An automotive sales and service business (“White Bear”) went into receivership and several of the company’s terminated employees filed complaints with the Labour Services offices of the Government of the Northwest Territories. The employees claimed wages owed and related benefits. An officer of the Labour Standards Board (the “Board”) examined their claims and issued certificates determining the amounts owing and declared that the employees were entitled to wage claims from the officers and directors of White Bear, pursuant to section 62 of the Labour Standards Act. The directors of White Bear appealed the ruling. The Board confirmed the certificates of the officer. The directors then unsuccessfully appealed those confirmations to the Northwest Territories Supreme Court.

26. August 2003 0

Administrative law – Labour Relations Board – Employment standards – Termination of employment – Termination package – Judicial review – Administrative decisions – Failure to provide reasons – Standard of review – Patent unreasonableness

Buist v. Northwest Territories (Labour Standards Board), [2003] N.W.T.J. No. 30, Northwest Territories Supreme Court, May 30, 2003, O’Connor J.

The Appellants characterized the alleged failure of the Board to articulate reasons for its ruling respecting the wage issue as an abdication of jurisdiction.

Although the court noted that the employee wages issue received short shrift in the reasons given by the Board, a thorough review of the record and the material before the Board revealed that there was more than sufficient information to make the findings as to whether the individual Respondents were employed, and what their regular and overtime wage rates and entitlement to vacation pay should be. Therefore, since the Appellants brought their appeal solely on the grounds of this jurisdictional error, the appeal was dismissed.

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