Following the two court losses suffered by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) last month, it has applied to the Quebec Court of Appeal to suspend the execution of the judgement [French only], rendered by Justice Gérard Dugré on September 9, 2014, ordering a referendum on continued membership be held for members of the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University (PGSS). This is an attempt by the CFS to block the members of the PGSS from having the opportunity to vote on their continued membership in the Federation.
On Tuesday afternoon, October 21, 2014, Ms. Justice Geneviève Marcotte dismissed the CFS’s Motion to Stay the Provisional Execution. She reiterated that Mr. Sa Ge’s right to vote on the question of PGSS’s continued membership in CFS is quasi-constitutional and added that the criteria of the balance of convenience1 favours the McGill University graduate student. Justice Marcotte also added that the CFS’s appeal on the merits seems to have no serious chance of success.
All this to say, Justice Dugré ordered that a referendum on continued membership in the CFS must be held at McGill regardless of if the CFS decides to move forward with its appeal or not.
Today, the PGSS will appear before Justice Gérard Dugré requesting that he select the dates for the referendum and an order to have PGSS’ outstanding membership dues held in trust (dues that have been collected since members of the PGSS voted to cease membership in the CFS in April 2010; the CFS never recognized the results of that referendum and the outcome of that legal battle has yet to be settled).
1. According to a paper published by Gowling, Lafleur Henderson LLP, the balance of convenience “involves determining which party will suffer greater damage from granting or refusing the injunction.”