This update will provide an overview of developments in the proposed Canadian class actions against Visa, MasterCard, and various banks concerning interchange fees. This page will be updated regularly with the latest information in each of the three actions.
Chief Justice Bauman of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has been assigned as the Case Management Judge and will oversee the action going forward. To date, three case planning conferences have been held before Chief Justice Bauman.
The plaintiff has filed her materials for an application for the certification of the action as a class proceeding. If the Court agrees to certify the action, it will be allowed to go forward as a class proceeding. The plaintiff’s materials for certification are available in the Documents section.
The defendants have filed an application to have the notice of civil claim struck out in whole or in part. The defendants’ materials for their application to strike are available in the Documents section.
On January 10, 2012, the Court heard an application to decide whether the defendants’ application to strike should be heard before the plaintiff’s certification application or at the same time. Chief Justice Bauman is still considering this question.
The lawyers for both sides have agreed that the action will go forward in BC, while the Ontario Action and Quebec Action are held in abeyance pending the outcome of certification in BC. While the BC Action only proposes to include residents of British Columbia, it is hoped that the result of the BC Action will guide the outcome in other provinces. This is not gauranteed, however. Therefore, actions have been filed in other provinces, as discussed below.
A similar action was filed in Quebec in December 2010. The lawyer for the plaintiffs in Quebec has agreed to work with the lawyers in the BC and Ontario Actions. The Motion to Authorize the Bringing of a Class Action is available on the Documents page. It is presently intended that the Quebec Action will await the results of the hearings in BC.
In May 2011, a similar action was filed in Ontario. The lawyers for the plaintiff in the BC action are also the lawyers for the plaintiff in Ontario. The Statement of Claim is available on the Documents page. The proposed Ontario class seeks to cover the rest of the country not covered by the BC and Quebec Actions.
Madam Justice Horkins has been assigned as the case management judge. On January 30, 2012, a case planning conference was held before Madam Justice Horkins. She agreed to allow the action to proceed in BC rather than in Ontario for the time being.
Potential class members in Ontario should be aware that the outcome in the BC Action will not necessarily be the same as the outcome in the Ontario Action.