Victims of sexual assault/Paul-André Harvey and the diocese of Chicoutimi
The class action seeks to obtain compensation for the victims of sexual assault committed by Paul-André Harvey, formerly a priest of the Catholic Church, on the territory of the Diocese of Chicoutimi.
The motion alleges the liability of the Church for the acts of Paul-André Harvey. The motion also alleges the liability of the former for neglecting to protect the victims of Harvey’s abuse while it was aware of it.
In the fall of 2019, Justice Bouchard has scheduled the beginning of trial in March 2021. Despite some delays caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and the emergency measures put in place, the start of the trial is still scheduled for March 2021. In the meantime, we will complete our evidence and prepare for the trial.
Conditions to be part of this class action
You are part of the class action if you meet the following 3 criteria:
1. You were sexually assaulted by Paul-André Harvey;
2. The abuse occurred between 1962 and 2002;
3. You were on the territory of the Chicoutimi diocese when the abuse occurred.
If you are a class member and want to receive information on the file, you can sign up to our mailing list by signing the form below.
The class action is completely independent of the criminal case. You are not automatically added to our list if you were a plaintiff in the criminal case.
Please note that all communications with our office are covered by solicitor-client privilege and will remain strictly confidential.
If you chose to register, your identity will remain confidential and will be protected by solicitor-client privilege.
On October 14, 2015, the Association des jeunes victimes de l’Église (AJVE) filed a motion seeking authorization to institute a class action against the pedophile Paul-André Harvey and La Corporation épiscopale catholique romaine de Chicoutimi.
The honourable Sandra Bouchard of the Superior Court of Quebec authorized the institution of the class action against Paul-André Harvey and La Corporation Épiscopale de Chicoutimi on May 3, 2016. She is the judge designated to hear all procedures relating to this file.
TJL concluded that it was necessary to add several other parties to the class action after being authorized against Paul-André Harvey and La Corporation Épiscopale de Chicoutimi.
Therefore, TJL asked to be authorized to add to the class action the following entities:
-Évêque Catholique romain de Chicoutimi;
-All parishes of the Chicoutimi diocese in which TJL is aware that Paul-André Harvey abused at least one victim;
-Assurance mutuelle des Fabriques de Québec (their insurer).
On January 9, 2019, Justice Bouchard ruled in favor of the plaintiff and therefore authorized the class action against these entities.
The parishes applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the judgment of Justice Bouchard authorizing the class action against them.
On March 27 2019, the Honorable Justice Bélanger refused their application on the bench. In her judgement, she explains that the parishes did not meet the demanding test required to allow the appeal to proceed.
On October 1, 2019, the Honorable Justice Sandra Bouchard rendered a judgment granting certain requests for clarification from the defendants. Following this judgment, we amended the originating application to add the clarifications granted by the judge.
Jean-Guy Couture, Bishop of the Chicoutimi diocese between 1979 and 2004, and Dr. Jean-Paul Fortin were interrogated on February 20 and 21, 2017 following a motion for permission to interrogate before the trial.
The class action can continue even though Paul-André Harvey has passed away.
An issue was raised in the case because Paul-André Harvey was not represented by counsel: Could TJL’s lawyers communicate with him when he is a defendant in the class action who is not represented by counsel and is also the former employee of the Diocese of Chicoutimi? Justice Bouchard rendered a judgment on March 17, 2017, which confirms the right of TJL’s lawyers to speak to Paul-André Harvey. On February 23, 2018, the Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of La Corporation Épiscopale de Chicoutimi on the bench. The judgment of the Court of Appeal therefore confirms our right to speak to Pau-André Harvey.
A toll-free information helpline exists for sexual assault victims of all ages. The service provides free, bilingual and confidential support and guidance, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout Québec, at a toll-free number: 1 888 933-9007 or 514 933-9007 for the Montreal region.