Éric v Lola - The Time for Reform Is Now!

MONTREAL, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec pertaining to family law do not violate the constitutional right to equality. The Chambre des notaires was convinced of this outcome.

However, the Chambre des notaires is of the opinion that this case has stressed the necessity of reforming substantially and with cohesion Québec family law.

Should the Supreme Court have struck down the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec, la Chambre des notaires had recommended to the Québec government to invoke the notwithstanding clause to suspend any Supreme Court judgment that would require the Québec legislature to amend the Civil Code of Québec to remedy the legal situation of de facto spouses. The motive of the Chambre in making such a request to the Québec government was not to preserve the status quo but rather to avoid further patchwork legislation in response to a specific situation.

Notwithstanding the conclusion of the Supreme Court, the time for reform has arrived. As the Supreme Court has noted « ... the Court has no power to impose on the private relationships of de facto spouses a legal framework based on a social policy that differs from the policy adopted by the Québec legislature. Only the legislature can intervene to change that legislative policy and remedy any problems encountered by de facto spouses. »

Let's seize the opportunity to restore cohesion and consistency of the Civil Code following 30 years of erosion. It should be remembered that the Civil Code is no ordinary law. It is the foundation of all other laws, as pointed out in its preliminary provision. Provisions that raise barriers must be eliminated and the law made inclusive so that all couples can feel comfortable with it. Anything less would be unacceptable.

SOURCE: Chambre des notaires du Québec

For further information:

Martin Scallon
Communications Manager
514-879-1793, ext. 5912
martin.scallon@cnq.org