Quebec Superior Court Certifies Jitec Class Proceeding

Justice Pierre Viau of the Quebec Superior Court certified, on September 25, 2002, a class proceeding on behalf of Jitec Inc. shareholders, who had purchased shares in a three-month period in 2000, during which it is alleged that the company, its president and three brokerage houses (Canaccord, Leduc & Associates and CIBC World Markets) conspired to keep the share price artificially high.

In his ruling, Justice Viau reviewed each condition in s. 1003 of the Code of Civil Procedure, determining: (1) that the facts alleged by the proposed shareholder class would, if proven at trial, justify the findings against the defendants that the shareholders are seeking (s. 1003b); (2) that because the allegation is essentially one of fraud, all shareholders in the proposed class would benefit from damages were they to be awarded (s. 1003a); (3) that the class action is the appropriate procedural vehicle for advancing the rights asserted by the members of the proposed class (s. 1003c); and (4) the proposed representative plaintiff is capable of advancing the rights asserted by the members of the proposed class (s. 1003d).

Elyse Rosen of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP acted for Jitec. Michel Marchand and Michel Savonitto of Marchand Magnan Melançon Forget acted for Canaccord. André Champagne of Lavery, de Billy acted for Leduc & Associates. Marc Laurin and Érin Azran of Stikeman Elliott in Montreal acted for CIBC Wood Gundy. William Atkinson and François Grondin of McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted for Benîot Laliberté. Martine L. Tremblay of Kugler Kandestin acted for the petitioners.