Education Law


Administrators of school boards, CEGEPs, universities, and private institutions face increasingly complex problems. Our team of specialized lawyers is prepared to offer effective support in both their day-to-day activities and crisis situations.

Whether this involves the negotiation of collective agreements or local arrangements, representation before government bodies, or the application, interpretation, and drafting of regulations, procedures, and politics, our experienced team knows what to do.


  • Application and interpretation of collective agreements and regulations determining employment conditions in the education sector
  • Negotiation of collective agreements and local arrangements
  • Resolution of litigation concerning union certification, application of the Labour Code and all employment law legislation
  • Application, interpretation, and drafting of regulations, procedures, and policies on the rights and obligations of institutions, particularly the delegation of powers, taxation, student transportation, school closings, use of school equipment and immovable property, and students with learning or adjustment difficulties
  • Representation before the government and all other administrative bodies concerning the authorizations required to fulfill the rights and obligations contained in the institution's incorporating act
  • Representation before the courts
  • Professional development training on the functioning of school boards and lectures at the Barreau du Québec
  • Representation of the government or educational institutions with respect to guardianships/tutorships and before boards of inquiry and parliamentary/legislative committees
  1. Artificial Intelligence and the 2017 Canadian Budget: is your business ready?

    The March 22, 2017 Budget of the Government of Canada, through its “Innovation and Skills Plan” ( mentions that Canadian academic and research leadership in artificial intelligence will be translated into a more innovative economy and increased economic growth. The 2017 Budget proposes to provide renewed and enhanced funding of $35 million over five years, beginning in 2017–2018 to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) which connects Canadian researchers with collaborative research networks led by eminent Canadian and international researchers on topics including artificial intelligence and deep learning. These measures are in addition to a number of interesting tax measures that support the artificial intelligence sector at both the federal and provincial levels. In Canada and in Québec, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program provides a twofold benefit: SR&ED expenses are deductible from income for tax purposes and a SR&ED investment tax credit (ITC) for SR&ED is available to reduce income tax. In some cases, the remaining ITC can be refunded. In Québec, a refundable tax credit is also available for the development of e-business, where a corporation mainly operates in the field of computer system design or that of software edition and its activities are carried out in an establishment located in Québec. This 2017 Budget aims to improve the competitive and strategic advantage of Canada in the field of artificial intelligence, and, therefore, that of Montréal, a city already enjoying an international reputation in this field. It recognises that artificial intelligence, despite the debates over ethical issues that currently stir up passions within the international community, could help generate strong economic growth, by improving the way in which we produce goods, deliver services and tackle all kinds of social challenges. The Budget also adds that artificial intelligence “opens up possibilities across many sectors, from agriculture to financial services, creating opportunities for companies of all sizes, whether technology start-ups or Canada’s largest financial institutions”. This influence of Canada on the international scene cannot be achieved without government supporting research programs and our universities contributing their expertise. This Budget is therefore a step in the right direction to ensure that all the activities related to artificial intelligence, from R&D to marketing, as well as design and distributions, remain here in Canada. The 2017 budget provides $125 million to launch a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research and talent to promote collaboration between Canada’s main centres of expertise and reinforce Canada’s position as a leading destination for companies seeking to invest in artificial intelligence and innovation. Lavery Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence (L3AI) We anticipate that within a few years, all companies, businesses and organizations, in every sector and industry, will use some form of artificial intelligence in their day-to-day operations to improve productivity or efficiency, ensure better quality control, conquer new markets and customers, implement new marketing strategies, as well as improve processes, automation and marketing or the profitability of operations. For this reason, Lavery created the Lavery Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence (L3AI) 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. The development of artificial intelligence, through a broad spectrum of branches and applications, will also have an impact on many legal sectors and practices, from intellectual property to protection of personal information, including corporate and business integrity and all fields of business law. In our following publications, the members of our Lavery Legal Lab on Artificial Intelligence (L3AI) will more specifically analyze certain applications of artificial intelligence in various sectors and industries.

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  2. Tobacco Control and E-cigarettes: New Challenges for Businesses

    Bill 44 has been adopted in the context of a major expansion of electronic cigarette sales.1 Bringing with it significant legislative reforms, this Bill regulates the use of electronic cigarettes in much the same way as it does tobacco. It also amends the Tobacco Act,2 changing its name to the Tobacco Control Act3 (hereinafter “the Act”). The Bill makes several amendments which should be of interest to those responsible for operating establishments which are subject to the Act, including employers and health and social services institutions: By November 26, 2017, certain employers must adopt a tobacco control policy; Provisions have been added the goal of which is to increase the liability of directors and officers of legal persons and partnerships; Provisions have been added which seek to facilitate the prosecution’s case in regulatory proceedings; The fines for violating the Act have been increased; The Act now applies to electronic cigarettes; Effective May 26, 2016, smoking will be prohibited in additional locations. Here are a few details regarding these amendments. OBLIGATION TO ADOPT A TOBACCO CONTROL POLICY By November 26, 2017, every health and social services institution, and every college or university-level educational institution, must adopt a tobacco control policy aimed at establishing a smoke-free environment. A copy of the policy must be sent to the Minister of Health and Social Services. In addition, every two years, the executive directors of such institutions will need to report to the board of directors with respect to the application of the policy and the institutions must send those reports to the Minister within 60 days of their being filed with the board of directors.4 INCREASED LIABILITY OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS OF LEGAL PERSONS AND PARTNERSHIPS Since November 26, 2015, the Act has contained new provisions which create presumptions of liability applicable to employers and to directors and officers of legal persons, partnerships, and associations without legal personality.5 Essentially, these provisions state that: In regulatory proceedings related to offences under the Act or its Regulations, evidence that the offence was committed by a representative, agent or employee of a legal person or partnership is sufficient to establish that said offence was in fact committed by that legal person or partnership; and If a legal person or a representative, agent or employee of a legal person, partnership or association without legal personality commits an offence under the Act or the Regulations, the directors or officers of the legal person, partnership or association are presumed to have committed the offence. The party who wishes to rebut these presumptions must establish that it exercised due diligence and took all necessary precautions to prevent the commission of the offence. NEW PROVISIONS LIGHTENING THE PROSECUTION’S EVIDENTIARY BURDEN IN RELATION TO OFFENCES For example, section 11 of the Act provides that the operator of a place where smoking is prohibited, such as a workplace, or a facility maintained by a health and social services institution, must not tolerate a person smoking (tobacco products or electronic cigarettes) in that area. Evidence of such tolerance exposes the operator liable to regulatory prosecution and, potentially, to a conviction and the imposition of a fine. On November 26, 2015, this provision was amended to facilitate evidence of the operator’s “tolerance”. Section 11 now states that, in regulatory proceedings, proof that a person smoked in an area where smoking is prohibited is sufficient to establish that the operator of the place or business tolerated such behaviour. An operator that wishes to rebut this presumption must establish that it exercised due diligence and took all necessary precautions to prevent its commission, in particular, by posting clearly visible notices stating that smoking is prohibited and by having no ashtrays. INCREASED FINES FOR OFFENCES Several fines for offences under the Act have been increased, including the fines for violations of section 11: BEFORENovember 26, 2015 AFTERNovember 26, 20156 FIRST OFFENCE FIRST OFFENCE $400 to $4,000 $500 to $12,500 SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE $1,000 to $10,000 $1,000 to $25,000 APPLICATION OF THE ACT TO ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES Since November 26, 2015, electronic cigarettes and all other devices of that nature, including their components, are governed by the same rules as those applicable to tobacco products. Specifically, the Act’s prohibitions against “smoking” now apply to electronic cigarettes as well as tobacco products.7 NEW PROHIBITIONS AGAINST SMOKING In addition to the existing rules under the former Tobacco Act, as of May 26, 2016, the prohibition against smoking (tobacco or electronic cigarettes) will be extended to the following areas, amongst others: Motor vehicles in which a minor under the age of 16 is present; Patios of restaurants and bars; Outdoor playgrounds for children that are open to the public; Sports fields, vacation camps, skating rinks and outdoor pools used by minors and open to the public; Daycare and childcare centre grounds; and, The grounds of educational institutions providing preschool education services, elementary and secondary school instructional services, educational services in vocational training or educational services to adults in general education.8 COMMENTS Bill 44’s amendments significantly increase the scope of smoking prohibitions. They are part of the measures the government has taken to bolster tobacco control through a range of concrete and significant reforms, such as the obligation for certain employers to adopt a tobacco control policy, and the addition of presumptions of regulatory liability applicable to directors and officers of legal persons or partnerships in the event of offences under the Act. It should be noted that the validity of certain provisions of the Act has recently been challenged.9 However, the Superior Court of Québec has yet to render a decision.   An Act to bolster tobacco control, Bill 44 (assented to 26 November 2015), 1st Session, 41st Legislature (hereinafter “Bill 44”). CQLR, c T-0.01. CQLR, c L-6.2 Bill 44, sections 11 and 76. Sections 57.1 and 57.1.1 of the Act. Section 43.1.1 of the Act. Section 1.1 of the Act. Bill 44, sections 5 and 76. Association québécoise des vapoteries et al. v. Procureur général du Québec, Superior Court (200-17-023732-167) (motion filed February 25, 2016).

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  3. Francization – Bill No 14 amending the Charter of the French language

    This publication was authored by Luc Thibaudeau, former partner of Lavery and now judge in the Civil Division of the Court of Québec, District of Longueuil. The title of this newsletter gives a good summary of the explanatory notes that serve as an introduction to Bill 14, entitled An Act to amend the Charter of the French language, the Charter of human rights and freedoms and other legislative provisions (the “Bill”). The legislator is concerned that English is being used systematically in certain workplaces. The Bill was tabled on December 5, 2012 and the proposed amendments are designed to reaffirm the primacy of French as the official and common language of Quebec.

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