An interesting article appeared in today’s issue of the Montreal Gazette. In, “Students teach province a valuable lesson”, it is reported that as many as 80,000
The government of
Harry Dikranian launched the lawsuit after he finished his degree in law at McGill. The suit was for $30 million.
This was the ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada:
“Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache, who wrote the ruling in Dikranian's favour, said the loan agreement is a contract between the student and the financial institution. As such, he wrote, the government violated the rights of the students by changing the interest obligation in the contract through a legislative amendment.”
While the details vary somewhat, it is unfortunate that the class-action lawsuit launched almost exactly a year ago by Andrea Hassum and Dan Roffey wasn’t as successful. After almost a year of going through the system, it was ruled that the issue of illegal ancillary fee collection is a political matter and students are technically third parties in the transaction between the colleges and the government. Because the ancillary fee protocol is a policy rather than a regulation (which would have carried the rule of law with it), the case was thrown out essentially on a technicality.
That being said, this ruling will likely bode well for any possible future class-action lawsuit that may be launched by students in