Hellenic Congress of Quebec v. Hellenic Canadian Congress
The Hellenic Congress of Quebec (HCQ) sued the Hellenic Canadian Congress (HCC) in the Superior Court of Ontario for a number of improprieties including the passing of the 2016 Constitution, the lack of financial accounting since 2012 despite repeated demands and the failure to hold elections for the National Council since 2012. In addition, the Quebec Congress was excluded from participating in the affairs of the HCC.
Justice Nishikawa who heard the case released her reasons for judgment on April 14, 2020 vindicating the Quebec Congress and declaring that a number of key provisions of the 2016 Constitution were of no force and effect until properly enacted.
Despite clearly losing the legal battle, the Hellenic Canadian Congress issued a press release two days after the judgment was issued declaring “we finally received the much-awaited victory which vindicated the Canadian Hellenic Congress as a National organization.” There was no victory and no vindication, and the HCC was simply misleading people.
At the end of each case, the judge must decide who will pay the legal costs of the proceedings. The question of costs is always in the discretion of the judge who may order that no costs be payable (each party bears its own) or orders the losing party to pay some or all of the costs of the other side.
Justice Nishikawa reviewed all the factors that a judge must consider before ordering a party to pay the costs of its lawsuit opponent. She enumerated more than a dozen principles that may be considered from the complexity and importance of the issues litigated to the conduct of the parties during the litigation and, of course, the winner.
The HCC argued that each side should bear its own costs because both parties are not-for-profit organizations and the case helped to provide clarity about its governance. It also argued that the Hellenic Congress of Quebec was not entirely successful.
The judge found that the case raised important issues for both sides and that it was somewhat complex. As to the Quebec Congress not being entirely successful, her comment was that “While [it] did not obtain all the relief it sought, it was successful on all grounds raised.” (emphasis mine).
The HCQ asked for $15,496.93 which covered only a portion of its costs. Justice Nishikawa found the amount fair and reasonable and ordered the Hellenic Canadian Congress to pay it.
The next step is for the HCC to call a general meeting where it will report on its activities to the members, resolve issues of the Constitution in accordance with Justice Nishikawa’s judgment and most importantly hold elections for a new board of directors.
Can we go on to the next chapter?