Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta

(Alberta) (Civil) (By Leave)


Civil procedure — Parties — Standing — Public interest standing — Appeals — Powers of Court of Appeal — How should standing be assessed on an application to strike a claim — What limitations are on litigants bringing constitutional challenges based on reasonable hypothetical applications of impugned legislation — Are these limitations identical to those on litigants alleging legislation creates a chilling effect on Charter-protected activities due to the potential for an offender to be charged under the law — Does the lack of a fully developed factual setting automatically preclude a court from granting public interest standing — What limitations are on an appellate court respecting raising a new ground of appeal?


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The Alberta Union of Public Employees and some of its officers filed a statement of claim challenging the constitutionality of Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, SA 2020, c. C-32.7. The Crown applied to have the claim struck on the basis it is an abuse of process because the union and its officers do not have standing to bring the claim and the pleadings do not disclose a reasonable claim. A chambers judge dismissed the application. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and struck the claim.

Lower Court Rulings

June 1, 2021
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

2003 10486, 2021 ABQB 371
Application to strike claim dismissed
December 14, 2021
Court of Appeal of Alberta (Edmonton)

2021 ABCA 416, 2103-0148AC
Appeal allowed, claim struck