FACIL launches lawsuit against Quebec government to close loophole

FACIL sent out press release (english press release, which includes a link to a translation of their court filing) that documents their launching of a case in Quebec Superior Court. The case is intended to end a loophole being used by the Quebec provincial government to award contracts to proprietary software suppliers without an adequate evaluation of all the options, including Free/Libre and Open Source Software options.

I was interviewed by Peter Nowak for CBC News last evening about the case. Even though I hadn't read the documents from FACIL yet, guessed which loophole they were trying to close.

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Where is GOSLING?

Great to see that Quebec is passing the rest of Canada by taking proactive action. While FACIL moves ahead and focuses attention on this important topic, what loopholes does the federal government use to spend so much on proprietary software? The Ontario or other provincial governments? And if none of those governments in the ROC even need to weasel out of their own technology purchasing guidelines in order to award contracts to proprietary software suppliers without adequate evaluation, why hasn't pressure been applied to strengthen those purchasing laws to be more open, competitive, and fair?

I would think that taxpayers should demand this, even if GOSLING hasn't been able to make the case effectively.


GOSLING is a group of people communicating with each other who happen to have interesting day jobs (in the pubic, private and other sectors). It is not a lobby group, and obviously could not launch a court case. The public servants that are part of this group are very aware of this loophole, and have been doing what they can inside government to try to get it closed.

These things take time, and there is considerable progress -- just not that would be visible outside of government (or outside of what we are able to discuss at a GOSLING gaggle).

CLUE is the sister organization to FACIL. We are able to do what our volunteers and sponsors are willing to spend their time and money on. If you have some resources you are willing to dedicate to this issue, we are always interested! FACIL was able to launch a case as they were able to get a lawyer involved, something that isn't currently at the disposal of CLUE.

The loophole being challenged by FACIL is universal across Canada, and by challenging it there it is quite possible that the problem can be solved Canada-wide. It isn't a Quebec-only case, even if it was launched by a Quebec group in the context of a Quebec court.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.