The Supreme Court rejects the request of ENvironnement JEUnesse

The Supreme Court refuses to hear the case of the environmental organization Environnement JEUnesse (ENJEU), which since 2018 has filed a collective lawsuit against the federal government for “the insufficiency of its actions in the face of the climate emergency.”

The class action, led pro bono by the class action firm Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, was brought on behalf of “all young people aged 35 and under in Quebec.”

“By refusing to hear this case, the Supreme Court of Canada leaves important questions unanswered, including whether or not Canada is violating young people’s rights to safety, equality and to live in a healthy environment,” ENJEU said in a statement. press release on Thursday. Morning.

This is the third and final setback for the nonprofit organization.

The request was first rejected by a Quebec Superior Court judge in December 2019, alleging that the group represented, namely those under 35, was “arbitrary” and ill-defined.

Following ENJEU’s challenge, the Court of Appeal again dismissed the class action, but this time questioning the adjudication of the action, that is, whether it was up to the courts to decide on the matter.

The adventure, therefore, ended on Thursday, as the judges of the Supreme Court had not given any explanation for their rejection, in accordance with their practice.

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a statement that young people’s “impatience” with climate action “is a significant driving force.”

“Judicial independence is a cornerstone of Canadian democracy and I acknowledge and respect the Court’s decision. On the other hand, I also acknowledge and respect the motivation and efforts of Environnement Jeunesse,” said the long-time activist.

Catherine Gauthier, an adviser for several years to the ENJEU, expressed her disappointment with the decision, but assures that the approach will have served to raise public awareness of the issue.

Ms. Gauthier also believes that the judicialization of the environmental file is still a way forward given that the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issues raised by the class action lawsuit, such as the right to life, personal security and the right to live in a healthy environment.

“We were the first to file a class action lawsuit of this magnitude in Canada, but I am convinced that there will be other cases that will be known in the months and years to come,” she explains in an interview with the QMI Agency.

Meanwhile, Ms. Gauthier recalls her disappointment with the “mixed messages” being sent by the federal government, particularly in relation to its decision to back the Bay du Nord underwater oil drilling project off the coast of Newfoundland.

Leave a Comment