Quebec School Boards Class Action (Specialized Programs)
Quebec Superior Court file #
On May 8, 2019, Quebec’s Education Minister admitted that public schools have been illegally charging parents fees for specialized programs, more commonly referred to as “Projets Pédagogiques Particuliers”. This is a violation of article 3 of Quebec’s Education Act and of section 40 of Quebec’s Charter that both stipulate that education services must be provided for free to every resident of Quebec.
The specialized programs in Quebec are sport-études, arts-études (including arts plastiques, danse, musique, art dramatique), projets de type Profil, projets de type Concentration and international education. Most specialized programs cost parents between $0 to $500 per student per year, while others, such as ice hockey and tennis can cost parents more than $5000.00 per student per year.
This class action seeks the reimbursement of all sums paid to a school board, a school or to one of their partners for specialized programs, as well as punitive damages.
All persons who paid any amount for a specialized program (“Projets Pédagogiques Particuliers”), such as “sport-études”, “arts-études” (including arts plastiques, danse, musique, art dramatique), “projets de type Profil”, “projets de type Concentration”, or “éducation international”, up until the legislative amendment to article 3 of the Education Act provided for in Bill 12 comes into force.
On February 11, 2020, the Honourable Justice Carl Lachance, J.S.C., dismissed the Applicant’s application to revoke the judgment approving the settlement in Court file no. 150-06-000007-138 (Marcil c. Commission scolaire de la Jonquière, 2020 QCCS 412). The consequence of this judgment is that the PPPs were covered under the transaction and release in Court file no. 150-06-000007-138. The Applicant did not seek leave to appeal this judgment.
As a result of the judgment, the Applicant and his counsel were of the view that a discontinuance of this class action is appropriate. One June 22, 2020, the Applicant requested that the Court allow him to discontinue against all of the Defendants, which the Court accepted on June 23, 2020.
Putative class members will not be prejudiced by this discontinuance, since the prescription has been suspended since the date of filing of the Application to Authorize a Class Action on May 13, 2019, pursuant to article 2908 C.C.Q. Additionally, the Applicant has not signed and will not sign any release or discharge in favour of any of the Defendants concerned by the discontinuance.
On June 23, 2020, the Superior Court of Quebec authorized the discontinuance of this case.