Robert Beaulieu v. Attorney General of Canada

(Federal) (Civil) (By Leave)




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Administrative law – Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Command – Acting appointments of members – Seniority – Proper interpretation of term “direct” in s. 8 of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988, SOR/88 361 – Whether acting appointment of RCMP members on basis of merit under Part 4.E.9 of Career Management Manual constitutes “direction” by Commissioner within meaning of s. 8.

Section 8 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988, SOR/88 361 (“Regulations”), provided that the rule of seniority applied in the case of acting appointments in the RCMP unless the RCMP Commissioner “directs otherwise”. The applicant Mr. Beaulieu, an RCMP member since 1982, held an investigator position with the rank of corporal. He filed three grievances against decisions appointing corporals who had less seniority than he had to acting positions. Mr. Beaulieu acknowledged the Commissioner’s right to deviate from the seniority principle, but he argued that if the Commissioner wanted to create a general rule in this regard, he had to adopt a rule or standing order within the meaning of s. 2(2) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. R 10, which he had not done. In the alternative, he argued that the Act did not authorize the Commissioner to delegate his power to adopt rules and that, by deviating from the general seniority principle through Part 4.E.9 of the Career Management Manual, which provided for the appointment of members on the basis of merit, the Commissioner had unlawfully subdelegated that power. The grievances, the application for judicial review and the appeal were all dismissed.

Lower Court Rulings

January 15, 2015
Federal Court

T-1561-13, 2015 CF 57
Application for judicial review dismissed
February 23, 2016
Federal Court of Appeal

A-57-15, 2016 CAF 59
Appeal dismissed