The Cause of Action of the Representative Plaintiff in Class Proceedings

July 30, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada’s late-2013 set of decisions in the direct/ in-direct purchaser trilogy1 and in AIC Limited v. Fischer2 continues to emphasize that the bar to certifying a class proceeding in Canada, including in Quebec, is a low one. However, it remains the case that for an action to be certified as a class proceeding, a suitable representative plaintiff is required. A representative plaintiff with a triable claim that legitimately raises common issues is important as a matter of natural justice and due process. Certifying class actions without having a “real” representative plaintiff seriously prejudices the defendant’s right to fully defend the case against it. Yet, at least in Ontario, very little attention has been devoted to this certification criterion.

Read the full article here.


Sylvie Rodrigue, Geneviève Bertrand, James Gotowiec