Administrative law – Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Disciplinary proceedings – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Adjudications – Police Commission – Judicial review – Procedural requirements and fairness – Natural justice – Sufficient notice – Evidence
Gill v. Canada (Attorney General),  F.C.J. No. 1395, Federal Court, September 18, 2006, O’Keefe J.
Gill joined the RCMP in 1989. In approximately 1997, his marriage was falling apart and he developed an alcohol consumption problem. The stress from his personal problems led to problems at work. In a series of incidents in 2000, he was alleged to have behaved aggressively towards members of the public while carrying out his duties. In the summer of 2000, Gill was suspended without pay while the RCMP conducted internal investigations. On May 1, 2001, the Commissioner served Gill with a Notice of Disciplinary Hearing that alleged that Gill had, on five separate occasions, conducted himself in a disgraceful manner that brought discredit to the Force, contrary to s.39(1) of the RCMP Regulations, a provision of the Code of Conduct. The Notice set out the particulars of each allegation. The RCMP Adjudication Board found the allegations of disgraceful conduct had been established and Gill was directed to resign. Gill appealed the decision and an external review committee recommended that the appeal be allowed in part. The Commissioner ultimately upheld the Adjudication Board’s decision. Gill appealed the Commissioner’s decision.
The Court found that the Adjudication Board, in finding that allegations 2 and 4 of the charge were established, had relied on facts that were not pleaded in the particulars or urged by the appropriate officer at the hearing. The Commissioner had erred in not allowing the appeal on this basis. The Court held that the Adjudication Board’s findings of misconduct differed from the allegations of disgraceful conduct that were alleged in the particulars and, consequently, the Adjudication Board had not provided Gill with adequate notice of the allegations of misconduct that were ultimately established against him. As Gill did not have adequate notice of the particulars found against him in allegations 2 and 4, the Commissioner erred in upholding the Board’s finding with respect to these allegations.
The Court further found that the Adjudication Board’s finding that allegation 3 had been established was unreasonable. The evidence at the hearing did not support the conclusion that Gill had made an unlawful arrest as alleged in allegation 3. As there was insufficient evidence on this allegation, the Commissioner’s decision to uphold the Adjudication Board’s finding in respect of this allegation was patently unreasonable.
In the result, the sanctions imposed by the Commissioner were set aside and the matter was referred back to the Commissioner for re-determination.
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