 D.L.R.(4th) 174; [1987] 1 W.W.R. 577, refd to. [para. 69].

Montréal-Est (Ville) c. Labrosse, [1985] C.S. 960, refd to. [para. 69].

Contenants Industriels Ltée c. Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec, [1988] R.J.Q. 1345 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 69].

Comité - Infirmières et infirmiers - 8, [1983] D.D.C.P. 295 (Discipline Com­mittee), refd to. [para. 69].

Statutes Noticed:

Act to Provide for the Issue of the Writ of Injunction in Certain Cases, and to Reg­ulate the Procedure in Relation there­to/Acte pourvoyant à ce que le bref d'injonction puisse être obtenu en cer­tains cas, et réglant la procédure à cette fin, S.Q. 1878, 41 Vict., c. 14, generally [para. 55].

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982/Charte canadienne des droits et libertés, 1982, sect. 11 [para. 6]; sect. 11(c) [para. 29].

Charter of Human Rights and Free­doms/Charte des droits et libertés de la personne, R.S.Q. 1977, c. C-12, sect. 33 [para. 69]; sect. 33.1 [para. 19].

Civil Code of Lower Canada/Code civil du Bas-Canada, generally [para. 25]; arts. 1053 [para. 36]; 1065 [para. 51]; 2273 (former) [para. 55].

Code of Civil Procedure of Lower Canada, Act Respecting the/Code de Procédure Civile du Bas Canada, Acte concernant le, S. Prov. C. 1866, 29-30 Vict., c. 25, generally [para. 25].

Code of Civil Procedure (Que.)/Code de procédure civile (Qué.), S.Q. 1965, c. 80, art. 1 [para. 56].

Code of Civil Procedure, 1867 (Que.)/Code de procédure civile, 1867 (Qué.), generally [para. 25]; art. 1360 [para. 26].

Code of Civil Procedure, 1897 (Que.)/Code de procédure civile, 1897 (Qué.), art. 1 [para. 26]; art. 834 [para. 56].

Code of Civil Procedure of the Province of Quebec, Act respecting the/Code de procédure civile de la province de Qué­bec, Loi concernant le, S.Q. 1897, c. 48, generally [para. 26].

Code of Civil Procedure (Que.)/Code de procédure civile (Qué.), art. 1 [para. 13]; art. 2 [para. 65]; art. 20 [para. 26]; art. 26, para. 5 [para. 15]; art. 46 [para. 26]; art. 49, art. 50, art. 51, art. 52, art. 53, art. 54 [para. 11]; art. 50 [para. 10]; art. 51 [para. 12]; art. 52, art. 53, art. 54 [para. 14]; art. 295, art. 302, art. 309 [para. 3]; art. 313, [para. 15]; art. 751 [para. 48]; art. 761 [para. 15]; art. 944 ff., art. 996, art. 1051 [para. 65].

Code of Penal Procedure/Code de procé­dure pénale, R.S.Q. 1977, c. 25.1, c. XIII [para. 14].

Quebec Act, 1774/Acte de Québec, 1774, generally [para. 61].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Baudouin, Jean-Louis, Les obligations, 3 e éd., 1989, p. 411, no 687 [para. 51].

Baudouin, Jean-Louis, The Impact of the Common Law on the Civilian Systems of Louisiana and Quebec, in Joseph Dainow, ed., The Role of Judicial Deci­sions and Doctrine in Civil Law and in Mixed Jurisdictions, 1974, c. 1 [para. 62].

Brierley, John E.C., Quebec's "Common Laws" (Droits communs): How Many Are There?, in Mélanges Louis-Philippe Pigeon, 1989, 109, p. 116 [para. 24].

Brisson, Jean-Maurice, La formation d'un droit mixte: l'évolution de la procédure civile de 1774 à 1867, 1986 [para. 25].

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Work­ing Paper 20, Criminal Law: Contempt of Court - Offences Against the Admin­istration of Justice (1977), p. 12 [para. 44].

Côté, Pierre-André, Interprétation des lois, 2 e éd., 1990, pp. 29-30, 517 [para. 62, French version].

Côté, Pierre-André, The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada (2nd Ed. 1992), pp. 26-27, 450-451 [para. 62, English version].

Ferland, Denis, Jocelyne Tremblay et Benoît Emery, Précis de procédure civile du Québec, 1992, pp. 87-88 [para. 43].

Pigeon, Louis-Philippe, Drafting and Interpreting Legislation (3rd. Ed. 1988), pp. 65-66 [para. 61, English version].

Pigeon, Louis-Philippe, Rédaction et in­terprétation des lois, 3 e éd., 1986, pp. 109-110 [para. 61, French version].

Pineau, Jean et Danielle Burman, Théorie des obligations, 2 e éd., 1988, p. 426, no 344 [para. 51].

Popovici, Adrian, L'outrage au tribunal, 1977, p. 42 [para. 58].

Prujiner, Alain, Origines historiques de l'injonction en droit québécois, 1979, 20 C. de D. 249 [para. 55]

Québec, Civil Code of Lower Canada: Sixth and Seventh Reports and Supple­mentary Report (1865), p. 75 [para. 56].

Québec, Rapport préliminaire des commissaires à la révision du Code de procédure civile, 1962, p. 3 [para. 65].

Savoie, Réginald et Louis-Philippe Taschereau, Procédure civile, t. 1, 1973, pp. 7-9 [para. 53].

Sharpe, Robert J., Injunctions and Specific Performance (1983), pp. 248-249 [para. 57]; 252-253 [para. 58].

Sopinka, John, Sidney N. Lederman and Alan W. Bryant, The Law of Evidence in Canada (1992), p. 3 [para. 66].

Stuart, Don, Annotation to R. v. Wiggles­worth (1984), 38 C.R.(3d) 388, p. 389 [para. 69].

The Coercive Function of Civil Contempt (1965-66), 33 U. Chi. L. Rev. 120, p. 129 [para. 57].

Walton, Frederick Parker, Le domaine et l'interprétation du Code civil du Bas-Canada, traduction par Maurice Tancelin, 1980, p. 87 [para. 65].

Counsel:

Luc Huppé, for the appellants;

Danielle Barot, for the respondents.

Solicitors of Record:

Langlois, Robert & Assoc., Montreal, Que., for the appellants;

Pateras, Iezzoni & Assoc., Montreal, Que., for the respondents.

This appeal was heard on March 26, 1992, by Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and Stevenson, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered in both official languages on Sep­tember 24, 1992 and the following opinions were filed:

Gonthier, J. (La Forest, J., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 28;

Lamer, C.J.C. - see paragraphs 29 to 30;

L'Heureux-Dubé, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 31 to 71.

Stevenson, J., took no part in the judg­ment.

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