ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) filed an application against the Government of Canada for authorization to institute a class action on behalf of all Quebec resident aged 35 and under. The class action seeks a declaration that the Canadian government’s behaviour in the fight against climate change infringes on the rights of the youth, as well as an order to pay punitive damages. The action also seeks to put an end to this interference with Class Members’ fundamental rights.
According to ENJEU, the Canadian government’s behaviour infringes on a number of rights protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms:
The right to life, integrity and security of the person protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 1 of the Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms;
The right to live in a healthful environment in which biodiversity is preserved, protected by section 46.1 of the Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms; and
The right to equality protected by section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 10 of the Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Trudel Johnston & Lesperance acts on a pro bono basis.
On July 11, 2019, Judge Gary D.D. Morrison of the Superior Court of Quebec rendered his judgment in which he refuses to grant ENvironnement JEUnesse the authorization to institute a class action on behalf of all young Quebecers against the Government of Canada.
ENvironnement JEUnesse appealed the judgment. The parties filed their respective factum and the file is ready to proceed at the Court of Appeal of Quebec. No hearing date has been fixed yet. In the meantime, Amnesty International Canada was granted the permission to intervene in the file to support ENJEU’s arguments.
Are you a member?
The group is defined as follows:
All Quebec residents aged 35 and under on November 26, 2018.
If you think you are class member and want to receive information on the file, you can sign up to our mailing list by signing the form below. For more information on what it means to be a member of a class action, you can consult our What are class actions section.
About ENvironnement JEUnesse
For nearly 40 years, the non-profit organization ENvironnement JEUnesse has been acting to raise awareness on environmental issues among Quebec’s youth, empower them through educational workshops, and encourage them to take action in their communities. ENvironnement JEUnesse has been intervening on climate issues for nearly 30 years now, in addition to speaking for Quebec’s youth at the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2005.
A global movement
Several similar proceedings have been instituted around the world, notably in the Netherlands, where the government was forced to adopt a concrete plan to reach its climate target. The Dutch government is legally bound to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Similar legal actions are ongoing in the United States, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Colombia and the United Kingdom.
The press kit is available at www.enjeu.qc.ca/justice.