Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al., 2015 NSCA 63

JudgeFichaud, Farrar and Bryson, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
Case DateJune 23, 2015
JurisdictionNova Scotia
Citations2015 NSCA 63;(2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201 (CA)

Muggah v. WCAT (2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201 (CA);

    1142 A.P.R. 201

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. JN.033

Deborah Lee Muggah (appellant) v. Nova Scotia Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal, the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, the Attorney General for the Province of Nova Scotia and Marid Industries Limited (respondents)

(CA 432292; 2015 NSCA 63)

Indexed As: Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al.

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

Fichaud, Farrar and Bryson, JJ.A.

June 23, 2015.

Summary:

Muggah was divorced from her husband when he died in a workplace accident. Section 60 of the Workers' Compensation Act provided for a survivor's benefit payable to the worker's "spouse" or "dependant" who was a member of the worker's family. As Muggah was a former spouse and no longer a member of his family, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal held that she was not entitled to a survivor's benefit under the Act and that the denial of the survivor benefit did not discriminate against her on the analogous ground of "marital status" under s. 15(1) of the Charter. Muggah appealed.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The Act did not draw a distinction based on the analogous ground of marital status. In any event, there was no discrimination against Muggah as a former spouse.

Civil Rights - Topic 923.2

Discrimination - Marital status - Worker's compensation legislation - [See Civil Rights - Topic 5667.1 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 5667.1

Equality and protection of the law - Particular cases - Workers' compensation - Muggah was divorced from her husband when he died in a workplace accident - Section 60 of the Workers' Compensation Act provided for a survivor's benefit payable to the worker's "spouse" or "dependant" who was a member of the worker's family - As Muggah was a former spouse and no longer a member of his family, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal held that she was not entitled to a survivor's benefit under the Act and that the denial of the survivor benefit did not discriminate against her on the analogous ground of "marital status" under s. 15(1) of the Charter - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed Muggah's appeal - There was no distinction drawn on the analogous ground of "marital status" - Being a former spouse or divorced was not a type of marital status recognized by the jurisprudence - The analogous ground of "marital status" did not involve a distinction between current partners who were married or unmarried by cohabiting and former partners who no longer had a spousal or cohabiting relationship - "Marital status" governed "a distinction between types of relationships (e.g. married, common law or de facto , heterosexual, same sex), not a distinction between current and former relationships" - In any event, "the impugned provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, considered in their full context, do not offend substantive equality - or discrimination - by exacerbating or perpetuating disadvantage either to former spouses as a group or to Ms. Muggah because she is a former spouse".

Cases Noticed:

New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190; 372 N.R. 1; 329 N.B.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 18].

Alliance Pipeline Ltd. v. Smith, [2011] 1 S.C.R. 160; 412 N.R. 66, refd to. [para. 18].

Withler v. Canada (Attorney General), [2011] 1 S.C.R. 396; 412 N.R. 149; 300 B.C.A.C. 120; 509 W.A.C. 120, refd to. [para. 21].

A. v. B., [2013] 1 S.C.R. 61; 439 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 22].

Quebec (Attorney General) v. A. - see A. v. B.

Taypotat v. Taypotat et al. (2015), 471 N.R. 173; 2015 SCC 30, refd to. [para. 23].

Miron and Valliere v. Trudel et al., [1995] 2 S.C.R. 418; 181 N.R. 253; 81 O.A.C. 253, refd to. [para. 28].

M. v. H., [1999] 2 S.C.R. 3; 238 N.R. 179; 121 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 30].

Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Walsh - see Walsh v. Bona.

Walsh v. Bona, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 325; 297 N.R. 203; 210 N.S.R.(2d) 273; 659 A.P.R. 273, refd to. [para. 31].

Moge v. Moge, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 813; 145 N.R. 1; 81 Man.R.(2d) 161; 30 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 34].

Bracklow v. Bracklow, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 420; 236 N.R. 79; 120 B.C.A.C. 211; 196 W.A.C. 211, refd to. [para. 34].

Miglin v. Miglin, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 303; 302 N.R. 201; 171 O.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 34].

Hodge v. Canada (Minister of Human Resources Development), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 357; 326 N.R. 201, refd to. [para. 37].

Auton et al. v. British Columbia (Minister of Health) et al., [2004] 3 S.C.R. 657; 327 N.R. 1; 206 B.C.A.C. 1; 338 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 40].

Ballantyne et al. v. Canada (2004), 312 N.R. 157; 2003 FCA 320, refd to. [para. 47].

Roy v. Canada - see Ballantyne et al. v. Canada.

Vye v. Vye, [1998] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 129 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 59].

Dolphin Estate, Re (2004), 227 N.S.R.(2d) 312; 720 A.P.R. 312; 2004 NSSC 226, refd to. [para. 59].

Jardine-Vissers v. Vissers (2011), 303 N.S.R.(2d) 200; 957 A.P.R. 200; 2011 NSSC 195, refd to. [para. 59].

Statutes Noticed:

Workers' Compensation Act, S.N.S. 1994-95, c. 10, sect. 2(ab) [para. 8]; sect. 2(l) [para. 9]; sect. 2(s) [para. 10]; sect. 59(a), sect. 59(c) [para. 11]; sect. 60(1)(c), sect. 60(4) [para. 7].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Payne, Julian D., and Payne, Marilyn A., Canadian Family Law (5th Ed. 2013), p. 222 [para. 59].

Counsel:

Kenneth H. LeBlanc and David McCluskey, for the appellant;

Roderick Rogers, Q.C., and Scott R. Campbell, for the respondent, Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia;

Edward A. Gores, Q.C., for the respondent, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia;

Alexander C.W. MacIntosh, for the respondent, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal;

Marid Industries Ltd., not appearing.

This appeal was heard on June 9, 2015, at Halifax, N.S., before Fichaud, Farrar and Bryson, JJ.A., of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

On June 23, 2015, Fichaud, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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5 practice notes
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    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • November 17, 2015
    ...412 N.R. 149; 300 B.C.A.C. 120; 509 W.A.C. 120, refd to. [para. 76]. Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al. (2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 1142 A.P.R. 201; 2015 NSCA 63, refd to. [para. Tranchemontagne et al. v. Disability Support Program (Ont.) (2010), 269 O.A.C. 137; ......
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    ...v. Smith (2011), 412 N.R. 66 ; 2011 SCC 7 , refd to. [para. 24]. Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al. (2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 1142 A.P.R. 201 ; 2015 NSCA 63 , refd to. [para. MacKay et al. v. Manitoba, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 357 ; 99 N.R. 116 ; 61 Man.R.(2d) 27......
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    ...according to a recent Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision. In Muggah v Nova Scotia (Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal), 2015 NSCA 63, the Court unanimously rejected a section 15 Charter challenge alleging that certain provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act discriminated between c......
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    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • May 5, 2017
    ...proceed carefully in requiring a payor spouse to obtain insurance… [63] In Muggah v. Nova Scotia (Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal), 2015 NSCA 63, 387 D.L.R. (4th) 334, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal observed, at para. 59, that a life insurance provision is a common term of corollary......
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4 cases
  • International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 268 v. Adekayode et al., 2016 NSCA 6
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • November 17, 2015
    ...412 N.R. 149; 300 B.C.A.C. 120; 509 W.A.C. 120, refd to. [para. 76]. Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al. (2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 1142 A.P.R. 201; 2015 NSCA 63, refd to. [para. Tranchemontagne et al. v. Disability Support Program (Ont.) (2010), 269 O.A.C. 137; ......
  • Dale v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al., 2015 NSCA 71
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • July 24, 2015
    ...v. Smith (2011), 412 N.R. 66 ; 2011 SCC 7 , refd to. [para. 24]. Muggah v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al. (2015), 362 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 1142 A.P.R. 201 ; 2015 NSCA 63 , refd to. [para. MacKay et al. v. Manitoba, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 357 ; 99 N.R. 116 ; 61 Man.R.(2d) 27......
  • Dagg v. Cameron Estate, 2017 ONCA 366
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • May 5, 2017
    ...proceed carefully in requiring a payor spouse to obtain insurance… [63] In Muggah v. Nova Scotia (Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal), 2015 NSCA 63, 387 D.L.R. (4th) 334, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal observed, at para. 59, that a life insurance provision is a common term of corollary......
  • Taddeo v. Cacciacarro, 2017 NBQB 091
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick (Canada)
    • May 19, 2017
    ...carefully in requiring a payor spouse to obtain insurance... 63 In Muggah v. Nova Scotia (Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal), 2015 NSCA 63, 387 D.L.R. (4th) 334, the Nova Scotia Court of observed, at para. 59, that a life insurance provision is a common term of corollary relief ......
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