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Court Rules on Adequacy of Tribunal Decisions

In Construction Labour Relations v. Driver Iron Inc., the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that administrative tribunals do not have to consider and comment upon every issue raised by the parties in their reasons.

In the case at hand, an Alberta Association appealed from a judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal that allowed an appeal from a judgment dismissing an application for judicial review. In so doing, the Court of Appeal quashed a decision of the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

The Court found “The appeal is well founded. The Board considered the relevant provisions of the Code and the facts presented to it by the parties. Its interpretation of the Code and its conclusions were reasonable. Its decision was entitled to deference. The Court of Appeal had no valid grounds to review and quash the decision. The court focused on an assertion that the Board had failed to give proper consideration to the interplay between ss. 176(1)(b) and 178 of the Code and to the different meanings that could be ascribed to these provisions and to s. 176(2). The Board did not have to explicitly address all possible shades of meaning of these provisions. This Court has strongly emphasized that administrative tribunals do not have to consider and comment upon every issue raised by the parties in their reasons. For reviewing courts, the issue remains whether the decision, viewed as a whole in the context of the record, is reasonable (Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses? Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board), 2011 SCC 62, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 708).”

Note: This summary is drawn from Eugene Meehan’s SupremeAdvocacy Weekly Updates for the Law Community.


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