On October 6, 2009, the Court of Appeal of Québec upheld a decision rendered April 30, 2008 by Justice Guy Cournoyer of the Superior Court of Québec, who had himself upheld the acquittal of the Canada Post Corporation (the "CPC) on a charge laid by the Attorney General of Canada (the "AG") before the Court of Québec.
The charge followed in the wake of an unfortunate accident that occurred in 2002, when an employee of one of the CPC's subcontractors caught his arm in a belt conveyor located in the CPC's facilities. The cornerstone of the dispute brought before the Court of Appeal of Québec consisted in determining whether the conveyor in question complied with the protection method provided for in the ASME B-20.1-1993 standard, which is incorporated by reference into the Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. The issue revolved more particularly around determining whether this standard allows the CPC to guard the conveyer by placing it in a restricted area. The Court of Appeal of Québec confirmed the interpretation of the standard recommended by the CPC and the Superior Court, finding that the method of guarding by location indeed applies to the conveyor involved in the accident. The CPC's acquittal was therefore upheld by the Court of Appeal of Québec.
Marc-André Fabien and Marc Ouellet from Fasken Martineau represented the CPC.