The Applicant, the Ontario Conference of Judges (the “Association”), sought an order quashing and setting aside the decision of the Respondent (Government of Ontario), which rejected and failed to implement recommendations of the remuneration commission. The application was dismissed. The Court held that the decision of the Respondent met the “rationality test”.
Administrative law – Judicial review – Standard of review – Correctness test – Simple rationality – Remuneration of judges
Ontario Judges Association v. Ontario (Chair, Management Board),  O.J. No. 533, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, February 15, 2002, O’Driscoll, Then and Dunnet, JJ.
The Fourth Triennial Remuneration Commission (the “Commission”) was established to review the pension plan of Ontario Judges. The Commission held hearings on nine days and decided to significantly change the pension plans of judges in Ontario. On February 1, 2000, after considering the proposed changes in detail, the government of Ontario responded to the Commission’s suggestions. The government decided not to implement any of the recommendations of the Commission concerning pensions. The Association sought judicial review and an order quashing this decision arguing that in order to conform to the constitutional imperatives of section 11(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, any rejection of the Commission’s recommendations regarding pension must be based upon a process which involves public inquiry and permits the Association to participate. The court rejected this argument. In the court’s view, the recommendations were permissible not mandatory. The court determined that the standard of review in a case such as this was one of “simple rationality”. The Court held that the Respondent had been rational in it’s decision not to accept changes to judges’ pensions. The application was dismissed.
To stay current with the new case law and emerging legal issues in this area, subscribe here.