Godbout Case

In the Godbout case (1997), the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that the obligation imposed on all its permanent employees by the city of Longueuil (near Montréal) that they live in the city was unconstitutional.

In the Godbout case (1997), the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that the obligation imposed on all its permanent employees by the city of Longueuil (near Montréal) that they live in the city was unconstitutional. The choice of a place of residence was part of the right to private life protected by Article 5 of the Québec Charter of Human Rights. The foregoing violation was not justifiable, moreover, under Article 9.1 of the Charter. Mr Justice La Forest also held that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied to municipalities because they were the concern of the provinces and that section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms dealt with the right to liberty which included the right to choose a place of residence, and the residency requirement was held to have violated that section. Ms. Godbout was found to have not waived her residency rights by signing an employment contract that contained the residency conditions.