Our transportation law team practises in all aspects of this field, from the management of commercial, criminal and regulatory disputes to the contractual, administrative and regulatory aspects of goods and passenger transportation in Canada. We represent Canadian and foreign clients, consisting primarily of road carriers and transport service intermediaries as well as shippers, warehouse operators and lessees and lessors of rolling stock. We are well-prepared to support you in your daily operations as well as your particular road-transport- related needs.
We plead regularly before the Commission des transports du Québec (CTQ), at public hearings for behaviour audits of individuals registered in the Registre des propriétaires et des exploitants de véhicules lourds (NIR) as a result of a deterioration in the record under the Politique d’évaluation des propriétaires et des exploitants de véhicules lourds (PEVL) (particularly in relation to a fatal accident, critical incident, rollover threshold, or failed business inspection). This leads us to intervene with authorities responsible for the enforcement of the acts and regulations such as the Contrôle routier Québec in road or business inspections, and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec as regards PEVL record management and protection.
We also represent carriers in applications for bus passengers transportation licences (particularly tour and charter buses), thus applying our knowledge of the Bus Transport Regulation and CTQ case law.
We have also had the opportunity to intervene regularly in transportation contract negotiations and related dispute prevention or settlement, notably with the objective of defining the role of the various parties to the contract (carrier, intermediary, owner-operator, shipper or receiver), thereby delineating their duties, obligations and responsibilities to one another. The drafting of such contracts is done in close cooperation with our clients so as to optimally reflect their operating needs and ensure maximum protection of their business interests. We also represent our clients in claims for lost, late or damaged cargo and unpaid transportation costs. To this end, we use our expert knowledge of the acts and regulations regarding the civil liability of road carriers, such as the:
Civil Code of Québec
Conditions of Carriage Federal Regulations
Regulation respecting the requirements for bills of lading
Regulation respecting the requirements applicable to shipping documents
Our team also works within the corporate and commercial law team and is able to support you in the purchase or sale of a business as well as in corporate reorganization. Its legislative and regulatory expertise as well as its expertise in the provincial enforcement of the National Safety Code of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) ensure that the transfer, repositioning and registration of heavy vehicles is carried out efficiently and optimally in relation to the PEVL record, obligations arising from the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the International Registration Plan (IRP).
We also counsel and act for our clients in matters of regulatory compliance by frequently appearing before the Court of Quebec, Criminal Division, and municipal courts to take care of heavy vehicle offences under federal and provincial acts and regulations. We work on a daily basis in the prevention and resolution of disputes related to acts and regulations governing carrier operations, such as the:
Highway Safety Code
Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers
Vehicle Load and Size Limits Regulation
Regulation respecting safety standards for road vehicles
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations
Act respecting owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles (Bill 430)
Finally, we work closely with our labour and employment law team so that our clients can benefit from advice on sectoral good practices, business policy preparation, the provincial or federal nature of a business, hiring a professional driver and required recordkeeping, drug and alcohol management and disciplinary sanctions applicable to road safety issues.