Cuddy Chicks Ltd. v. Labour Relations Board (Ont.) et al., (1991) 122 N.R. 361 (SCC)

JudgeLamer, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Stevenson, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateJune 06, 1991
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1991), 122 N.R. 361 (SCC);JE 91-935;[1991] SCJ No 42 (QL);[1991] 2 SCR 5;122 NR 361;81 DLR (4th) 121;47 OAC 271;27 ACWS (3d) 35;5 CR (3d) 5;4 CRR (2d) 1;3 OR (3d) 128;1991 CanLII 57 (SCC);50 Admin LR 44

Cuddy Chicks Ltd. v. LRB (1991), 122 N.R. 361 (SCC)

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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Cuddy Chicks Limited (appellant) v. Ontario Labour Relations Board and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 175 (respondents) and Attorney General of Canada, Attorney General for Ontario, Attorney General for Saskatchewan, Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and Marcelle Tétreault-Gadoury (intervenors)

(21675)

Indexed As: Cuddy Chicks Ltd. v. Labour Relations Board (Ont.) et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Stevenson, JJ.

June 6, 1991.

Summary:

A union filed a certification application for employees of Cuddy Chicks Ltd. The Ontario Labour Relations Board held that Cuddy's employees were employed in agri­culture and therefore excluded from the Labour Relations Act under s. 2(b) of the Act. The Board ruled that it had jurisdiction to determine whether s. 2(b) violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Cuddy Chicks applied for judicial review, submit­ting that the Board lacked jurisdiction to deal with the Charter issues.

The Ontario Divisional Court, in a judg­ment reported 32 O.A.C. 7, dismissed the application. Cuddy Chicks appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, Finlayson, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported 35 O.A.C. 94, dismissed the appeal. Cuddy Chicks appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal and held that the Board had jurisdiction to apply the Charter and to rule on the constitutionality of s. 2(b) of its enabling statute.

Administrative Law - Topic 9013

Boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Constitutional questions - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "an adminis­trative tribunal which has been conferred the power to interpret law holds a con­comitant power to determine whether that law is constitutionally valid. This con­clusion ensues from the principle of su­premacy of the Constitution, which is confirmed by s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 ... Section 52(1) ... does not specify which bodies may consider and rule on Charter questions, and cannot be said to confer jurisdiction on an adminis­trative tribunal. Rather, jurisdiction must have expressly or impliedly been conferred on the tribunal by its enabling statute or otherwise" - See paragraphs 11 to 12.

Administrative Law - Topic 9013

Boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Constitutional questions - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that it was unnec­essary to have recourse to s. 24(1) of the Charter to determine whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board had jurisdiction over Charter issues - "An administrative tribunal need not meet the definition of a court of competent jurisdiction in s. 24(1) of the Charter in order to have the neces­sary authority to subject its enabling stat­ute to Charter scrutiny ... [T]he relevant inquiry is not whether the tribunal is a 'court' but whether the legislature intended to confer on the tribunal the power to interpret and apply the Charter" - See paragraph 12.

Administrative Law - Topic 9013

Boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Constitutional questions - Section 106(1) of the Ontario Labour Relations Act gave the Labour Relations Board exclusive jurisdiction "to determine all questions of fact or law that arise in any matter before it ..." - The Act also conferred powers on the Board to determine questions of law and fact relating to its own jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a Charter issue must constitute a question of law - The court stated that "the Board has the authority to apply the Charter and to rule on the constitutionality of s. 2(b) of its enabling statute, in the course of the union's application for certification" - See paragraph 14.

Administrative Law - Topic 9118

Boards and tribunals - Judicial review - Curial deference to decisions of tribunals -The Supreme Court of Canada stated that an administrative board "can expect no curial deference with respect to constitu­tional decisions ... [A] formal declaration of invalidity is not a remedy which is available to the Board. Instead, the Board simply treats any impugned provision as invalid for the purposes of the matter before it. Given that this is not tantamount to a formal declaration of invalidity, a remedy exercisable only by the superior courts, the ruling of the Board on a Char­ter issue does not constitute a binding legal precedent, but is limited in its applicability to the matter in which it arises." - See paragraph 17.

Civil Rights - Topic 8363

Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "an adminis­trative tribunal which has been conferred the power to interpret law holds a con­comitant power to determine whether that law is constitutionally valid. This con­clusion ensues from the principle of su­premacy of the Constitution, which is confirmed by s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 ... Section 52(1) ... does not specify which bodies may consider and rule on Charter questions, and cannot be said to confer jurisdiction on an adminis­trative tribunal. Rather, jurisdiction must have expressly or impliedly been conferred on the tribunal by its enabling statute or otherwise" - See paragraphs 11 to 12.

Civil Rights - Topic 8363

Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that it was unnec­essary to have recourse to s. 24(1) of the Charter to determine whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board had jurisdiction over Charter issues - "An administrative tribunal need not meet the definition of a court of competent jurisdiction in s. 24(1) of the Charter in order to have the neces­sary authority to subject its enabling stat­ute to Charter scrutiny ... [T]he relevant inquiry is not whether the tribunal is a 'court' but whether the legislature intended to confer on the tribunal the power to interpret and apply the Charter" - See paragraph 12.

Civil Rights - Topic 8363

Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Jurisdiction - Section 106(1) of the Ontario Labour Relations Act gave the Labour Relations Board exclusive jurisdiction "to determine all questions of fact or law that arise in any matter before it ..." - The Act also conferred powers on the Board to determine questions of law and fact relating to its own jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a Charter issue must constitute a question of law - The court stated that "the Board has the authority to apply the Charter and to rule on the constitutionality of s. 2(b) of its enabling statute, in the course of the union's application for certification" - See paragraph 14.

Labour Law - Topic 434

Labour relations boards - Judicial review - Jurisdiction - Charter issues - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "an administrative tribunal which has been conferred the power to interpret law holds a concomitant power to determine whether that law is constitutionally valid. This conclusion ensues from the principle of supremacy of the Constitution, which is confirmed by s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 ... Section 52(1) ... does not specify which bodies may consider and rule on Charter questions, and cannot be said to confer jurisdiction on an adminis­trative tribunal. Rather, jurisdiction must have expressly or impliedly been conferred on the tribunal by its enabling statute or otherwise" - See paragraphs 11 to 12.

Labour Law - Topic 434

Labour relations boards - Judicial review - Jurisdiction - Charter issues - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that it was unnecessary to have recourse to s. 24(1) of the Charter to determine whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board had jurisdiction over Charter issues - "An administrative tribunal need not meet the definition of a court of competent jurisdic­tion in s. 24(1) of the Charter in order to have the necessary authority to subject its enabling statute to Charter scrutiny ... [T]he relevant inquiry is not whether the tribunal is a 'court' but whether the legisla­ture intended to confer on the tribunal the power to interpret and apply the Charter" - See paragraph 12.

Labour Law - Topic 434

Labour relations boards - Judicial review - Jurisdiction - Charter issues - Section 106(1) of the Ontario Labour Relations Act gave the Labour Relations Board exclusive jurisdiction "to determine all questions of fact or law that arise in any matter before it ..." - The Act also conferred powers on the Board to determine questions of law and fact relating to its own jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a Charter issue must constitute a question of law - The court stated that "the Board has the authority to apply the Charter and to rule on the constitutionality of s. 2(b) of its enabling statute, in the course of the union's application for certification" - See paragraph 14.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Mills, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 863; 67 N.R. 241; 16 O.A.C. 81; 52 C.R.(3d) 1; 26 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 29 D.L.R.(4th) 161, refd to. [paras. 4, 26].

Tétreault-Gadoury v. Canada Employment and Immigration Commission (1991), 126 N.R. 1 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 8].

Douglas/Kwantlen Faculty Association v. Douglas College, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 570; 118 N.R. 340, refd to. [paras. 11, 24].

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. 16].

Northern Telecom Canada Ltd. v. Com­munication Workers of Canada, [1983] 1 S.C.R. 733; 28 N.R. 107, refd to. [para. 16].

R. v. Ontario Labour Relations Board; Ex parte Dunn (1963), 39 D.L.R.(2d) 346 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 20].

Canada Labour Relations Board and Canada (Attorney General) v. Paul L'Anglais Inc. et al., [1983] 1 S.C.R. 147; 47 N.R. 351, refd to. [para. 20].

Four B Manufacturing Ltd. v. United Gar­ment Workers of America, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 1031; 30 N.R. 421, refd to. [para. 20].

McLeod, Re, [1975] 1 S.C.R. 517; 2 N.R. 443, refd to. [para. 26].

McLeod v. Egan - see McLeod, Re.

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 2(d), sect. 15 [para. 2]; sect. 24(1) [para. 3].

Constitution Act, 1982, sect. 52(1) [para. 11].

Labour Relations Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 228, sect. 2(b) [para. 2]; sect. 106(1) [para. 3]; sect. 124 [para. 14].

Counsel:

George W. Adams, Q.C., Patrick E. Hurley and Ralph N. Nero, for the appellant;

Stephen T. Goudge, Q.C., and Christopher M. Dassios, for the Ontario Labour Relations Board;

Douglas J. Wray, for United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 175;

Gaspard Côté, Q.C., and Carole Bureau, for the Attorney General of Canada and Canada Employment and Immigration Commission;

Robert E. Charney, for the Attorney Gen­eral for Ontario;

Robert G. Richards and Ross MacNab, for the Attorney General for Saskatchewan;

Jean-Guy Ouellet and Gilbert Nadon, for Marcelle Tétreault-Gadoury.

Solicitors of Record:

Fasken, Campbell, Godfrey, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

Gowling, Strathy & Henderson, Toronto, Ontario, for the Ontario Labour Relations Board;

Caley & Wray, Toronto, Ontario, for United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 175;

John Tait, Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the Attor­ney General of Canada and Canada Employment and Immigration Commis­sion;

Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the Attorney General for Ontario;

Brian Barrington-Foote, Regina, Saskatchewan, for the Attorney General for Saskatchewan;

Campeau, Ouellet, Nadon & Lussier, Montreal, Quebec, for Marcelle Tétreault-Gadoury.

This appeal was heard on November 7, 1990, before Lamer, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Stevenson, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On June 6, 1991, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

La Forest, J. (Lamer, C.J.C., Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Stevenson, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 23;

Wilson, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé, J., concurring) - see paragraphs 24 to 26.

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