United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 579 v. Bradco Construction Ltd., (1993) 106 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 140 (SCC)

JudgeL'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 16, 1992
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1993), 106 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 140 (SCC);[1993] FCJ No 56 (QL);106 Nfld & PEIR 140;1993 CanLII 88 (SCC);[1993] SCJ No 56 (QL);153 NR 81;12 Admin LR (2d) 165;[1993] 2 SCR 316;[1993] ACS no 56;334 APR 140;JE 93-1086;102 DLR (4th) 402

CJA v. Bradco Constr. (1993), 106 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 140 (SCC);

    334 A.P.R. 140

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 579 (appellant) v. Bradco Construction Limited (respondent)

(22023)

Indexed As: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 579 v. Bradco Construction Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.

May 19, 1993.

Summary:

A collective agreement contained a provi­sion which made affiliated companies sub­ject to the agreement. A union claimed that an employer breached the agreement because one of the employer's affiliates employed nonunion labour on a construction project which it had contracted as principal. An arbitrator found that the provision included affiliates acting as principals. The employer appealed.

The Newfoundland Supreme Court, Trial Division, in a judgment reported 75 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 308; 243 A.P.R. 308, dismissed the appeal. The employer appealed.

The Newfoundland Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, allowed the appeal and quashed the arbitrator's decision. The union appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and restored the arbitrator's decision.

Administrative Law - Topic 1420

Finality - Privative clauses - Effect of - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the appropriate standard of review to be applied to the decision of an arbitrator in the absence of a full privative clause - See paragraphs 23 to 38.

Arbitration - Topic 7807

Judicial review - Effect of privative clause - [See Administrative Law - Topic 1420 ].

Arbitration - Topic 7807

Judicial review - Effect of privative clause - Under the Labour Relations Act, s. 88, the decision of an arbitrator was "final" - The Supreme Court of Canada opined that, taking into account the relevant factors of statutory wording, expertise and the pur­pose of the tribunal, the legislator did not intend to restrict judicial review of the decision of the arbitrator except as to jurisdictional matters - The purpose and wording of s. 88 (conferring upon the arbitrator exclusive jurisdiction to come to a final settlement of disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of collec­tive agreements), combined with the arbi­trator's relative expertise mandates judicial deference to the arbitrator's decision unless it is patently unreasonable - See paragraph 38.

Arbitration - Topic 7807

Judicial review - Effect of privative clause - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the effect of legislative provisions declar­ing the decision of an arbitrator to be final and conclusive - The court stated that "whether the word 'final' should be inter­preted in any particular case as conveying an intention to preclude or restrain judicial review requires an analysis of the provi­sion in light of the purpose, nature and expertise of the tribunal to the decision of which it refers", i.e., the functional approach - See paragraph 30.

Arbitration - Topic 8403

Judicial review - Grounds - Misconduct - Patently unreasonable decision - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a finding or decision of a tribunal is not patently unreasonable if there is any evi­dence capable of supporting the decision even though the reviewing court may not have reached the same conclusion, or in the context of a collective agreement, so long as the words of that agreement have not been given an interpretation which those words cannot reasonably bear - See paragraph 41.

Arbitration - Topic 8403

Judicial review - Grounds - Misconduct - Patently unreasonable decisions - A col­lective agreement contained a provision that attempted to end double-breasting by making affiliated companies subject to the agreement - An arbitrator found that the provision was ambiguous and that, there­fore, he was entitled to consider extrinsic evidence, namely, a conciliator's report respecting the dispute about double-breasting upon which the provision was based - The arbitrator concluded that the provision applied to affiliates acting as principal - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the arbitrator's use of the extrinsic evidence was not patently unrea­sonable - The court also affirmed the arbitrator's conclusion, where it was not patently unreasonable.

Arbitration - Topic 8416

Judicial review - Grounds - Misconduct - Ambiguity - A provision in a collective agreement attempted to end double-breasting by making affiliated companies subject to the agreement - An employer submitted that the provision did not apply if the affiliate acted as a principal - The arbitrator ruled that the provision was ambiguous and that he was entitled to rely on extrinsic evidence to resolve the am­biguity - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the arbitrator's finding of ambig­uity was not patently unreasonable and he was justified in resorting to extrinsic evi­dence to discern the intention of the parties in order to resolve that ambiguity - See paragraphs 50 to 52.

Arbitration - Topic 8505

Judicial review - Grounds - Interpretation of documents - Admission of extrinsic evidence - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the admission of extrinsic evi­dence to clarify ambiguity in collective agreements - See paragraphs 43 to 49.

Arbitration - Topic 8505

Judicial review - Grounds - Interpretation of documents - Admission of extrinsic evidence - [See second Arbitration - Topic 8403 ].

Labour Law - Topic 4916

Unions - Successor rights and obligations - Spin-offs and declaration that two or more businesses are one employer - [See second Arbitration - Topic 8403 ].

Labour Law - Topic 6406

Industrial relations - Collective agreements - Interpretation - Admission of extrinsic evidence - [See second Arbitration - Topic 8403 ].

Cases Noticed:

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Local 579 v. Bradco Construc­tion Ltd. (1988), 75 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 308; 234 A.P.R. 308 (Nfld. T.D.), revd. 81 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181; 255 A.P.R 181 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

Blanchard v. Control Data Canada Ltd., [1984] 2 S.C.R. 476; 55 N.R. 194; 14 D.L.R.(4th) 289; 84 C.L.L.C. 14,070; 14 Admin. L.R. 133, refd to. [para. 16].

Wentworth Arms Hotel Ltd. et al. v. Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Barten­ders International Union, Local 197, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 846; 24 N.R. 417; 94 D.L.R.(3d) 161, refd to. [para. 17].

Bradburn v. Wentworth Arms Hotel Ltd. - see Wentworth Arms Hotel Ltd. et al. v. Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, Local 197.

Paccar of Canada Ltd. v. Canadian Asso­ciation of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers, Local 14, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 983; 102 N.R. 1; 62 D.L.R.(3d) 437; 89 C.L.L.C. 14,050; [1989] 6 W.W.R. 673; 40 Admin. L.R. 181, refd to. [para. 17].

Syndicat national des employés de la com­mission scolaire regional de l'outaouais (CSN) v. Union des employés de service, Local 298 (FTQ), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 1048; 95 N.R. 161; 24 Q.A.C. 244, refd to. [para. 26].

Union des employés de service, Local 298 v. Bibeault - see Syndicat national des employés de la commission scolaire régionale de l'outaouais (CSN) v. Union des employés de service, local 298 (FTQ).

Bibeault - see Syndicat national des em­ployés de la commission scolaire régio­nale de l'outaouais (CSN) v. Union des employés de services, Local 298 (FTQ).

Human Rights Commission (Ont.) and Bates v. Zurich Insurance Co., [1992] 2 S.C.R. 321; 138 N.R. 1; 55 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 26].

Canada (Procureur général) v. Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 614; 123 N.R. 161; 80 D.L.R.(4th) 520, refd to. [para. 27].

Canada (Attorney General) and Econosult Inc. v. Public Service Alliance of Canada - see Canada (Procureur général) v. Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada.

Econosult Inc. - see Canada (Procureur général) v. Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada.

Canada (Attorney General) v. Public Ser­vice Alliance of Canada (No. 2) (1993), 150 N.R. 161 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 27].

Crevier v. Quebec (Attorney General) et al., [1981] 2 S.C.R. 220; 38 N.R. 541; 127 D.L.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 27].

National Corn Growers Association et al. v. Canadian Import Tribunal, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1324; 114 N.R. 81; 74 D.L.R.(4th) 449, refd to. [para. 28].

Bell Canada v. Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1722; 97 N.R. 15, refd to. [para. 28].

Dayco (Canada) Ltd. v. CAW-Canada et al. (1993), 152 N.R. 1 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 30].

Canada (Attorney General) v. Mossop, [1993] 1 S.C.R. 554; 149 N.R 1, refd to. [para. 33].

McConnell, Hopkinson, Wilson and Benjamin v. Douglas Aircraft Co. of Canada Ltd. and O'Shea, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 245; 29 N.R. 109; 99 D.L.R.(3d) 385, refd to. [para. 35].

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 963 v. New Brunswick Liquor Corp., [1979] 2 S.C.R. 227; 26 N.R. 341; 25 N.B.R.(2d) 237; 51 A.P.R. 237; 97 D.L.R.(3d) 417; 79 C.L.L.C. 14,209, refd to. [para. 35].

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (U.A.W.), Local 720 v. Volvo Canada Ltd., [1980] 1 S.C.R. 178; 27 N.R. 502; 33 N.S.R.(2d) 22; 57 A.P.R. 22; 99 D.L.R.(3d) 193, refd to. [para. 36].

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Branch 63 v. Alberta Public Service Employee Relations Board and Board of Governors of Olds College, [1982] 1 S.C.R. 923; 42 N.R. 559; 37 A.R. 281; 21 Alta. L.R.(2d) 104; 136 D.L.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 37].

Planet Development Corp. and Lester (W.W.) (1978) Ltd. v. United Associa­tion of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Local 740, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 644; 123 N.R. 241; 88 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 15; 274 A.P.R. 15; 91 C.L.L.C. 14,002; 76 D.L.R.(4th) 389; 48 Admin. L.R. 1, refd to. [para. 41].

Leggatt v. Brown (1899), 30 O.R. 225 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 44].

Milk & Bread Drivers, Local 647 and Silverwood Dairies Ltd, Re (1969), 20 L.A.C. 406, refd to. [para. 44].

International Association of Machinists, Local 1740, and Bertram (John) & Sons Co., Re (1967), 18 L.A.C. 362, refd to. [para. 44].

Noranda Metal Industries Ltd., Fergus Division and I.B.E.W, Local 2345, Re (1983), 44 O.R.(2d) 529 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 47].

Heustis v. New Brunswick Electric Power Commission, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 768; 27 N.R. 103; 25 N.B.R.(2d) 613; 51 A.P.R. 613; 98 D.L.R.(3d) 622, refd to. [para. 59].

Statutes Noticed:

Labour Relations Act, S.N. 1977, c. 64, sect. 18 [para. 24]; sect. 84(1), sect. 88(1) [para. 6].

Counsel:

V. Randell J. Earle, for the appellant;

Thomas R. Kendell, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

O'Dea, Strong, Earle, St. John's, New­foundland, for the appellant;

Mercer, Orsborn, Benson, Myles, St. John's, Newfoundland, for the respon­dent.

This appeal was heard on October 16, 1992, before L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. On May 19, 1993, the judgment of the court was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

Sopinka, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and McLachlin, concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 56;

Cory, J., concurring - see paragraphs 57 to 60.

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