Corporation of the City of Greater Sudbury v. Ministry of the Attorney General (Ministry of Labour, Immigration,Training and Skills Development)

(Ontario) (Civil) (By Leave)


Provincial offences — Occupational health and safety — Whether the owner of a construction project which had contracted the construction out to a third party to act as the constructor was the employer pursuant to s. 1(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 0.1, and responsible for workplace safety?


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The City of Greater Sudbury contracted Interpaving Limited to repair utilities and to repave streets affected by the repairs. An employee of Interpaving Limited operating a road grader struck and killed a pedestrian who was attempting to cross a street in the construction zone. Safety measures required by legislation were not in place. The Ministry of Labour charged the City as a “constructor” and an “employer” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 0.1, and Construction Projects, O. Reg. 213/9. The Ontario Court of Justice acquitted the City on all charges. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed an appeal. The Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal in respect of the three charges against the City as an employer and set aside the acquittals on those charges. The Crown conceded that the factual findings to determine guilt on one count had not been made at trial. The Court of Appeal remanded the case to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to hear an appeal raising whether the City had established a defence of due diligence in respect of the other two charges.

Lower Court Rulings

June 6, 2019
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

2019 ONSC 3285, SCA-183-18
Appeal dismissed.
April 23, 2021
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2021 ONCA 252, C67701
Appeal allowed, matter remitted to Ontario Superior Court of Justice.