Prince George, BC: Commencing September 23, 2013, Irvin Leroux finally got his day in Court in his claim against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Actually, he got 15 days in Court before BC Supreme Court judge Madam Justice Mary Humphries.
In a “David and Goliath” scene, the Department of Justice had 4 lawyers from their Vancouver office representing the CRA, while Mr. Leroux had one lawyer. Represented by D. Laurence Armstrong from Victoria, Mr. Leroux testified about the treatment he received at the hands of the CRA which resulted in him losing a large RV Park and subdivision in Valemount, B.C. Mr. Leroux testified that he was left penniless and a broken man when CRA assessed him for $960,000 in tax, interest, and penalties, and filed Judgments against his properties, triggering bank foreclosures and sales. Six years later, after his case was resolved at the Tax Court of Canada, and all interest and penalties were cancelled, he was actually owed a refund by the CRA.
Mr. Leroux sued the CRA in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, claiming the assessments resulting in the $960,000 “debt” to the CRA were created through misfeasance by CRA officials (one sought a bribe from Mr. Leroux to make his tax problems “all go away”) or alternatively as a result of negligence throughout the organization.
Long time Member of Parliament, Richard (Dick) Harris, testified on behalf of Mr. Leroux, and described his efforts to help Mr. Leroux in dealing with the CRA. He described Mr. Leroux’s decline from a “firecracker” businessman to a broken man as CRA created and began collecting the “debt”.
The CRA and its team of government lawyers had previously brought 6 pre-trial Motions and Applications to the Court, including an appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeal, trying to strike Mr. Leroux’s claim before it ever came to trial. “It is a testament to Mr. Leroux’s fortitude and determination that he is here at all” said his lawyer, D. Laurence Armstrong, in his opening remarks on the first day of trial.
The Judge reserved her decision, which Mr. Leroux expects may be released in the next few months. He awaits the decision, knowing the result is now out of his hands and that he did the best he could to bring CRA’s conduct to light.
Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) Executive Director Chris Schafer added, “The CCF is proud to have supported this lawsuit against the CRA in an attempt to establish a duty of care at law on the part of the CRA to be accountable to the honest and hard working Canadian taxpayers of this country”.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), “Freedom’s Defence Team”, is a registered charity, independent and non-partisan, whose mission is to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through education, communication and litigation.