The appeal of the anti-tramway will be hard to plead, according to two lawyers

The anti-tram appeal will be hard to plead, according to two lawyers

and Taïeb Moalla MISE À DAY

Without being eccentric, the recourse of anti-tram activists to stop the megaproject of Quebec will be difficult to plead in court, believe two lawyers consulted by Le Journal.

Law expert at the University of Sherbrooke, Guillaume Rousseau affirms that “the appeal is audacious, but not far-fetched. It is based on a legal opinion”.

The director of the State's Applied Law and Policy programs stresses, however, that the case is not easy to plead, since “the criterion of urgency is often the most difficult to prove”. 

According to him, “it is clear that the plaintiffs have the burden of proof. If they want a provisional interlocutory injunction, they must prove in particular urgency and irreparable harm, which is not easy to prove. […] But their argument based on the Law on the quality of the Environment seems to me more serious”. 

Prove that the project is illegal

The argument that maintains that the population was not consulted on the megaproject is rarely pleaded alone to overturn a government decision.

Moreover, it is not a question of demonstrating that the tramway project is not good, but it is up to Quebec deserves better (QMM) to prove that it is illegal, underlines the expert.

The Superior Court will hear today the request for a provisional injunction presented by the QMM anti-tramway group.

At first, QMM's lawyers thought of skipping this step to go directly to the request for an interlocutory injunction . However, after fruitless discussions with the lawyers of the City of Quebec, they changed their tune.

A debate “of a political nature”

< p>For his part, Jean Hétu, professor at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal and specialist in municipal affairs, thinks that “the opponents have no cause, but they want to bring before the courts a debate which is fundamentally political nature in order to seek to delay the project […] The choice of their lawyer [Me Guy Bertrand] recognized for this type of debate does not surprise me”.

However, “the courts apply laws and do not settle political debates,” he insists.

Furthermore, if the Superior Court were to rule in favor of the protesters, this could have an impact on other comparable projects elsewhere in the Quebec.

This “could encourage opponents of other infrastructure construction projects elsewhere in Quebec to take similar action,” believes Guillaume Rousseau.

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