New developments in Quebec Class Action suit
Contact info for Law Firm:
2000 McGill College Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H3A 3H3
Mtre. Sébastien Richemont: ; 514-982-5627
Mtre. Eric Bédard:
Documents posted to Facebook by Martin Robichaud as per court instructions:
Notice to Members EN (19-01-07) - Summary
Notice to Members EN (19-01-07) - Detailed
Judgement Authorizing Registration of Class Action (translation) - (18-03-20)
Avis aux membres FR (19-0107) - Abrégé
Avis aux membres FR (19-01-07) - Détaillé
Jugement d'autorisation recours collectif (18-03-20)
Please note that a detailled "FAQ" will be posted some time next week for those who have questions. Please be patient.
Quebec Superior Court Authorizes Class Action against Intrawest
Message from Martin Robichaud (version française plus bas)
There was a meeting on December 3, 2018 between the judge and the lawyers of both parties, one of the purposes of this meeting was to put in place a schedule of upcoming activities. The full calendar is not yet available. One of the important points was the communication to class members who are directly affected by the class action.
I am sending you the Notice to Members (in English and French, in detailed and abridged versions), and the judgment that authorized the class action against Intrawest ULC (in English and French versions). The Notices will also be circulated in certain newspapers (by the End of January), and the Club will forward them to the members targeted by mail and by email ( by the End of January). The documents are available on your FB site and you are free to share them with whoever you want.
You will find on the Notices to Members the contact details of the lawyers of the firm Woods, they are there to help (answers to many of your questions are probably in the detailed notice). For my part, being directly involved as the class representative in this class action, I would ask you to continue to understand that I can not comment or answer questions. I must be re-interviewed by Intrawest's lawyers in the spring of 2019. This step is the next very important activity (activity that I have to do alone in the presence of my lawyers). It's been almost four years since I began these steps and I learned to be patient and also not to burn the stages.
Thank you for your support and thank you very much also to the managers and volunteers of the site. I will get back to you next week with more information and FAQ.
Il y a eu une rencontre le 3 décembre 2018 entre la juge et les avocats des deux parties, cette rencontre avait entre autre pour but de mettre en place un calendrier des activités à venir. Le calendrier complet n'est pas encore disponible. Un des points importants était la communication aux membres du groupe qui sont touchés directement par le recours collectif.
Je vous transmets les Avis aux membres (en anglais et en français, en versions détaillée et abrégée), et le jugement qui a autorisé l’action collective contre Intrawest ULC (en versions française et anglaise). Les Avis seront aussi diffusés dans certains journaux (d'ici la fin janvier), et le Club les transmettra aux membres visés par la poste et par courriel (d'ici la fin janvier). Les documents sont disponibles sur votre site FB et vous êtes libres de les partager avec qui vous voulez.
Vous trouverez sur les Avis aux membres les coordonnées des avocats de la firme Woods, ils sont là pour aider (les réponses à plusieurs de vos questions se trouvent probablement dans l’avis détaillé). Pour ma part, étant directement impliqué comme représentant du groupe dans ce recours collectif, je vous demanderais de continuer à comprendre que je ne peux pas commenter ou répondre à des questions. Je dois de nouveau être interrogé hors cour par les avocats d'Intrawest au printemps 2019. Cette étape est la prochaine activité très importante (activité que je dois faire seul en présence de mes avocats). Cela fait près de 4 ans que j'ai débuté ces démarches et j'ai appris à être patient et aussi à ne pas brûler les étapes.
Merci pour votre appui et merci beaucoup aussi aux responsables et bénévoles du site. Je vous reviendrai la semaine prochaine avec plus d’information et des FAQ.
On March 20th, 2018, the Superior Court of Quebec released a decision by Hon. Anne Jacob certifying a class action to proceed against Intrawest ULC. The full text of the decision is available here (available in French only). What follows is a summary of key information.
What has been authorized by the court? A law suit in reduction of price paid to Intrawest ULC, compensatory damages and punitive damages in relation to alleged illicit sales practice in relation to becoming a Club Intrawest member and to fees that were allegedly not disclosed at the time of purchase.
Who are the potential class members? Individuals that have purchased points directly from Intrawest in Quebec with the exception of such individuals having sold their points before 2007. So, if you purchased your points from the developer in Quebec and have not sold those points before 2007, you currently stand to be eligible.
What does it mean for a class to be certified? It means that Martin Robichaud will be allowed to proceed in his suit against Intrawest as a representative of a larger class of individuals. Should he be successful, it means that the remedy obtained by him will also be available to similarly eligible class members. By certifying this class action, it means the court believed the four following conditions were met:
The factual context of members is identical, similar or connected.
Allegations appear to justify the remedy sought.
The composition of the class would not make it practical for individual members to individually or jointly sue the defendant.
The representative member (Mr Robichaud in this case) can ensure adequate representation of other members.
What are the facts underpinning this case? Mr Robichaud’s case is in relation to the purchase of 160 points for a total price of Cdn$30,560 in 2009. At the time, Mr Robichaud (like so many of us) believed, according to the explanations offered at the time of sale, that should he wish to re-sell at a later time, he would essentially recoup his investment. There was also the purchase of 300 additional points on the secondary market also in 2009.
In 2014, five years after the initial purchase, he asked about the repurchase program. He was also informed at that time about the need to sell his points to another member with a minimal price per point failing which there would be no Extraordinary Escape (EE) privileges attached to the points sold.
The circumstances under which Mr Robichaud attempted to sell his points or have them repurchased led him to believe the 160 points he originally purchased had been severally devalued because of undisclosed facts at the time of purchase and subsequent decisions and actions by Intrawest ULC.
What are the issues raised in this class action? Mr Robichaud is asking the court to answer many important questions, including:
Has Intrawest used prohibited sales practices? Should this be the case, should Intrawest be reimbursing members or should members be entitled to a reduction in the price paid?
Should members be entitled to punitive damages because of their alleged breach of the Consumer Protection Act (Québec)?
Should members be dispensed from paying annual fees because they do not own the properties?
What is the remedy sought by this class action? Mr Robichaud believes the points have been devalued by approx 75% because several keys facts were not disclosed to him in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act of Quebec. He also believes he should not have paid the annual fees. He therefore asks the court:
a 75% refund of the price paid in relation to the original purchase of 160 points from Intrawest ULC;
100% of the annual fees paid to date for all points;
Punitive damages ($5,000).
What are the next steps of this class action? There are a few additional minor procedural steps before the case fully proceeds. The Volunteers Coordinating Committee (VCC) will keep the Club Intrawest Owners Group (CIOG) posted as details are known to us. We have a good relationship with Mr Robichaud and are already supporting him, for example, by sharing aggregate member survey information.
What are the next steps of the VCC? We welcome this highly sought after decision as a key milestone that will significantly influence and inform the refinement of our legal strategy. Broadly speaking, the major areas of further analysis are:
Assuming the case of Mr Robichaud succeeds, how could the remedy be extended to purchases of points outside of Quebec?
Develop a fully informed legal analysis, taking into account the Robichaud class action and its repercussions, and table options to the membership in the form of proposals at a first AGM of the future Embarc Owners Association, a new association in the process of being created by the VCC.
Stay vacationed, but stay aware!
Patrick Cormier, B.Sc., B.C.L./LL.B., CD VCC Team Leader