1704286594 Costly legal sagas for cities –

Costly legal sagas for cities –

The legal costs put a strain on the budgets of some cities that are financed from public funds with sagas in court. Here are some examples.

Published at 1:15 am. Updated at 5:00 am.


3.17 million in Sainte-Adèle

Since 2006, there has been a legal dispute between the town of Sainte-Adèle and its citizen Marc Lupien, whose property is located at the top of Bleu Peak, right next to the cross that overlooks the village. The city has sunk 3.17 million so far. The conflict began with the city respecting the right of way on Marc Lupien's land to preserve the cross, but the matter degenerated over the years and lawsuits arose on both sides. Others have multiplied. Currently, around twenty people, organizations or estates are the target of proceedings initiated by Marc Lupien with a total sum of 13 million.

1.19 million in Boisbriand

Costly legal sagas for cities –


There is a neighborhood in Boisbriand where predominantly Hasidic Jews live.

The legal drama between the town of Boisbriand and the Hasidic Jewish community living there has cost the municipal treasury $1.19 million in legal fees since 2014. And it's not over yet: the community plans to turn to the Supreme Court and ask it to overturn the decision. The appeals court ruled in favor of the Hasidic community in October, which will result in further costs. The dispute concerns the Hasidic community's refusal to pay municipal taxes for its schools, as the city has demanded for years, because they are “religious institutions,” a Quebec court judge ordered in 2020, ruling upheld by the court of the calling.

$900,000 in Saint-Lambert

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The noise of the concerts on the island of Sainte-Hélène disturbed the peace of the residents of Saint-Lambert.

In 2015, the city of Saint-Lambert filed a lawsuit against the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau and the company evenko to force them to reduce the noise generated by summer concerts on the island of Sainte-Hélène, which the Citizens disturb the peace. The trial is scheduled for fall 2019, but the parties decide to negotiate and reach an agreement on a decibel level acceptable to everyone. The agreement was ratified by the local council in November 2020. Although there was no trial, the case cost the city of Saint-Lambert more than $900,000. Mayor Pascale Mongrain complains about further significant legal costs for her small municipality due to conflicts that rocked the previous municipal council: A former municipal councilor is suing the former mayor and the former general manager of the city, whom he accused of defamation and litigation. The fees of all these people must be borne by the taxpayers to be paid by Saint-Lambert. The bills are already over $150,000 and the proceedings are far from over.

$500,000 in Mascouche

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A dispute between the city of Mascouche and resident Ginette Dupras cost taxpayers $500,000.

Earlier this month, Quebec changed its laws to allow municipalities to protect nature on their territory without fear of being sued by landowners for covert expropriation. These changes are particularly aimed at avoiding disputes like the one that began in 2016 between the city of Mascouche and Ginette Dupras, owner of uninhabited forest land since 1976, and paying an aunt $1. In 2006, the city changed the property's zoning from “residential” to “conservation,” which prevented Ms. Dupras from selling it for residential development and therefore reduced its value. In 2016, the citizen sued the city, which refused to buy the property for 4.5 million. A Supreme Court ruling ruled in his favor in 2020 but only awarded him $436,000, which was deemed insufficient. The appeal court will again rule in favor of the citizen in 2022 and refer the case back to the Supreme Court. A few months later, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, raising fears among municipalities that they no longer had the right to protect green spaces. Until recent changes to the law, which lawyers have vowed to challenge in court. This entire matter has cost Mascouche taxpayers $500,000 so far, and legal fees continue to add up as the legal process is ongoing.

$375,000 in Longueuil

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White-tailed deer in Michel Chartrand Park in Longueuil

The story caused a stir across Quebec: the city of Longueuil's decision in 2020 to euthanize white-tailed deer in Michel Chartrand Park was challenged all the way to the Court of Appeal by animal rights advocates, represented by famed lawyer Anne-France Goldwater. The city won its case last fall and announced plans to kill more than 100 deer in fall 2024. The city argues that deer have multiplied so much in the park that they are threatening the survival of the ecosystem. The legal action to defend himself in court cost Longueuil $375,000.

$340,000 in Rosemère

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Aerial view of the old Rosemère golf course

The legal battle between the city of Rosemère and the real estate developer Quartier Melrose, which filed a 278 million lawsuit against the municipality, the MRC and the Metropolitan Community of Montreal a year ago, is still in full swing. In this case too, the developer claims to be the victim of a “disguised expropriation”: he is of the opinion that the adoption of an ordinance to preserve golf courses in green areas means a “seizure of the land he purchased” from the former golf course in 2018 Residential development, although the development planning does not allow this. The Melrose district had previously filed a lawsuit for 4.7 million euros against the MRC of Thérèse-De Blainville and the city of Rosemère after the MRC adopted a resolution suspending the application to change the use of the land to residential. The city's legal fees in this matter are already $340,000 and rising.