Construction S.Y.L. Tremblay - Quebec Court of Appeal finds that an attempt to relitigate an adverse TCC decision in the Court of Quebec was an abuse of process

In the federal Construction S.Y.L. Tremblay case, Bédard J found that house-repair invoices, that did not give the house address or describe the precise nature of the work performed (and that were rendered in the name of entities that did not remit the GST), failed to satisfy the requirements of s. 3 of the Input Tax Credit Information (GST/HST) Regulations, so that the appellant’s related input tax credit claims were properly denied – and also found that “the appellant did not truly acquire the supplies for which it claimed ITCs.”

The appellant then sought to establish its eligibility for input tax refunds for the QST on the same invoices in a Court of Quebec action with the assistance of 19 witnesses (perhaps in order to get at the point quoted above). Thibault JCA agreed with the finding of the Court of Quebec below that allowing this action to proceed would be an abuse of process, given that the new evidence would not solve the defective nature of the invoices that the appellant had received.

However, before so concluding, she noted that the Supreme Court in the CUPE decision (2003 SCC 63) had indicated that “There are many circumstances in which the bar against relitigation, either through the doctrine of res judicata or that of abuse of process, would create unfairness,” so that there are circumstances (not established here) in which relitigation will be permitted.

Congiu reached essentially the same result going in the opposite direction (deference to prior Quebec decision).

Neal Armstrong. Summaries of Construction S.Y.L. Tremblay Inc. v. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2018 QCCA 552 under General Concepts - Abuse of Process, Stare Decisis and Input Tax Credit Information (GST/HST) Regulations, s. 3(c).