Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Ministerial orders – Extradition – Investigations – Judicial review – Jurisdiction – Procedural requirements and fairness – Failure to provide reasons – Evidence
Maisonneuve v. Canada (Minister of Justice),  Q.J. No. 4054, Quebec Court of Appeal, July 31, 2006, François Pelletier J.A., François Doyon J.A. and Lise Côté J.A.
Maisonneuve sought judicial review of the decision rendered by the Minister of Justice of Canada ordering his surrender to the United States of America. He based his application on the grounds that the Minister did not provide reasons for its decision and that the Minister failed to inform him that the Minister had not received his submission. Maisonneuve also submitted that the Extradition Act was unconstitutional in that it did not specify the manner in which the duration of pre-surrender detention should be considered, that the Minister took too long to render his decision and that the case should have been prosecuted in Canada. Maisonneuve was allegedly involved in a fraudulent telemarketing scheme targeting Americans.
Maisonneuve’s application was allowed by the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Court held that it was not necessary to decide whether the Minister should have provided reasons for his initial decision, made prior to considering Maisonneuve’s submissions, as the Minister did render a decision giving reasons after Maisonneuve sent the submissions. There was no evidence suggesting that the time in detention would not be considered in the United States. The Court rejected the argument that the Minister took too long to render his decision, noting that the time period set out in the Act was not mandatory. However, the Court held that the Minister’s interpretation of the evidence regarding the participation of the US and Canadian police authorities was patently unreasonable. The US police were not primarily responsible for assembling the record of investigation. Almost all of the investigation took place in Canada. Because the Minister based his decision largely on an unreasonable interpretation of the evidence, the Court held that the decision was, itself, unreasonable. The Minister was ordered to reconsider the record and render a decision in light of the present judgment, taking into account the actual participation of Canadian and US police in the investigation and evaluating the impact of this participation on the conclusion that prosecution in the United States was the most realistic option.
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