Dave Bouchard Partner, Lawyer

Dave Bouchard Partner, Lawyer


  • Sherbrooke

Phone number

819 346-3411


819 346-3411

Bar Admission

  • Québec, 2012


  • English
  • French



Dave Bouchard practises mainly in the areas of labour and employment law out of our offices in Sherbrooke. As such, he advises employers on all legal issues relating to human resources management, as well as employment injury matters, while also representing them both before the various administrative tribunals and courts of law. In addition, he acts as an advisor and spokesperson for employers in the negotiation of collective agreements. 

 Furthermore, he advises and represents a variety of clients in civil, commercial and criminal litigation cases, and generally, in non-litigious commercial matters.

 Mr. Bouchard teaches labour law in the faculty of law at the University of Sherbrooke and at the Quebec Bar School. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Cooperative at the University of Sherbrooke and of the organization La Grande Table.

Mr. Bouchard earned a bachelor’s degree in law and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Université de Sherbrooke. He is also a member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) and of the Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec (ADM.A).

Before joining Lavery in 2014, Mr. Bouchard practised at a national law firm.


  • MBA, Université de Sherbrooke, 2011
  • LL.B., Université de Sherbrooke, 2011

Boards and Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA)
  • Member of the Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec
  • Member of the Board of directors, La Grande Table
  • Member of the Board of directors, Coopérative de l'Université de Sherbrooke
  1. An employer’s criminal negligence upheld on appeal

    On August 11, 2023, the Court of Appeal of Quebec handed down a decision in CFG Construction inc. c. R.,1 dismissing the appeal of the guilty verdict against an employer, CFG Construction inc. (“CFG”), for criminal negligence having caused the death of one of its employees. This decision serves as a reminder of the potential criminal liability of an employer, depending on its legal form, for the death or bodily injury of its employees in the workplace. More specifically, the case provides unique insight into the sanctioning of an “organization,” a term that includes a body corporate or an association of persons,2 for faults committed by a “senior officer” under the Criminal Code (“Cr.C.”). The facts The decision stems from a fatal accident that occurred on September 11, 2012, on the site of a wind farm in Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, involving a heavy container truck owned by CFG. The truck flipped over on a downhill curve, killing the driver, a CFG employee with 25 years of experience as a truck driver. At the trial, emphasis was placed on the maintenance of the truck and its braking system. The case A number of decisions were rendered in this case. Regarding criminal liability, the Court of Québec handed down two judgments, one finding CFG guilty and the other establishing the sentence. On February 14, 2019, CFG was found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of the aforementioned truck driver. Essentially, the Court found that CFG’s failure to perform maintenance on the truck, which it had a legal obligation to do, constituted a [translation] “marked and significant departure from the conduct expected of a reasonable person, given the nature and circumstances of the activity in question”.3 For instance, the truck involved in the accident had 14 major pre-existing defects, all of which related to its braking system.4 The Court was decisive in establishing CFG’s liability through its foreman-mechanic, whom it considered to be a “senior officer” within the meaning of the Cr.C., and whose faults could be ascribed to CFG in this case,5 as explained below. On December 3, 2019, CFG was fined $300,000, plus a victim surcharge of 15% of the fine, and placed on a three-year probation with many conditions. This decision brings to light the factors to consider in sentencing an organization, as well as the only penalty that may be imposed, namely a fine of any amount in the case of a criminal act.6 Among these factors, the court must consider “any advantage realized by the organization as a result of the offence”.7 In this regard, failure to incur the necessary expenses to perform maintenance on a vehicle driven by an employee may be construed as an “advantage” for the employer-owner and is considered an aggravating factor in sentencing.8 Case law on this subject is “tenuous”, but fines ranging from $100,000 to $750,000 have been given in various situations.9 The notion of “senior officer” set out in the Criminal Code In its decision, the Court of Appeal provides the historical context that led to the inclusion of a legal mechanism in the Cr.C. governing the liability of organizations for death and bodily injury in the workplace. In 2003, Parliament passed Bill C-45, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations) further to the 1992 tragedy at the Westray mine in Nova Scotia, where 26 miners were killed after methane detectors were disconnected with mine supervisors’ knowledge.10 Among the key amendments central to the CFG case, sections 217.1 and 22.1 of the Cr.C. provide not only for the legal obligation of any person who directs or has the authority to direct how another person does work or performs a task to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, but also for the possibility of holding an organization “liable” for an offence of negligence by reason of the actions of certain persons working for it, either a “representative” or a “senior officer,” as these terms are defined in section 2 of the Cr.C. The CFG case as a whole is an example of how the aforementioned legal mechanism applies where an employee considered to be a “senior officer” departs from the reasonable standard of care expected in the circumstances. As mentioned above, CFG was found guilty because of the important role that the head mechanic played, in that he had the authority to carry out the maintenance required on vehicles, including on the defective truck.11 As a result, CFG was legally obliged to ensure that the mechanic had the skills to do the work and provide him with the necessary instructions and equipment, as well as an adequate work environment.12 In short, it is important to remember that: The term “senior officer” refers to “a representative who plays an important role in the establishment of an organization’s policies or is responsible for managing an important aspect of the organization’s activities and, in the case of a body corporate, includes a director, its chief executive officer and its chief financial officer”.13 This definition [translation] “does not only include senior executives and a company’s board of directors”.14 Ultimately, an employee will be considered as a “senior officer” according to the functions s/he performs and the responsibilities s/he assumes in a given organization.15 Finally, the Court of Appeal points out that failure to fulfill the legal obligation set out in section 217.1 of the Cr.C. does not, in and of itself, constitute an offence.16 In the circumstances of this case, failure to comply with the aforementioned section along with the provisions on criminal negligence causing death provide the basis for CFG’s guilt, which constitutes the defining characteristic of this “positive” obligation in criminal law. In this regard, section 22.1 of the Cr.C. serves as the basis for CFG’s liability insofar as the organization was a “party to the offence” given the role that its mechanic played in the matter. Conclusion The CFG case shows how criminal negligence in the workplace is condemned outside of the penal provisions applicable under Quebec’s labour laws. Incidentally, the notion of “senior officer” within the meaning of these laws should not be confused with that codified in the Cr.C. While the former is limited in scope, the term “senior officer” in the Cr.C. is defined more broadly to include, in addition to directors and senior executives, other persons who play a significant role in leading or managing a given area of activity within an organization. Note that in this case, CFG’s guilt could have resulted from the conduct of more than one representative or senior officer.17 It is also important to remember that the extent to which proceedings in such matters involve natural persons rather than organizations, or extend to every person who may be held liable, is a matter of prosecutorial discretion. 2023 QCCA 1032. “organization,” section 2 of the Cr.C. Supra note 1 at para. 10 (as the Court of Appeal pointed out, the analytical framework for determining criminal negligence was updated further to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Javanmardi, 2019 SCC 54). R. c. CFG Construction inc., 2019 QCCQ 1244, para. 141. Ibid, paras. 255 and 285. R. c. CFG Construction inc., 2019 QCCQ 7449, paras. 84 and 149. Section 718.21a) of the Cr.C. Supra note 6, para. 91. Ibid, paras. 163 to 167. Supra note 1, paras. 60 and 62. Supra note 4, para. 35. Ibid, para. 381. “senior officer”, section 2 of the Cr.C. Supra note 4, para. 256. Ibid. Supra, note 1, para. 73. Ibid, para. 72; see also supra note 6, para. 14.

    Read more
  2. The Court of Appeal sets the record straight on applications for assignment of costs

    On January 24, the Quebec Court of Appeal1 released a very important decision on the application of section 326 of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases2  (“A.I.A.O.D.”), thereby setting the record straight on the true effect of this provision. An employer will no longer be permitted to rely on the first paragraph of this provision to seek a partial assignment of costs on the basis that there is no “direct connection” between the benefits paid to a worker and the worker’s industrial accident. The employer will now have to base its application on the fact that it “has been unduly burdened” and meet the requisite burden of proof. However, the Court of Appeal declined to resolve the controversy in the case law regarding that burden. We have every reason to believe that this decision will put an end to the current moratorium placed on these applications3 by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (“Commission”) and that a significant number of cases will be decided in the next few months. In the interim, employers should review their pending applications and take appropriate action or adopt the appropriate positions in light of this development. It should also be noted that the Court of Appeal states, in passing, that the one-year time limit set out in the last paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. for submitting an application for an assignment of costs begins to run on the date on which the right to apply for the assignment arises, thereby ending a controversy which had previously existed in the case law. The Facts The facts of this case are relatively simple. In August 2011, an employee of Supervac 2000 suffered an industrial accident which rendered him unable to perform the duties of his employment. The Commission subsequently found that the worker was entitled to the benefit from the compensation scheme created by the A.I.A.O.D. A few months later, the employer temporarily assigned the worker to another position and the latter ceased to receive benefits under the Act. A few months after that assignment began, the employer dismissed the worker for disciplinary reasons. The worker subsequently began receiving benefits under the Act once again. It was in this context that the employer filed an application with the Commission pursuant to section 326 A.I.A.O.D. The employer argued that it has been “unduly burdened” by having the benefits paid to a worker that it had dismissed attributed to its file, especially given that it could no longer temporarily assign work in order to reduce its costs. In the alternative, the employer argued that, contrary to the general principle established by the first paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D., in this case the worker entitlement  to an income replacement indemnity was not “as a result of an industrial accident”, but was instead due to the termination of the temporary assignment, which was itself caused by the termination of the employment relationship. In this context, the employer took the position that it was entitled to an assignment of costs under the first paragraph of section 326. Section 326 A.I.A.O.D. It is useful for our purposes to reproduce section 326 A.I.A.O.D. in full: 326. The Commission shall impute to the employer the cost of benefits payable by reason of an industrial accident suffered by a worker while in the employ of the employer. It may also, on its own initiative or on the application of an employer, impute the cost of benefits payable by reason of an industrial accident to the employers of one, several or all units if the imputation under the first paragraph would have the effect of causing an employer to support unduly the cost of benefits due by reason of an industrial accident imputable to a third person or unduly burdening an employer. Any application under the second paragraph must be filed in writing by the employer within the year following the date of the accident, and state the reasons for the application. The first paragraph of this provision establishes the general principle that the Commission will attribute the cost of the benefits payable due to an industrial accident involving one of its workers to an employer’s file. That attribution will ultimately have an impact on the employer’s contribution to the regime. The second paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. states that an employer can be exempted from the general principle by requesting the Commission assign the cost of the benefits associated with an industrial accident to all of the employers in its unit or all units of classification where it is able to show (1) that it is “unduly burdened” by a particular situation, or (2) that it is unduly supporting the cost of benefits paid due to an accident which is attributable to a third person. The text of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. states that an application for an assignment of costs must be filed by the employer “within the year following the date of the accident”.4 It should be noted that there are two lines of cases on the question of the employer’s burden of proof must meet in order to show that it has been “unduly burdened”. The first line of cases requires proof of a situation in which there is unfairness for the employer and a significant financial burden caused by that unfairness, while the second requires only that the employer prove unfairness. Decision of the Commission des lésions professionnelles Relying on a number of relatively marginal decisions, the CLP concluded that the second paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. was drafted in such a way that it covered only applications for an assignment of costs of all of the benefits paid to a worker as a result of an industrial accident, which was plainly not the situation in this case. On that basis, the CLP allowed the employer’s application for partial transfer, applying the general principle of attribution set out in the first paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D., concluding that [TRANSLATION] “any imputed benefit that is not paid as a result of the industrial accident should be removed from the employer’s financial file”.5 Accordingly, having found that the cost of the benefits paid to the worker due to the interruption of his temporary assignment was not directly related to his accident, and was instead due to his dismissal, the CLP concluded that the amounts paid to the worker after his dismissal should not be attributed to the employer. The CLP’s decision had a significant impact on employers and initiated a line of cases that subsequently authorized an employer to apply for an assignment of the cost of benefits paid to a worker where there was no “direct connection” with the accident, but without requiring that unfairness or financial prejudice be shown. Recall that the Superior Court of Quebec did not intervene , holding that the decision of the CLP was “reasonable”.6 Decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal Since all good things must come to an end, the Court of Appeal stepped in on January 24, 2018, to overturn the CLP’s decision. Justice Vézina, writing for the Court, shed an interesting light on the effect of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. The Court held that a worker’s right to the compensation provided by the Act cannot arise from any source other than the accident, whether or not the worker has been dismissed. It therefore rejected the CLP’s reasoning regarding the employer’s right to an assignment of costs under the first paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. In the opinion of the Court, that first paragraph sets out no more than the general rule that the total cost of compensation for employment injuries must be attributed to the employer. The Court also noted that there is an exception to every rule, and as such, the second paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. allows the employer to apply for an assignment of costs if it proves that attribution to its file would have the effect of “unduly burdening” the employer. The Court concluded that the CLP had erroneously adopted an overly literal interpretation and it was on this basis that it had held that the exception could not apply in the case of a partial assignment of costs. There is therefore nothing to prevent an employer from applying for a partial assignment of costs under section 326 paragraph 2 A.I.A.O.D. However, that is not all. The Court of Appeal also held that the one-year time limit set out in the third paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. is not a mandatory limit7 and that it does not begin to run until the date on which the right to apply for an assignment of costs arises. In Supervac 2000, the limitation period therefore started running on the date of the dismissal and not “within the year following the date of the accident” as set out in section 326 A.I.A.O.D. However, that is not the end of the matter: the Court declined to rule on the facts of the case, that is, whether Supervac 2000 was actually unduly burdened, within the meaning of the second paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D., by the attribution of the benefits paid to the worker after he was dismissed to its file. That question will have to be analyzed by the Administrative Labour Tribunal (which has replaced the CLP) from the perspective of determining whether the employer has been “unduly burdened”. Conclusion With this judgment, the Court of Appeal has put an end to the debate by providing a complete picture of what it considers to be the correct interpretation of the three paragraphs of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. The Court has therefore put a damper on employers’ enthusiasm for shared imputation applications under the first paragraph of section 326 A.I.A.O.D. based on the absence of a connection between the accident and the payment of benefits.   Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail v. 9069-4654 Québec inc., 2018 QCCA 95. This decision follows on the October 2013 decision of the Commission des lésions professionnelles (“CLP”) in Supervac 2000:[1] Supervac 2000, 2013 QCCLP 6341 CQLR A-3.001 http://www.csst.qc.ca/lois_reglements_normes_politiques/orientations-directives/Documents/Moratoire-demandes-transfert-imputation.pdf 326, para. 3 A.I.A.O.D Supervac 2000, 2013 QCCLP 6341, para. 123 Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail v. Commission des lésions professionnelles, 2014 QCCS 6379 Section 352 A.I.A.O.D.    

    Read more
  3. Artificial Intelligence, Implementation and Human Resources

    In this era of a new industrial revolution, dubbed as “Industry 4.0”, businesses are facing sizable technological challenges. Some refer to smart plants or the industry of the future. This revolution is characterized by the advent of new technology that allows for the “smart” automation of human activity. The aim of this technological revolution is to increase productivity, efficiency and flexibility. In some cases, it means a radical change to the corporate value chain. Artificial intelligence is an integral part of the new era. Dating back to the mid-1950s, it is typically defined as the simulation of human intelligence by machines. Artificial intelligence aims to substitute, supplement and amplify practically all tasks currently performed by humans1, becoming in effect a serious competitor to human beings in the job market. Over the past few years, the advent of deep learning and other advanced learning techniques for machines and computers have given rise to several industrial applications that have the potential to revolutionize how businesses organize the workplace. It is believed that artificial intelligence could drive a 14% increase in global GDP by 2030, a $15.7 trillion potential contribution to the global economy annually2. The productivity gains in the workplace created by artificial intelligence alone could represent half that amount. It goes without saying that the job market will have to adjust. A study published a few years ago predicted that within twenty years, close to 50% of jobs in the United States could be completely or partially automated3. In 2016, an OCDE study concluded that on average 9% of jobs in the 21 OECD countries would be at a high risk of automation4, and some experts even go so far as to claim that 85% of jobs that workers will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet!5 At the very least, this data shows that while human beings are still indispensable, the job market will be strongly influenced by artificial intelligence. Whether due to the transformation of tasks, the disappearance of jobs or the creation of new trades, disruptions in the workplace are to be expected and businesses will have to deal with them. The arrival of artificial intelligence thus appears to be inevitable. In some cases, this technology will lead to a significant competitive advantage. Innovative businesses will stand out and thrive.  However, in addition to the major investments that will be required, the implementation of this new technological tool will require time, effort and changes to work methods. Implementation As an entrepreneur, you have no choice but to adapt to this new reality. Not only will your employees be affected by the organizational change, they will also have to be involved to ensure its success. During the implementation phase, you may discover that new skills will be required to adjust to your new technology. It is also very likely that some of your employees and managers will be adverse to the change. This would be a normal reaction since as humans we tend to respond negatively to any sort of change. A change in the work environment can lead to a sense of insecurity, requiring that employees adopt new behaviours or work methods6 and dragging them out of their comfort zone. An employee’s fears can also be the result of misperceptions. Potential impacts must be carefully considered before your new technology arrives. The failure rate for organizational change is over 70%. It is believed that the high failure rate for the adoption of new technology is due to the fact that the human aspect is often overlooked in favour of the technological or operational benefits of implementing the technology7. Failure can lead to higher costs for introducing the new tool, productivity losses or the abandoning of the initiative. Advance planning is especially important when implementing artificial intelligence to identify any challenges related to its integration in your business. It is important that smart technology be implemented by skilled employees who share the business’ values to ensure the new system does not perpetuate unwanted behaviours. To help with your planning, here are a few questions to stimulate discussion: Implementation What is the objective of the new technology, its advantages and disadvantages? Who will be in charge of the project? What skills will be needed to implement the technology in the organization? Which employees will be responsible for implementing the technology? What information and training should they be given? Work organization What duties will be replaced or affected by the new technology and how will they be affected? What new tasks will be created after the new technology is set up? Will positions be abolished, staff transferred or jobs lost? What terms of the collective agreement will have to be considered in terms of transfers, layoffs and technological change? What notice and severance should be anticipated if there are job losses? What positions will have to be created after the technology is set up? What new skills will be required for these positions? How and when will new positions be filled? How will the users of the technology be trained? Communication Who will be in charge of communication? Should you set up communication tools and a communication plan? In what form will such communication be made and how often? When and how will employees and managers be informed of the arrival of the new technology, its purpose, its advantages and the impacts on the organization? When and how will the job losses, labour transfers and new positions be announced? What tools will be used to reassure employees and eliminate misperceptions? Mobilization What actions can be taken to engage employees and managers in the project? What are the likely reactions to the change and how can they be lessened or eliminated? What tools can managers be given to help them oversee the change? This list is not meant to be exhaustive but it can be a starting point for considering the potential impacts of new smart technology on your employees. Bear in mind that good communication with your employees and their commitment could make a difference between the success or failure of the technological change. Lavery Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence (L3IA) Lavery has set up the Lavery Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence (L3IA) to analyze and monitor recent and anticipated developments in artificial intelligence from a legal perspective. Our Lab is interested in all projects pertaining to artificial intelligence (AI) and their legal peculiarities, particularly the various branches and applications of artificial intelligence which will rapidly appear in companies and industries.   Spyros Makridakis, The Forthcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) Revolution: Its Impact on Society and Firms, School of Economic Sciences and Business, Neapolis University Paphos, 2017 Sizing the prize, PWC, 2017 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computarisation  Oxford University, 2013 Melanie Arntz, Terry Gregory, Ulrich Zierahn, The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, 2016 Emerging Technologies' Impact on Society & Work in 2030, Institute for the Future and Dell Technologies, 2017 Simon L. Dolan, Éric Gosselin and Jules Carrière, Psychologie du travail et comportement organisationnel, 4th ed., Gaétan Morin Éditeur, 2012 Yves-Chantal Gagnon, Les trois leviers stratégiques de la réussite du changement technologique, Télescope - Revue d’analyse comparée en administration publique, École nationale d’administration publique du Québec, fall 2008

    Read more
  1. Lavery assists Agendrix in obtaining two ISO certifications for data security and privacy

    On February 6, 2023, Agendrix, a workforce management software company, announced that it had achieved certification in two globally recognized data security and privacy standards, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and ISO/IEC 27701:2019. This made it one of the first staff scheduling and time clock software providers in Canada to obtain these certifications. The company is proactively engaging in all matters related to the security and confidentiality of the data processed by its web and mobile applications. The ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard is aimed at improving information security systems. For Agendrix’s customers, that means its products comply with the highest information security standards. ISO/IEC 27701:2019 provides a framework for the management and handling of personal information and sensitive data. This certification confirms that Agendrix follows best practices and complies with applicable laws. A Lavery team composed of Eric Lavallée, Dave Bouchard, Ghiles Helli and Catherine Voyer supported Agendrix in obtaining these two certifications. More specifically, our professionals assisted Agendrix in the review of their standard contract with their customers, as well as in the implementation of policies and various internal documents essential to the management of personal information and information security. Agendrix was founded in 2015, and the Sherbrooke-based company now has over 150,000 users in some 13,000 workplaces. Its personnel management software is a leader in Quebec in the field of work schedule management for small and medium-sized businesses. Agendrix’s mission is to make management more human-centred by developing software that simplifies the lives of front-line employees. Today, the company employs more than 45 people.

    Read more
  2. Lavery represents Avril Supermarché in obtaining financing from Desjardins Capital

    On June 18, 2021, Avril Supermarché, an independent, Quebec-based health food store chain, announced the closing of a transaction under which Desjardins Capital became a minority shareholder in order to support the chain’s growth in Quebec. The financing obtained will support Avril’s development plan, which includes opening a dozen more supermarkets over the next five years. The transaction was preceded by a major corporate reorganization. Lavery Lawyers feels privileged that Avril Supermarché, a long-standing client, reaffirmed its confidence in the firm by allowing it to contribute to Avril’s growth and support its founders and managers, Sylvie Senay and Rolland Tanguay, in all stages of the transaction. The Lavery team that worked with Avril Supermarché was led by Christian Dumoulin and composed of Jean-François Bilodeau, Dave Bouchard, Sophie Goulet, Katy Pelletier and Catherine Voyer.

    Read more
  3. Lavery appoints five new partners

    Lavery is pleased to welcome the following professionals as partners in the firm: Dave Bouchard, Labour and Employment Law Brittany Carson, Labour and Employment Law Stéphanie Destrempes, Franchising and Distribution Ali El Haskouri, Corporate Law Marie-Nancy Paquet, Litigation and Dispute Resolution These talented lawyers who are rising to the rank of partner have shown a strong commitment to the firm and the profession in recent years, and they brilliantly embody Lavery’s values: Excellence, Collaboration, Audacity and Entrepreneurship. We offer them our congratulations on this significant achievement in their legal careers. The diversity in background of these new partners is a testament to the depth of our 360° service offering and our desire to be a growth partner for companies doing business in Quebec.

    Read more