Stewart McKelvey congratulates Stephen Penney, Partner, who received an excellent result from the Supreme Court of Canada in Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board). Stephen represented the respondents, the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Boards Association, the body that represents several of the Health Boards in the province.
The case involved a judicial review of an award in a labour arbitration. At issue, was the quality of reasons provided by the arbitrator. In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court clarified that Dunsmuir (the seminal case on judicial review) does not stand for the proposition that the “adequacy” of reasons is a stand-alone basis for quashing a decision. The Supreme Court took the opportunity to re-emphasize the importance of deference to specialized tribunals. The arbitrator’s award which was favourable to the employer, the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Boards Association, was upheld. This case will stand as in important case on judicial review, particularly in the context of labour relations.
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