Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Simkin files ‘pink tax’ motion with Quebec Superior Court

By Isaac Olson
NDG-based lawyer Michael Simkin is leading the charge to Quebec’s Supreme Court, seeking permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against eight corporations over what has been dubbed the “pink tax.”

The Legal Logik firm is going after Unilever Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Uniprix, Métro, Loblaws, Walmart and Familiprix for offering “discriminatory surcharges” on hygiene products marketed to women. The products on a per-gram basis average 40 percent more for women than they are for men despite being composed of the same ingredients. The law firm is estimating the total damages could reach over $100 million.

Legal Logik is representing NDG-resident Aviva Maxwell in this appeal, while arguing this price discrimination goes against the Quebec Charter of Rights.

“First of all, this has been going on for a very long time, but there has been some pretty solid research more recently that demonstrates that it is not just an isolated phenomenon,” said Simkin in a phone interview. “It’s across the board in every jurisdiction. It’s really a commercial practice. It’s a marketing practice and it is incredibly gender bias.”

Michael Simkin addresses the borough council in November 2015. Photo: Isaac Olson

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