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Collective Agreement Application

The Top Ten Canadian Court Decisions on Arbitration

In addition to presenting an audio conference on the "Top Ten" Canadian employment law and wrongful dismissal cases (see my previous post), Lancaster House recently presented on the "Top Ten Canadian Court Cases on Arbitration". Again, in no particular order, the cases and the issues they address, are:  read more »

BC Maritime Employers Association files systemic sex discrimination complaint against its union

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The BC Maritime Employers Association ("BCMEA") submitted a complaint yesterday to the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ("ILWU").

The BCMEA is calling it an "unprecedented step" taken because of "the urgent need to provide an inclusive workplace at the waterfront in British Columbia".

The BCMEA further states that it had "no other choice" but to file the complaint due to "the refusal of the ILWU to participate in timely and meaningful action to move toward equality in the workplace."

The complaint  - a summary of which can be found here - alleges that the ILWU Canada and its various local Unions are engaging in various discriminatory practices contrary to section 10 of the Canadian Human Rights Act ("CHRA").  read more »

Judge declines to award special costs in case where unionized employee sued employer in court

The BC Supreme Court judge in Johnston v. Surrey (City), 2009 BCSC 1520, refused to award special costs in a case where a unionized employee filed a lawsuit in court against his employer alleging constructive dismissal.


The long term employee filed a lawsuit in spring 2008 against the defendant employer (and a named individual) alleging that he was constructively dismissed.

Upon receipt of the Statement of Claim, the employer advised the employee of its position that:

  1. the circumstances giving rise to the constructive dismissal - a layoff -  occurred in 1995 and 1996 and thus were time barred by the limitation period set out in the BC Limitation Act; and
  2. the employee was a unionized employee and therefore the claim was not within the jurisdiction of the court.

The employee further requested that the Claim be withdrawn failing which the employer would bring an application to strike the Claim pursuant to Rule 19(24) and seek special costs  read more »

P.E.I. Human Rights Commission hearing on mandatory retirement at UPEI comes to close

Jurisdiction: - Prince Edward Island
Sector: - Education

A P.E.I. Human Rights Commission panel heard closing arguments yesterday on whether mandatory retirement at the University of Prince Edward Island is discriminatory, according to a CBC News report.

The complaint has been brought by three former faculty members at the university.

The mandatory retirement policy in question forms part of the collective agreement between the university and the faculty association. This March 2009 memo from the faculty association to its members provides background information about why the policy was included in the collective agremeent.

PEI has abolished mandatory retirement generally, but section 11 of the PEI Human Rights Act provides that:

The provisions of this Act relating to discrimination in relation to age or physical or intellectual disability do not affect the operation of any genuine retirement or pension plan or any genuine group or employee insurance plan.  read more »

Court has jurisdiction over defamation action brought by unionized employee against employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

The BC Court of Appeal has overturned a lower court decision that held that a public school teacher's defamation action against his principal and school board was a matter that arose under the collective agreement and was thus not within in the court's jurisdiction.


The teacher, while off on a medical leave, attended the school and caused a disturbance that resulted in criminal charges and disciplinary action by the BC College of Teachers. (The College's disciplinary action was subsequently overturned by the court on the basis that the teacher had been incompetent due to his medical condition).

As part of the same court action, the teacher brought the defamation action in relation to comments the principal had allegedly made to a police officer.  read more »

"Jurisdiction in respect of Section 124 of the Quebec Labour Standards Act: The Court of Appeal Rules"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Quebec lawyer Pierre Pronovost has written a legal brief entitled, "Jurisdiction in respect of Section 124 of the [Quebec] Labour Standards Act: The Court of Appeal Rules" (June 2008).

The brief summarizes the Quebec Court of Appeal's decision in Québec (Procureur général) c. Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec 2008 QCCA 1054, in which it ruled that a grievance arbitrator does not have jurisdiction to apply section 124 of the Quebec Act respecting labour standards and that only the Commission des relations du travail has jurisdiction in matters involving this remedy.