The court hears arguments in case #29188, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. The Attorney General of Quebec, on October 14, 2004.
In 1997, some Quebec teachers complained to the Human Rights Commission that a new collective agreement discriminated against them based on age. The Commission brought the matter before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. The Attorney General of Quebec, the school boards, and the unions asked the Human Rights Tribunal to decline jurisdiction. The Tribunal rejected this motion, but the Quebec Court of Appeal reversed the Tribunal’s decision. The Court of Appeal held that the dispute in question should be resolved by arbitration under the collective agreement with the teachers. The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the teachers. The Supreme Court of Canada must decide if the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal should be barred from hearing a complaint referred to it on the ground that the labour arbitrator has exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute.
Lawyer Georges Marceau speaks on behalf of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, an intervener in this case. Lawyer Béatrice Vizkelety speaks on behalf of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse.
Later, the court hears arguments in case #29355, New Solutions Financial Corporation v. Transport North American Express Inc. (Ontario), on October 16, 2004.
In March 2000, New Solutions Financial Corporation (NSFC) lent Transport North American Express Inc. (Ontario) (TNAE) $500,000. The credit agreement stipulated repayment terms effectively exceeding the criminal interest rate. TNAE applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for a declaration that the agreement contained an illegally high rate of interest that should not be enforced. The Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled that the contract should be read as if it required that only the maximum legal rate of interest be charged. The Court of Appeal of Ontario ruled that the Ontario Superior Court judge erred, instead ruling that the contractual provisions in question should be removed from the contract altogether. NSFC subsequently appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lawyer Peter Cavanagh presents arguments on behalf of NSFC. He responds to questions from Supreme Court justices Louise Arbour and Frank Iacobucci.