Apr 13th, 2022
Sep 20th, 2021
By Frédéric Delisle
In a context where justice increasingly favors the settlement of disputes by various means, as demonstrated by the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure, the services offered by the Bureau are part of the range of alternative methods of settling cases. (our translation)
The Bureau referred to in the above quote is the Bureau de la protection des droits de la clientèle. Said quote is from the Bureau’s recently released 2020-2021 Annual Report, available here (available in French only). This report, in addition to containing a wealth of statistics and figures, provides an overview of the Bureau’s mission, values, structure and processes. Despite outreach efforts and multiple activities, including the directrice principale’s presence at the 13th edition of the Table ronde sur la justice participative, the Bureau remains a relatively unknown resource.
The Report indicates that in 2020-2021 the number of requests and complaints received by the Bureau decreased from the previous year, and that there has been a decrease of over 66% since year 2015-2016. Although this can be explained, in part and over the short term, by the Covid-19 pandemic and the suspension of certain Revenu Quebec activities (such as audit and collection), we might be tempted to see in this trend a confirmation of Revenu Quebec’s sustained commitment to improving "client experience".
However, it is interesting to note that the percentage of requests and complaints deemed "founded" has remained stable at around 28%. In addition, approximately 39% of the files processed resulted in decisions being modified in favour of the applicants:
Thus, a recourse to the Bureau in the event of an impasse with Revenu Québec remains an interesting option and must be part of every representative's toolbox. In addition, and to conclude with another quote, "[i]n addition to preventing or resolving dissatisfaction, or restoring a person's rights, the Bureau’s interventions often result in lasting changes to the way things are done, which benefits all clients.” (our translation)