Summary

35424

Robert Meredith, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada

(Federal Court) (Civil) (By Leave)

Keywords

Canadian charter - civil - Freedom of association, Collective bargaining.

Summary

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Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Freedom of association - Treasury Board unilaterally reducing scheduled wage increases for RCMP members - Parliament subsequently passing an Act legislating limits on RCMP wage increases previously implemented by Treasury Board - Does Treasury Board decision infringe appellants’ freedom of association? - If so, is infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - Do sections 16, 35, 38, 43, 46 and 49 of the Expenditure Restraint Act, S.C. 2009, c.2, s. 393 infringe s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - If so, is infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

The Treasury Board is the employer of the members of the RCMP. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. R-10, provides that the Treasury Board shall establish the pay and allowances paid to members of the RCMP.

In response to the 2008-2009 worldwide financial crisis and global recession, the Treasury Board approved a modification to a previously approved RCMP pay package which had promised pay increases for the years 2008 to 2010, inclusively, as well as pay increments for economic increases and market adjustments.

The appellants filed an application for judicial review in which they sought, on behalf of all members of the RCMP, a ruling quashing the decision of the Treasury Board as well as a declaration that that decision violated s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Shortly thereafter, the Expenditure Restraint Act, S.C. 2009, c. 2 (ERA), was enacted. That Act legislatively imposed the limits on RCMP wage increases previously implemented by the Treasury Board. The appellants sought, and obtained, leave to amend their notice of application to also put in issue the constitutionality of the ERA.