After a four-day hearing, on August 31, 2023, the Honourable Bernard Jolin of the Superior Court dismissed a judicial review application seeking to annul the decision of the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs to grant to the City of Longueuil the authorization allowing it to proceed with a controlled hunt of the Virginia deer located in Michel-Chartrand Park by means of crossbows.
On October 26, 2023, the application for leave to appeal that judgment to the Quebec Court of Appeal was dismissed.
The judge hearing the application concluded that even if the legal grounds of appeal raised to challenge the judgment were accepted, this would not be sufficient to allow that judgment to be invalidated taking into account the factual conclusions reached by the first instance judge.
The Superior Court indeed concluded, as a matter of fact, that the applicant organization Sauvetage Animal Rescue had been allowed to submit its viewpoint to the City of Longueuil with respect to the measures required to resolve the deer overpopulation problem in Michel-Chartrand Park. Moreover, the Superior Court also concluded, as a matter of fact, that the City of Longueuil studied and considered other solutions to reduce the deer population of the park, including sterilisation and relocation.
Consequently, even if the Quebec Court of Appeal responded positively to the legal questions which the applicants seek to raise, this would not lead to a modification of the conclusion of the Superior Court judgment, taking into account the facts of the case.
Text of the decision: Sauvetage Animal Rescue c. Ville de Longueuil