Class actions: Supreme Court of Canada upholds the status quo over authorization criteria in Quebec

Richard ProvostPartner, Langlois Lawyers, LLP

On October 30, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited decision in Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc. v. Asselin1 (the “Asselin decision”). Ever since leave to appeal was granted in June 2019,2 practitioners and litigants have been kept in suspense, anticipating a potential amendment to the analytical framework of the criteria for authorization of a class action in Quebec. 

However, far from liberalizing or restricting the interpretation and application of the authorization criteria in Article 575 of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”), the Asselin decision maintains the status quo with respect to the legal framework for authorizing a class action in Quebec. The Court reiterated the position and the principles it developed in Infineon,3 Vivendi,4 and Oratoire Saint-Joseph,5 which form the jurisprudential basis for this critical procedural stage, without modifying the applicable law.

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