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Public, municipal, school and health law

Dunton Rainville facilitates legal relations between its clients and the various levels of government in Québec and Canada, including municipalities.

Our professionals who specialize in public, municipal, education and health law have in-depth knowledge of governments, organizations and community institutions in Québec.

Administrative, constitutional and criminal law

Dunton Rainville has leading expertise in public law, encompassing administrative, constitutional and criminal law.

In these areas, which govern relations between the State and its citizens, our lawyers provide services tailored to clients’ specific needs. These services include the interpretation of applicable laws and regulations, matters relating to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Canada and Québec); criminal offences (individuals and corporations), disciplinary law and professional ethics, applications for judicial review, government contracts and the procurement process and the drafting of legal opinions.

Our professionals’ expertise also extends to representation before the lower and appeals courts, as well as before administrative tribunals. Their extensive experience in administrative, constitutional and criminal litigation is an essential asset in preserving or restoring trust between the State and its citizens in a free and democratic society.

Specialized services:

  • Representation before administrative and judicial tribunals, as well as before various commissions and boards
  • Applications for judicial review
  • Appeals of administrative decisions
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal law
  • Disciplinary law and professional ethics
  • Human rights and freedoms
  • Indigenous law
  • Government contracts and procurement processes
  • Drafting of legal opinions
  • Management of administrative litigation
  • Internal, public and regulatory investigations
  • Access to information requests

Municipal law

Dunton Rainville has been committed to the municipal sector for over 50 years.

Our municipal lawyers and notaries represent a wide range of clients, including cities and municipalities, regional county municipalities, transit authorities, municipal housing authorities and municipal boards. Our local expertise also extends to education law, including educational institutions and school service centers (CSS).

The firm’s municipal lawyers provide legal services covering all facets of municipal law. In addition to our team’s diversified experience with local governments and various municipal stakeholders, which has enabled Dunton Rainville to develop a keen awareness of local issues, our firm is an associate member of the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) and the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM), and participates in the activities of numerous other municipal groups.

Specialized services:

  • Municipal by-laws
  • Municipal liability
  • Expropriation of residential and commercial properties or vacant land
  • Municipal property assessment, including the assessment roll, applications for administrative review, property values and tax exemptions
  • Zoning and urban planning by-laws
  • Municipal litigation, including representation before the Tribunal administratif du Québec in expropriation and municipal assessment cases
  • Land use planning
  • Environmental law
  • Property taxes
  • Permit issuance
  • Real estate development
  • Ethical and deontological issues
  • Contract management

Expropriation and municipal assessment

Dunton Rainville provides services at all stages of the expropriation process, including needs planning, project impact negotiations, preparation of reserve or expropriation notices and determination of expropriation entitlement (motions to contest).

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work on numerous cases to assert our clients’ right to expropriate residential buildings, commercial properties and vacant land.

Property assessment, which is used to finance local communities, is a major concern for municipalities and individuals alike. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the Act Respecting Municipal Taxation, which provides for an application for administrative review to contest the building and land values determined by the municipal assessor. Our lawyers are also highly knowledgeable regarding specific provisions of the Act, including the process for establishing value and the exemptions provided, enabling our clients to better understand the issues involved in challenging a property assessment.

Specialized services:

  • Drafting of expropriation and reserve notices
  • Challenges to the right to expropriation
  • Negotiation of provisional and final indemnities
  • Establishment of expropriation compensation (owner, developer, tenant, occupant)
  • Development of strategies with chartered appraisers, urban planners and other experts
  • Representation before the Tribunal administratif du Québec
  • Municipal assessment
  • Requests for administrative review
  • Municipal taxes
  • Pricing
  • Changes in value
  • Tax exemptions (government buildings, religious institutions, cemeteries, schools, etc.)

Zoning, urban planning and the environment

Dunton Rainville’s extensive experience in municipal matters enables our firm to confidently and effectively represent our clients’ interests in zoning, urban planning and environmental matters.

Our expertise encompasses a wide range of issues of interest to local decision makers and stakeholders, including land use planning and urban planning (agricultural zoning and urban development, subdivision, building construction), environmental authorizations, contaminated soil remediation, regulatory compliance (e.g., urban planning and by-laws, zoning and subdivision, construction, comprehensive development plans) and various permit applications.

Dunton Rainville’s municipal lawyers collaborate closely with their colleagues in other practice areas, including construction law, real estate law, environmental law, education law, administrative law and tax law. This multidisciplinary approach adds value to the services we provide.

Specialized services:

  • Access to information
  • Protection of personal and private information
  • Land use planning
  • Property assessment review
  • Calls for tender and awarding of public contracts
  • Zoning, subdivision and construction
  • Urban planning (comprehensive development plans, derogations, etc.)
  • Protection of built and natural heritage
  • Environmental law
  • Municipal taxation
  • Drafting of by-laws and resolutions
  • Representation before civil and administrative tribunals
  • Drafting of private bills and presentation before the National Assembly
  • Representation before parliamentary committees
  • Negotiation and drafting of public contracts

Education law

The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., high drop-out rates) are still being felt in educational establishments, in addition to the budgetary and demographic challenges, teacher shortages and dilapidated school infrastructures that Quebec’s education community has been facing for several years.

Dunton Rainville’s specialized education law professionals advise managers of private and public educational establishments, including schools and school boards, in a variety of cases.

Our lawyers represent educational establishments before various judicial bodies in Quebec in disputes involving privacy and access to information, human rights (including discrimination in a school environment), application of the Labour Code, and potential conflictual relations between parents and school administrators. In addition, members of our education law team work closely with colleagues in other practice areas, including immigration law, on the hiring of foreign teachers by primary and secondary schools, and the temporary selection of foreign students, mainly in universities.

Specialized services:

  • Requirements applicable to the Education Act or the Act respecting private education and their related regulations
  • Access to information requests
  • School violence and bullying against students, teachers and administrators
  • Handling complaints
  • Negotiations with teachers or other categories of employees
  • School taxes
  • Contractual processes, including supply contracts and public agency contracts
  • Litigation, including labour disputes, student complaints and infringement on certain fundamental rights
  • Occupational health and safety services

Health law

Dunton Rainville’s health law professionals advise health and social services institutions and managers, as well as general and specialized physicians, professional orders, pharmacists and insurers, in a wide range of cases.

Our specialized team’s expertise encompasses the Act respecting health services and social services and its related regulations. Our lawyers also have in-depth knowledge of federal health legislation, enabling them to offer their clients sound advice on the actions of these two levels of government in this area.

Our lawyers represent clients before relevant administrative tribunals and common law courts in a variety of disputes that may involve medical liability, patient consent to and quality of care, health crisis management, governance issues and labour law, including the negotiation of collective agreements. In a post-pandemic context characterized by labour shortages in the healthcare sector, our firm’s professionals advise clients on the tangible consequences of these shortages on occupational health and safety, both for hospital staff and for patients who sometimes suffer the repercussions.

Specialized services:

  • Internal organization and day-to-day management of health and social services facilities
  • Contractual activities, including the contract awarding process
  • Labour relations and relations with users and public administration
  • Medical liability
  • Medical law, including the legal standards governing the practice of medicine
  • User rights and, more broadly, human rights
  • Confidentiality of user files
  • Negotiations with healthcare professionals
  • Training in health law
  • Human resources management, including hiring and retaining personnel

A solid legal presence across Québec


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514 866-6743


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819 481-0324


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