Court of Appeal for Ontario allows the AGC Appeal on AJC's ERA Charter Challenge :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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August 7th, 2012
August 7th, 2012
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Court of Appeal for Ontario allows the AGC Appeal on AJC's ERA Charter Challenge

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has allowed the AGC appeal from the judgment of Justice A. Duncan Grace of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Court dismissed the AJC cross appeal and set aside Justice Grace's declaration of partial invalidity.

The Attorney General of Canada had challenged the application judge's holding that the Expenditure Restraint Act infringes s. 2(d), and his conclusion that the provisions limiting salaries for 2006-07 are not justified.

The AJC launched the constitutional challenge to the ERA in June 2010, alleging that the Act infringed on the right to engage in collective bargaining protected by Charter s. 2(d) freedom of association.

According to the Court of Appeal decision, "(...) although the ERA had the effect of taking wages off the table for the arbitration, that does not, standing alone, amount to an infringement of s. 2(d)."

The Court of Appeal also stated that "In my view, the validity of the ERA must be assessed on the basis of whether, at the time it was enacted, the parties had the opportunity for a meaningful process of collective bargaining. If they had, s. 2(d) is satisfied."

AJC President Lisa Blais stated that "We are disappointed by the decision and are currently consulting with counsel to review our options."


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