The Law Society of New Brunswick succeeded on its appeal in having the findings of the Court of Appeal set aside and the sanction of disbarment of a lawyer who had been found to have committed professional misconduct reinstated

Administrative law – Barristers and solicitors – Disciplinary proceedings – Disbarment – Boards and tribunals – Judicial review – Standard of review – Reasonableness simpliciter Law Society of New Brunswick v. Ryan, [2003] S.C.J. No. 17, Supreme Court of Canada, April 3, 2003, McLachlin C.J. and Iacobucci, Major, Binnie, Arbour, LeBel and Deschamps JJ. The respondent, Mr. ...

The Association of Ontario Chicken Processors (the “AOCP”) was unsuccessful in its appeal of decisions made by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) where the court found that the Tribunal had a statutory authority to “stand in the shoes” of the Marketing Commission and was entitled, on a review of a Commission decision, to establish specific pricing formulas and to order the Commission to amend its regulation to implement such pricing formulas.

Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal – Jurisdiction – Judicial review – Standard of review – Reasonableness Assn. of Ontario Chicken Processors v. Ontario (Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal), [2003] O.N. No. 330, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, January 31, 2003, Blair, Carnwath and J. ...

A Human Rights complainant (“Gismondi”) was unsuccessful in his appeal of a decision by the Human Rights Commission not to deal with his complaint because it was not brought in a timely manner. The court held that procedural fairness had been afforded to Gismondi in the review of the Commission’s decision as he was given ample notice of the review and an opportunity to be heard. The court further held that the Commission’s reasons, although extremely brief, were sufficient, given the “screening” or primarily administrative nature of the decision at issue.

Administrative law – Human rights complaints – Discrimination – Age – Limitations – Judicial review application – Breach of procedural fairness – Natural justice – Standard of review – Patent unreasonableness – Failure to provide adequate reasons Gismondi v. Ontario (Human Rights Commission), [2003] O.J. No. 419, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, February 14, 2003, Blair, E.M. ...

Kings County succeeded in its appeal of a decision by the Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board, which had overturned a decision of the Municipal Council to enter into a Development Agreement allowing a property owner to carry on an excavation business in an area not zoned for that activity. The court found that the Board did not consider the appropriate issue of whether the Development Agreement carried out the intent of the Municipal Planning Strategy and instead, based its decision on improper factors, including complaints of nuisance by neighbouring landholders.

Administrative law – Municipalities – Planning and zoning – Utility and Review Board – Jurisdiction Kings (County) v. Lutz, [2003] N.S.J. No. 56, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, February 18, 2003, Glube C.J.N.S., Chipman and Saunders JJ.A. Robert Parker carried on an excavation business from his residence in Kings County. His father had carried on ...

An owner of property (“Price Club”) was unsuccessful in its appeal of a decision of the Assessment Appeals Committee restoring a reassessment of the property by the Assessor which had increased the assessed value of the property by almost $1,000,000. The court held that the Assessor had properly calculated the property’s market adjustment factor and the decision to change the classification of the building for assessment purposes was appropriate and fell within the broad discretion granted to the Assessor.

Administrative law – Municipalities – Property assessment – Appeals – Market adjustment factor Price Club Canada Real Estate Inc. v. Regina (City), [2003] S.J. No. 80, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, February 4, 2003, Bayda C.J.S., Tallis and Jackson JJ.A This appeal concerns a 1999 assessment of Price Club’s property located at 665 University Park Drive ...

An employee of the Health Care Corporation of St. John’s was unsuccessful in her application to set aside the decision of the Human Rights Commission not to refer her complaint to a board of inquiry. The Court held that the Commission exercised its administrative screening function in a reasonable manner. The legislative scheme in the Human Rights Code, R.S.N. 1990, c.H-14 required the Court to show considerable deference to a decision of the Human Rights Commission. While it may have been preferable for the Commission to have provided fuller reasons, it was under no statutory obligation to do so. The reasons given by the Commission adequately indicated to the employee that, following a thorough investigation and review of the evidence, her complaint did not meet the Commission’s threshold level for referring the matter to a board of inquiry.

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Administrative law – Human rights complaints – Evidence – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Human Rights Commission – Judicial review – Failure to provide reasons – Standard of review – Reasonableness Spurrell v. Newfoundland (Human Rights Commission), [2003] N.J. No. 53, Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court – Trial Division, February 25, 2003, Adams J. An employee of ...

Although job related information pertaining to RCMP officers: (a) the list of historical postings, their status and date, (b) the list of ranks and the dates they achieved those ranks, (c) their years of service, and (d) their anniversary date of service, constituted “personal information” as defined under s.3 of the Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.-P-21, it should nonetheless be disclosed because it fell within the “position or functions of the individual exception” under s.3(j). The information did not reveal anything about the competence or divulge any personal opinion given outside the course of employment, but rather provided information relevant to understanding the functions performed by the officers.

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Administrative law – Freedom of information and protection of privacy – Disclosure – Exceptions – Federal employees – Personal information – Definition – Judicial review – Standard of review – Correctness Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), [2003] S.C.J. No. 7, Supreme Court of Canada, March 6, 2003, McLachlin C.J. and ...

On appeal, a Human Rights complainant failed to establish that an adjudicator under the Human Rights Code, R.S.N. 1990, c.H-14, erred in failing to find discrimination on the basis of disability or that the Trial Division judge erred on appeal. The fact that her employer considered her prior use of sick leave in determining which of two employees should be awarded the position of “lead hand” porter did not amount to discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability as the complainant’s absences from work did form evidence of a pattern of illness or injury which would indicate that degree of permanence or impairment necessary to prove disability.

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Administrative law – Human rights complaints – Discrimination – Disability – Definition – Judicial review – Standard of review – Correctness Evans v. Health Care Corporation of St. John’s, [2003] N.J. No. 61, Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court – Court of Appeal, March 6, 2003, Cameron and Welsh JJ.A. and Russell J. (ex officio) The complainant hospital ...

The applicants’ employer unsuccessfully sought an Order removing the arbitrator of a constructive dismissal claim and declaring void an arbitration between the applicant and the respondent employee on the grounds of reasonable apprehension of bias. The allegation of reasonable apprehension of bias was based on a lawyer in the arbitrator’s law firm obtaining information from a client and writing a letter on his behalf to a subsidiary of the parent corporation of a party to the arbitration. No reasonable apprehension of bias was found and the application was characterized as an opportunistic attack on the arbitration and attempt to derail the arbitration. Costs on a partial indemnity scale were awarded to the respondent to sanction the applicants’ conduct.

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Administrative law – Arbitration and award – Arbitrators – Judicial review – Reasonable apprehension of bias – Test A.T. Kearney Ltd. v. Harrison, [2003] O.J. No. 438, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, February 10, 2003, Lax J. Following a 26-day arbitration concerning a wrongful dismissal claim, the employer applied pursuant to the Arbitration Act, 1991 S.O. ...

The Police Complaint Commissioner (“PCC”), having arranged for a public hearing, retains the authority to unilaterally withdraw the complaint from the adjudicator, despite the objections of complainants. The office of the PCC was created to provide meaningful civilian oversight in police disciplinary matters. To carry out that mandate, the PCC is empowered with right to arrange a public hearing when the PCC concludes that such a hearing is in the public interest. Under the Police Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 367, the PCC is the guardian of the public interest, and has the ongoing responsibility of determining whether in changing circumstances, it is still in the public interest that the hearing proceed. The consent of the adjudicator and/or complainant is not required before the notice of public hearing can be withdrawn. On a procedural issue, the Court held that the complainants, who were participants before the adjudicator, were entitled to be joined as respondents in the judicial review proceedings.

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Administrative law – Police – Disciplinary proceedings – Police Complaint Commissioner – Powers – Public hearings – Public interest test – Doctrine of incidental power – Judicial review – Procedural requirements British Columbia (Police Complaint Commissioner) v. Vancouver City Police Department, [2003] B.C.J. No. 399, British Columbia Supreme Court, February 21, 2003, Goepel J. On December ...