Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., (1989) 93 N.R. 183 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain, La Forest and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 04, 1989
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1989), 93 N.R. 183 (SCC);59 DLR (4th) 416;[1989] SCJ No 45 (QL);EYB 1989-67228;26 CCEL 85;40 CRR 100;JE 89-775;15 ACWS (3d) 132;1989 CanLII 92 (SCC);93 NR 183;[1989] 1 SCR 1038;[1989] ACS no 45

Davidson v. Slaight Com. Inc. (1989), 93 N.R. 183 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

.........................

Slaight Communications Incorporated (operating as Q107 FM Radio) v. Ron Davidson

(19412)

Indexed As: Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc.

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain, La Forest and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ.

May 4, 1989.

Summary:

A radio time salesman complained under s. 61.5 of the Canada Labour Code that he was wrongfully dismissed. The employer alleged that his performance was unsatisfactory, but he met or exceeded his increasing quotas each year. The adjudicator found that his dismissal was completely dishonest and awarded compensation of $46,628.96 with interest and costs. He also ordered (the positive order) the employer to give the salesman a letter of recommendation stating the facts of his quota performance and that his termination had been found to be unjust. The adjudicator also ordered (the negative order) that any communication to the employer concerning the salesman was to be answered by the letter of recommendation only.

The employer applied for review of the adjudicator's decision.

The Federal Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported [1985] 1 F.C. 253; 58 N.R. 150; 85 C.L.L.C. 14,053, dismissed the application and awarded costs against the employer on the ground that the application itself was part of the employer's systematic harassment of the salesman. The court found that the adjudicator's remedial order respecting the letter of recommendation was proper. The employer appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. Dickson, C.J.C. (Wilson, La Forest and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ., concurring), held that both the positive and negative orders violated the freedom of expression guaranteed by s. 2(b) of the Charter, but were saved by s. 1. See paragraphs 1 to 25.

Beetz, J., dissenting, agreed that both the positive and negative orders violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, but would have ruled that neither was saved by s. 1. See paragraphs 26 to 54.

Lamer, J., dissenting in part, agreed that both the positive and negative orders violated s. 2(b), but would have ruled that the positive order was saved by s. 1. See paragraphs 55 to 99.

Civil Rights - Topic 1852.1

Freedom of speech or expression - Limitations on - Labour legislation - Remedies for employer practices - Under the remedial power of s. 61.5 (9)(c) of the Canada Labour Code an adjudicator ordered the employer of an unjustly dismissed employee to write a letter of recommendation for the employee stating the facts of his good quota performance and that his dismissal had been found to be unjust (the positive order) and ordered the employer to answer inquiries about the employee only with the letter of recommendation (the negative order) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that both the positive and negative orders violated the freedom of expression guaranteed by s. 2(b) of the Charter, but were saved by s. 1 of the Charter.

Civil Rights - Topic 8317

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Administrative law, including boards, tribunals and Crown corporations - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied to any body, federal or provincial, exercising statutory authority, so that anybody exercising delegated power does not have the power to make an order which infringes the Charter - See paragraphs 9-12, 27, 86-91 - The court set out the steps in determining the validity of an order by an administrative tribunal - See paragraphs 89 to 91.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1852.1 above].

Labour Law - Topic 8571

Industrial relations - Sanctions - Complaints - Unjust dismissal - Remedial jurisdiction - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1852.1 above].

Statutes - Topic 1803

Interpretation - Intrinsic aids - Bilingual statutes - Interpretation of both versions - The English version of s. 61.5(9)(c) of the Canada Labour Code referred to "any other like thing", but the French version used no equivalent of the word "like" - A judge of the Supreme Court of Canada in construing the section held that the French version prevailed, because giving effect to the word "like" in the English version meant applying the ejusdem generis rule, which was inappropriate in the circumstances - See paragraphs 71 to 77.

Statutes - Topic 2582

Interpretation - Words and phrases - Ejusdem generis rule - Cases where rule inapplicable - [See Statutes - Topic 1803 above].

Cases Noticed:

Blanchard v. Control Data Canada Ltd., [1984] 2 S.C.R. 476; 55 N.R. 194, refd to. [paras. 11, 83].

National Bank of Canada v. Retail Clerks' International Union, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 269; 53 N.R. 203, dist. [paras. 12, 36, 77].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200, appld. [paras. 14, 95].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 55 C.R.(3d) 193, consd. [para. 16].

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

Reference re Compulsory Arbitration, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313; 74 N.R. 99; 78 A.R. 1, appld. [paras. 20, 23].

Reference re Public Service Employee Relations Act (Alta.) - see Reference re Compulsory Arbitration.

Quebec Association of Protestant School Boards v. Attorney General of Quebec, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 66; 54 N.R. 196, consd. [para. 39].

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, consd. [para. 83].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Labour Code - see Labour Code.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1, sect. 2(b) [para. 33, 69]; sect. 82(1) [para. 69].

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, A.G. Res. 2200 A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR, Supp. (No. 16) 49, Doc. A/6316 U.N. (1966), sect. 6 [para. 23].

Labour Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. L-1, sect. 61.5(9) [paras. 3, 71, 72].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Beatty, David M., "Labour is not a Commodity" in Barry J. Reiter and John Swan, eds., Studies in Contract Law (1980), pp. 323-324 [para. 20].

Côté, Pierre-André, The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada (1984), p. 245 [para. 75].

Davies and Freedland, Kahn-Freund's Labour and the Law - see Kahn-Freund.

Kahn-Freund, Sir Otto, Kahn-Freund's Labour and the Law (3rd Ed. 1983), p. 18 [para. 16].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (2nd Ed. 1985), p. 671 [para. 87].

Maxwell, The Interpretation of Statutes (12th Ed. 1969), p. 299 [para. 74].

Wade, H.W.R., Administrative Law (4th Ed. 1977), p. 336 [para. 82].

Reiter and Swan, Studies in Contract Law, pp. 323-324 [para. 20].

Counsel:

Brian A. Grosman, Q.C., and John Martin, for the appellant;

Morris Cooper and Fern Weinper, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Brian A. Grosman, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

Morris Cooper, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent.

This case was heard on October 8, 1987, at Ottawa, Ontario, before Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Lamer, Wilson, Le Dain, La Forest and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On May 4, 1989, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

Dickson, C.J.C. (Wilson, La Forest and L'Heureux-Dubé, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 25;

Beetz, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 26 to 54;

Lamer, J., dissenting in part - see paragraphs 55 to 99.

Le Dain, J., took no part in the judgment.

To continue reading

Request your trial
710 practice notes
  • Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership v. Rex et al., (2002) 287 N.R. 248 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • April 26, 2002
    ...Hills v. Canada (Attorney General), [1988] 1 S.C.R. 513; 84 N.R. 86, refd to. [para. 63]. Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. R. v. Zundel (No. 2), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 731; 140 N.R. 1; 56 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 63]. R. v. Nova Scotia ......
  • Barrie Public Utilities et al. v. Canadian Cable Television Association et al., (2003) 304 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 16, 2003
    ...Association v. Douglas College, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 570; 118 N.R. 340, refd to. [para. 66]. Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. Moreau-Bérubé v. New Brunswick (Judicial Council) - see Conseil de la magistrature (N.-B.) v. Moreau-Bérubé. Co......
  • Trinity Univ. v. College of Teachers, (2001) 269 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 9, 2000
    ...law standard is properly applied as a standard of review.... As Dickson, C.J., noted [in Slaight Communications Inc. v. Davidson , [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038], the more sophisticated and structured analysis of s. 1 is the proper framework within which to review Charter values." Thus, in thes......
  • R. v. Jones (S.), (1994) 43 B.C.A.C. 241 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 12, 1994
    ...to. [paras. 49, 103]. R. v. Moore (1984), 10 C.C.C.(3d) 306 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 52]. Slaight Communications Inc. v. Davidson, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. 75]. R. v. Vaillancourt, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 636; 81 N.R. 115; 10 Q.A.C. 161; 68 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 281; 20......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
585 cases
  • Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership v. Rex et al., (2002) 287 N.R. 248 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • April 26, 2002
    ...Hills v. Canada (Attorney General), [1988] 1 S.C.R. 513; 84 N.R. 86, refd to. [para. 63]. Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. R. v. Zundel (No. 2), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 731; 140 N.R. 1; 56 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 63]. R. v. Nova Scotia ......
  • Barrie Public Utilities et al. v. Canadian Cable Television Association et al., (2003) 304 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 16, 2003
    ...Association v. Douglas College, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 570; 118 N.R. 340, refd to. [para. 66]. Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. Moreau-Bérubé v. New Brunswick (Judicial Council) - see Conseil de la magistrature (N.-B.) v. Moreau-Bérubé. Co......
  • Trinity Univ. v. College of Teachers, (2001) 269 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 9, 2000
    ...law standard is properly applied as a standard of review.... As Dickson, C.J., noted [in Slaight Communications Inc. v. Davidson , [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038], the more sophisticated and structured analysis of s. 1 is the proper framework within which to review Charter values." Thus, in thes......
  • R. v. Jones (S.), (1994) 43 B.C.A.C. 241 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 12, 1994
    ...to. [paras. 49, 103]. R. v. Moore (1984), 10 C.C.C.(3d) 306 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 52]. Slaight Communications Inc. v. Davidson, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183, refd to. [para. 75]. R. v. Vaillancourt, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 636; 81 N.R. 115; 10 Q.A.C. 161; 68 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 281; 20......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
93 books & journal articles
  • Limitation of Charter Rights
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sixth Edition
    • June 22, 2021
    ...]. 7 Canadian Broadcasting Corp v Canada (Attorney General) , [2011] 1 SCR 19 [ CBC ]. 8 Slaight Communications Inc v Davidson , [1989] 1 SCR 1038, 59 DLR (4th) 416. 9 Doré v Barreau du Québec , [2012] 1 SCR 395. 10 R v Thomsen , [1988] 1 SCR 640. Limitation of Charter Rights 69 more clearl......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Fundamental Justice: Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Second Edition
    • June 22, 2019
    ...259, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 2010 CanLII 7376 ................................. 59, 66 Slaight Communications Inc v Davidson, [1989] 1 SCR 1038, 59 DLR (4th) 416, [1989] SCJ No 45 ............................................... 33, 355–56 Sliwin v College of Physicians and Surgeons ......
  • The International Constitution
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada. Farm Workers and the Fraser Case
    • June 17, 2012
    ...827; BC Health Services , above note 3; Fraser , above note 4. 24 Alberta Reference , ibid ; Slaight Communications Inc v Davidson , [1989] 1 SCR 1038 [ Slaight Communications ]; Irwin Toy Ltd v AG Quebec , [1989] 1 SCR 927; Reference re Secession of Quebec , [1998] 2 SCR 217; Canadian Egg ......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Transnational and Cross-Border Criminal Law. Canadian Perspectives Part VI. Inter-State Cooperation and Enforcement
    • September 12, 2023
    ...72 Slahi v Canada (Minister of Justice) 2009 FC 160, af ’d 2009 FCA 259 .............. 177, 494 Slaight Communications Inc v Davidson, [1989] 1 SCR 1038 .....................................197 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc v Canada (Public Prosecution Service), 2019 FC 282 ..............................
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT