This case involved the criminal law consequences for violence against women.  

LEAF retained a lawyer on behalf of La Maison des Femmes de la Côte-Nord, a shelter for women fleeing violence, to monitor a trial.  


Mr. Gagné and Ginette Desjardins were married for 25 years, and had 5 children. Later in the marriage, Mr. Gagné struggled with alcohol use and Ms. Desjardins began separation proceedings. She began working at La Maison des Femmes, and ultimately sought a divorce. Subsequently, Mr. Gagné shot and killed Ms. Desjardins. He was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was later reduced to manslaughter on the grounds that he had been too intoxicated and depressed to have planned a murder.   


The offence should not be treated as an isolated incident, but rather as part of a violent pattern of domestic abuse.  


The man was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 14 years in prison.  

Leaf is grateful to Céline Boulanger Lamontagne, counsel in this case.  

Our records are imperfect, but we are doing our best to update them – if you were involved with LEAF on this case but your name is not reflected here, please email us at [email protected].