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I got offered a job which I accepted and had to sign an exclusivity contract.

This contract is inside a confidentiality contract and it says that I cannot work for anyone else on the island of Montreal and anywhere north of it.

Is this restriction valid or is it not specific enough to be correctly applied?

I live in the province of Quebec, Canada.

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To be enforceable in Canada, a non-compete Claus must be "limited in time frame, business scope, and geographic scope to what is reasonably required to protect the company's proprietary rights."

With respect to the geographic scope, courts have held that these must be precisely defined: this is a problem because there isn't an "island of Montreal". There are islands of Montreal but each has its own name, so there is no certainty about which island is being contemplated.

Notwithstanding, this is prima facie too broad. Having a quick look at the map, such a clause would prohibit you working in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa; not to mention Seattle, London, Berlin and Moscow.

  • Hm. I was under the impression that Île de Montréal / the Island of Montreal was a specific island, south of Île Jésus and mostly east of Île Perrot. The problem is that it's unclear if the limit is north of the southermost point of the island, or the northernmost point. Plus, "anywhere north" excludes almost all of Canada, save for the Ottawa-Toronto environs. – user6726 Sep 12 '16 at 1:07
  • @user6726 since the area includes the island (if it exists and your info may be better than mine) it would have to be the southernmost point. – Dale M Sep 12 '16 at 1:30
  • This is known in the Common Law as a term or clause in 'Restraint of Trade and has to be "reasonable' with regard to a period of time and geographical area, etc. A court would not uphold it otherwise. – Peter Point Oct 12 '16 at 22:40

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