There are at least two interesting class action appeals coming up in 2014. Of interest to those involved in areas of business within federal jurisdiction, the Supreme Court will hear the Marcotte trilogy (Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec c. Marcotte, Bank of Montreal, et al. v. Réal Marcotte, et al., and Amex Bank of Canada v. Adams, et al.) in February, to consider whether provincial consumer protection legislation can extend to areas that would seem to be the subject of federal jurisdiction (in these cases banks, for invoicing credit card customers with foreign currency conversion charges allegedly in breach of Quebec consumer protection legislation).
In addition, the Supreme Court is expected to provide further guidance on class action certification requirements in its decision in Dell’Aniello v. Vivendi Canada Inc, which has been under reserve since it was heard in April. The case pertains to the interpretation of the authorization requirement in article 1003(a) of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure of “identical, similar, or related questions of law or fact” where the underlying analysis and answers to questions are likely different from one subgroup to another. This requirement is analogous to the “common issues” branch of the class action certification test in common law provinces, giving the decision potential to influence the interpretation of the certification test across Canada.