The link #2 ... July 2001

The tax team of the Civil Code Section of the Department of Justice of Canada is pleased to keep you posted on the most recent harmonization developments.

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2000: Bill C-22

The Income Tax Amendments Act, 2000 (C-22) was passed before the House of Commons on June 14th 2001 and became Chapter 17 of the Statutes of Canada (2001). This bill contains some harmonization amendments in its first part while Part 2 deals exclusively with harmonization with the Civil Code of Quebec of the following concepts: hypothec, liquidator of a succession, and co-ownership. Similar harmonization amendments were made to the Excise Act in Bill S-23. As of June 15th 2001, this Bill was passed by the Senate prior to the summer recess and has received a first reading in the House of Commons.

Bijural Records

The Department of Justice of Canada will publish bijural records in which the harmonization amendments to federal legislation will be explained. These records, covering chapters 4 (Harmonization Act No.1) and 17 (Income Tax Amendments Act, 2001), S.C. 2001, will help the reader in identifying civil law and common law terminology in both official languages. These reference documents will be useful in interpreting bilingual and bijural enactments. They will be published on the Department's web site.

The St-Hilaire Case

This case dealt with Mrs. St-Hilaire's rights, as a surviving spouse, to certain benefits under the federal government's pension plan. Mrs. St-Hilaire claimed these benefits after having lethally stabbed ("piqué" according to her own words) her spouse. She pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter. The Treasury Board refused her claim for benefits on the grounds of the common law rule that no one can benefit from his/her crime. Mrs. St-Hilaire argued that the common law rule did not apply to her since the events had taken place in the province of Quebec.

The Honorable Justice Décary analyses the rules pertaining to the interaction between federal law (public or private) and provincial private law as well as the suppletive rules to be applied when the federal legislation is silent.

A copy of the original French version is attached; the English translation is not yet available.