Standard of review: Ongoing chaos or a path to order?

AuthorGreg Temelini
g Winer 2016
Sanar  eie:
’ll admit something to you as long as you agree not to pass it
along. I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to law. When it comes to
standard of review, I am a full-on nerd.
So that’s why I found the Supreme Court’s decision in Wilson v. Atomic
Energy of Canada Ltd.1 so fascinating. It’s a decision that came out in mid-
July– absolutely the best time to release intriguing decisions on standard
of review. There is nothing better than sitting on a beach in 40 degree
weather with a cold recreational beverage of your choosing and contem-
plating the state of Canadian administrative law.
The headlines generated by the Atomic Energ y decision were about the
interpretation of the Canada Labour Code (“Code”). Specically, the big
issue was whether non-unionized employees in federally regulated indus-
tries can legally be dismissed without cause so long as reasonable pay in
lieu of notice is provided– an important and interesting issue to be sure.
The part of the case that did not prompt sound bites on the national
news concerned the real divisions in the Supreme Court about the stan-
dard of review of administrative tribunal decisions.
The case spawned four sets of reasons. It’s always enjoyable when
the Supreme Court oers us four sets of reasons. It’s like playing a game
1 Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, 2016 SCC 29.

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