2007 QCCA 1087 (CanLII) — 2007-08-09
Court of Appeal — Quebec (application for leave to appeal to the SCC dismissed)
offence — police officers — strictly indictable — criminal — comparator group
cited by 2 cases
The union argued that Quebec’s Police Services Act – which states that any officer found guilty of an indictable offence is automatically dismissed – breached the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter. The trial judge described the affected group as being all police officers in the Province of Quebec and the comparator group was defined as all other employees in Quebec. On appeal, the Court of Appeal defined the affected group as police officers charged with indictable offences who are automatically terminated under Police Services Act, and the comparator group as police officers who are not automatically terminated if charged with a summary offence. Applying the s. 15 analysis in B.C. Health Services, the majority found that differential treatment was not based on personal characteristics but different situations, and therefore, there was no breach of the officers’ equality rights. Even if the Court accepted the trial judge’s characterization of the affected group and comparator group, the result would be the same. The adverse effect flowed from the commission of a crime and not a personal characteristic.