Canada: Un Syndic Doit Se Faire Taxer Dans Le Cadre D'une Proposition Suivie D'une Faillite

Le 11 février 2014, Docteurs de l'espace inc./Space Doctors Inc. («SDI») dépose un avis d'intention  de déposer une proposition suite auquel, le 7 mars 2014, la registraire Me Chantal Flamand lui accorde un délai  pour le dépôt de la proposition et autorise la vente de gré à gré de ses actifs.

Outre le fait de ne pas avoir signé l'acte de vente des actifs de SDI, le Syndic avait mené à bien toutes les tâches qu'il aurait autrement complétées dans l'éventualité de la faillite de SDI. Toutefois, n'ayant jamais déposé de proposition, la cession fut présumée suite à l'échéance du délai additionnel, soit le 26 avril 2014, auquel suivit une première assemblée des créanciers convoquée par le Syndic le 16 mai suivant.

Le 3 juin 2014, ce dernier a produit son état définitif des recettes et des débours («l'État») pour le soumettre au registraire Me Pierre Pellerin le 30 juillet 2014. Malgré la requête du Surintendant enjoignant le Syndic à procéder à sa taxation en vertu de l'article 60 des Règles générales sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité, le registraire Pellerin déclare irrecevable la demande de taxation soumise par le Syndic.

De l'avis du registraire, la demande de taxation de l'État du Syndic est irrecevable puisque aucune proposition n'a été déposée dans les délais impartis par la loi et que la débitrice a alors été présumée avoir fait cession de ses biens. Ainsi, le registraire soutient que les débours encourus durant la période de l'avis d'intention sont inclus en absence de tout actif imparti au Syndic puisque SDI était déjà présumée avoir fait cession de ses biens.

Le Surintendant reproche au registraire Pellerin d'avoir fait fi de l'article 66(1.2) de la Loi sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité (la «Loi») qui précise la nécessité de préparer un relevé dans les cas de cession présumée, d'avoir omis d'exercer sa compétence en refusant de procéder à la taxation alors que la Loi lui en oblige, d'avoir créé une situation inéquitable pour les syndics exerçant à travers le pays et d'avoir erré en droit dans l'exercice de son pouvoir de décider de la taxation des relevés de recettes et débours des syndics.

De l'avis du Tribunal, la décision du registraire Pellerin comporte des erreurs de droit qui requièrent son intervention. L'article 152 de la Loi traite des situations pour lesquelles un avis d'intention n'est pas suivi du dépôt d'une proposition duquel s'ensuit une cession présumée de biens. Conjointement, l'article 66(1.2) de la Loi prévoit alors une obligation pour le syndic de préparer sans délai son état définitif des recettes et des débours. Cette exigence assure la conformité du syndic à ses obligations et la transparence de ses actions.

Malgré que la transaction en cause se soit conclue de gré à gré, la preuve révèle l'implication continue du syndic dans la vente des actifs de SDI laquelle a été autorisée aux termes d'une décision de la Cour supérieure. SDI a choisi de se prévaloir des dispositions de la Loi et le Syndic a accepté d'agir par suite.

Dans le cas présent, le Tribunal ne voit rien d'irrégulier dans l'approche retenue par SDI et le Syndic. Ainsi, le registraire avait l'obligation d'exercer sa compétence et de s'assurer du caractère juste et raisonnable des débours engagés et des honoraire réclamés par le Syndic sans laquelle une personne insolvable et un syndic pourraient bénéficier de la protection offerte par la Loi tout en échappant à toute forme de surveillance ou de contrôle de la Cour.

Docteurs de l'espace inc./Space Doctors inc. (Syndic de), juge 2015 QCCS 152 (20 janvier 2015) ;

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