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Téléphone Guèvremont Inc. v. Quebec (Régie des télécommunications), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 878

 

The Attorney General of Quebec                                                     Appellant

 

and

 

Régie des télécommunications du Québec

and André Dufour and Jean‑Marc Demers                                     Appellants

 

v.

 

Téléphone Guèvremont Inc.                                                              Respondent

 

and

 

The Attorney General of Canada,

the Attorney General for Saskatchewan,

Edmonton Telephones Corporation,

the Public Utilities Commission of Cochrane,

the Corporation of the Town of Dryden,

the Corporation of the Town of Keewatin and

the Corporation of the Town of Kenora                                            Interveners

 

Indexed as:  Téléphone Guèvremont Inc. v. Quebec (Régie des télécommunications)

 

File No.:  23345.

 

1994:  April 26.

 


Present:  Lamer C.J. and La Forest, L'Heureux‑Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major JJ.

 

on appeal from the court of appeal for quebec

 

                   Constitutional law ‑‑ Division of powers ‑‑ Interprovincial work and undertaking ‑‑ Telephones ‑‑ Undertaking's physical equipment and subscribers located within province ‑‑ Undertaking providing telecommunication services whereby subscribers send and receive interprovincial and international communications ‑‑ Whether undertaking within federal jurisdiction ‑‑ Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 91(29) , 92(10) (a).

 

Statutes and Regulations Cited

 

Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 91(29) , 92(10) (a).

 

                   APPEAL and CROSS-APPEAL from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal, [1993] R.J.Q. 77, affirming a decision of the Superior Court, [1991] R.J.Q. 2934.  Appeal and cross-appeal dismissed.

 

                   Jean‑François Jobin, Louis Rochette, Luc Chamberland and Alain Gingras, for the appellants.

 

                   André Joli‑C{oe}ur, Louis Masson and Lucie Rodrigue, for the respondent.

 

                   Jean‑Marc Aubry, Q.C., and Jeff Richstone, for the intervener the Attorney General of Canada.

 

                   Thomson Irvine, for the intervener the Attorney General for Saskatchewan.

 

                   Peter T. Costigan, Q.C., and Leo B. Chrzanowski, for the intervener Edmonton Telephones Corporation.

 

                   Andrew J. Roman and M. Christine O'Donohue, for the interveners the Public Utilities Commission of Cochrane et al.

 

                   English version of the judgment of the Court delivered orally by

 

                   Lamer C.J. ‑‑ We are all of the view that Téléphone Guèvremont Inc. is an interprovincial work and undertaking within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada by virtue of ss. 92(10) (a) and 91(29)  of the Constitution Act, 1867  by reason of the nature of the services provided and the mode of operation of the undertaking, which provides a telecommunication signal carrier service whereby its subscribers send and receive interprovincial and international communications as set out in the reasons of Rousseau-Houle J.A.  The constitutional question is answered as follows:

 

Question 1:Is Téléphone Guèvremont Inc. a work and undertaking within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada by virtue of ss. 92(10) (a) and 91(29) , of the opening words of s. 91 or otherwise of the Constitution Act, 1867 ?

 

Answer:              Yes.

 

                   The appeal is dismissed with costs.  The cross-appeal is dismissed since it is unfounded in view of the outcome of the appeal.

 

                   Judgment accordingly.

 

                   Solicitor for the appellants:  The Department of Justice, Ste‑Foy.

 

                   Solicitors for the respondent:  Joli‑C{oe}ur, Lacasse, Lemieux, Simard, St‑Pierre, Ste‑Foy.

 

                   Solicitor for the intervener the Attorney General of Canada:  John C. Tait, Ottawa.

 

                   Solicitor for the intervener the Attorney General for Saskatchewan:  W. Brent Cotter, Regina.

 

                   Solicitors for the intervener Edmonton Telephones Corporation: Brownlee Fryett, Edmonton.

 

                   Solicitors for the interveners the Public Utilities Commission of Cochrane et al.:  Miller Thomson, Toronto.

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