On Thursday, October 8, the Supreme Court of Canada will be ruling on three different cases: Breslaw v. City of Montréal, Marcotte v. City of Longueuil and Usinage Pouliot Inc. v. City of Longueuil.

These matters ponder the validity of municipal by-laws and examine refund applications for taxes that were allegedly unlawfully collected.

Even if the factual context that gave rise to these disputes is based on municipal law and taxation, these matters raise an important issue of law for class actions in general: Does a judge hearing a motion for authorization to institute a class action have a duty to determine whether a class action is the appropriate procedural vehicle for the case at hand? In other words, is this a question that must be considered in addition to the four criteria set out in article 1003 of the Code of Civil Procedure governing motions for authorization to institute a class action?

We have only to wait until Thursday to see how the court answers this question.