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Publication date : 2018-03-12

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LANEQ lawyers and notaries backed by their Canadian colleagues


In the midst of an unlimited general strike launched Monday, October 24, Les avocats et notaires de l'État québécois (LANEQ) announced the official support of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel (CACC). The announcement came when negotiations between LANEQ and the government had been at a standstill for several months.


"We are proud to stand beside our Québec colleagues in this struggle to have the crucial role played by crown lawyers and notaries acknowledged. Not only are their claims entirely legitimate, but the type of negotiations they are asking for is in perfect step with what we advocate as best practice all across Canada. It is a system that is already in place in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Crown counsel should have the same value in the eyes of the Québec government as they do elsewhere in the country," declared CACC president Rick Woodburn.


"Day after day, the crown lawyers and notaries in Québec put their expertise and skills to the service of upholding the law and the public interest. By ignoring our claims as it is today, the government is undermining the importance of our work and of its own rulings. It's unacceptable! We are asking the government to show good faith and continue to negotiate. Today, our colleagues from the rest of Canada are standing with us to call the government back to the table, and we are very pleased with this great show of support," added Jean Denis, president of LANEQ.


LANEQ wants to change the method of negotiating their working conditions, to allow for binding arbitration supported by a compensation committee with a chair chosen and appointed by the parties. The compensation committee's mandate would include assessing reasonable compensation, taking into account the government's capacity to pay. During the last negotiations, in 2011, after an unlimited general strike, the Québec government acknowledged the need to reform the collective bargaining regime for civil service lawyers and notaries.


Québec civil service and Agence du revenu du Québec lawyers and notaries launched an unlimited general strike on October 24 after the members voted 84% in favour. The strike has suspended work on provincial bills and regulations, legal opinions and representation in the courts.


Les avocats et notaires de l'État québécois (LANEQ) represents over 1,100 lawyers and notaries working in all Québec government departments and organizations. Its mission is to promote and defend the interests of its members, principally by negotiating their working conditions. Crown lawyers and notaries work in the public interest by providing government representation in the civil, administrative and criminal courts, and they also serve as legal advisors and legislative drafters for government ministers and presidents of government organizations.


About the CACC
The Canadian Association of Crown Counsel (CACC) represents the interests of criminal and civil crown lawyers working for the ten provinces, the three territories and the federal government. It helps governments and the public understand issues involving Crown prosecutors and lawyers in the justice system, particularly as concerns their employment and working conditions.