Vol. 34, No. 35 lawyersweekly.ca ja Nuary 30, 2015
Duty of good
Landmark ruling on
Adopt proper approach
for the facts of the case
Break the ice
with a joke
BUSINESS & CAREERS
Injection of humour can
help put clients at ease
Mounties get a labour front win,
lawyer says her clients ‘thrilled’
RCMP members get backing to form own association
to hear case on
The Supreme Court of Canada will
determine whether Justice Robert
Mainville and other judges of the
Federal, Tax and Quebec provincial
courts are constitutionally eligible
for appointment to Quebec’s
superior trial and appellate courts.
The province announced Jan. 19
it is exercising its automatic right to
appeal to the Supreme Court the
recent Quebec Court of Appeal
decision in Reference re Section 98
of the Constitution Act, 1867. The
ruling affirmed that Justice Mainville, as a Federal Court of Appeal
judge, was constitutionally eligible
to be appointed to the Quebec
Court of Appeal last July.
The novel reference case launched
by the Quebec government last
year asks the Supreme Court to
interpret, for the first time, what s.
98 of the Constitution requires as
eligibility for such appointment.
The judge has not been sworn into
the Quebec Court of Appeal, pending the outcome of the Reference.
The case has the potential to
affect federal judicial appointments
across Canada, said James O’Reilly
of Montreal’s O’Reilly & Associés.
For example, if the top court were
to decide that s. 98 requires that
superior court judges in Quebec be
appointed only from current mem-
The Supreme Court has fleshed
out the scope of the Charter’s protection of meaningful collective
bargaining, underscoring the
importance of “choice and
independence” in addressing the
power imbalance between workers and management.
In a 6-1 judgment delivered on
Jan. 16 in Mounted Police Association of Ont. v. Canada (Attorney
General)  S.C.J. No. 1, the
top court held that regulations
barring approximately 16,000
members of the RCMP from
forming their own association in
pursuit of their workplace goals
violate the Charter’s s. 2(d) guarantee of freedom of association.
The court also struck down the
definition of “employee” in s. 2(1)
of the Public Service Labour
Relations Act which excluded
RCMP members from the col-lective-bargain regime for federal
employees. However, the court
suspended its declaration of
invalidity for one year to give Parliament time to devise a constitutionally compliant labour relations model for the RCMP.
“Our association members are
thrilled,” said Toronto’s Laura
Young, counsel for the appellant
Mounted Police Associations of
Ontario and B.C. Her clients’
Charter attack on the RCMP’s
labour relations regime had been
rejected by the Court of Appeal
for Ontario in 2012.
“The Supreme Court makes it
clear that the inherent vulner-
ability of employees, and their
lack of bargaining power with
management, can only be
addressed through an association
that is independent of the
employer, and chosen by the
Young, Page 2 Ripple effect, Page 23
Lawyer Laura Young, counsel for the Mounted Police Associations of Ontario and B.C., says the nation’s top
court has underscored the need for a fully independent entity to bargain with the employer. She is seen above
at the Supreme Court in Ottawa after the decision. Roy GRoGan foR The LawyeRs weekLy
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