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City of Longueuil, Que. gets postponement of contempt of court charges

By Amanda Jelowicki  Global News Posted Updated March 23, 2023 5:52 pm 
Watch the video here: https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/8b2abada-c9c4-11ed-add4-0242ac110005/?jwsource=cl

Facing potential contempt of court charges, the City of Longueuil, Que., asked for a postponement of a Quebec Human Rights Tribunal hearing relating to a racial profiling case.
The case dates back to 2012 and involves Joel Debellefeuille. He was driving with his wife to his son’s daycare in Longueuil. He says police followed him and questioned him, simply because he is Black.
He filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission, and in 2020 was awarded $12,000 in damages related to the incident. At the time, the judge also ordered the City of Longueuil to publish data related to race-based profiling, and to offer police new training on racism and racial profiling.
The City had a deadline of November 2022 to comply with the order. Debellefeuille’s legal team say it has ignored the order, so it filed a motion to hold the city in contempt of court for failing to comply.
“A judgment is a judgment, you have to respect it,” said Debellefeuille lawyer Genevieve Gray.  “The bottom line is if you don’t respect a court judgment, you are opening yourself up to being held in contempt of court.”
In court Thursday morning, city lawyers argued in front of Judge Christian Brunelle that the motion should be heard in Quebec Superior Court, and not in front of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. The two sides will meet in May to argue over jurisdictional issues.
As for Debellefeuille, he believes the city is simply opting for delay tactics.
“In my opinion it’s more of a delay to avoid the inevitable,” he said.  “In my opinion, that is going to happen and the result in this case will be they will be found guilty of contempt of court.”

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