Pierre – Court of Quebec finds that a couple had a fraught but “conjugal” relationship

In Quebec they are referred to as “de facto spouses” rather than “common-law partners” but otherwise the federal and Quebec definitions are quite similar. Both reference the concept of cohabiting “in a conjugal relationship,” and both provide that they cease to be common-law partners/spouses if (to use the Quebec language) they have ceased “cohabiting … for a period of at least 90 days … because of a breakdown of their conjugal relationship.” (The federal definition refers to “living separate and apart” rather than to ceasing to cohabit.)

Edwards, JCQ found that a couple continued to live conjugally at the commencement of the 90-day period before a taxation year end, notwithstanding considerable tensions, given that they continued to live under the same roof, presented a united front to their daughter who lived with them, shared the domestic chores (although she did more) and presented as a couple on major social occasions. As for sex:

[T]he jurisprudence has determined that, after a certain number of years of existence as a couple, the absence of such relations does not prevent the court from characterizing their relationship as marital or as conjugal.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Pierre v. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2019 QCCQ 2137 under s. 248(1) – common-law partner.