Jean-Benoît Pouliot, a lawyer at Langlois, recently raised this question before the Administrative Tribunal of Québec (the “ATQ”). In the matter in question1, the ATQ had to decide on the validity of a notice of claim for the direct and indirect costs associated with the issuance of an order to restore premises to their former state2. The notice of claim had been signed by the assistant general director of financial and material resources at the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.

In a decision rendered on June 13, 2017, the ATQ annulled the notice of claim on the basis of unlawful delegation.

The ATQ based its analysis on the wording of the legislation, the lack of any standards for implied delegation, and the nature of the notice of claim itself, which was issued pursuant to an order signed personally by the Minister. Consequently, only the Minister was authorized to sign the contested notice.

To learn find out more about the impacts of this decision, feel free to contact us.

Update

On July 13, 2017 the Attorney General of Quebec filed an application for judicial review of the ATQ’s decision with the Quebec Superior Court.