Judge Morrison's Decision
The Coalition received earlier this week the Court of Queen’s Bench decision, as rendered by Judge Terrence Morrison. CLICK HERE for Judge Morrison’s decision. The Court has authorized the case to proceed as an “action” and has rejected the Crown’s argument that the case should be dismissed for lack of notice. The Coalition is pleased with this result.
Pension CoalitionNB and it’s issues have been deemed legitimate by the court. We are a legitimate group with legitimate issues. We are not “a few disgruntled Deputy Ministers in Fredericton”.
We have prepared a brief summary of the key findings of the case presented on Sept 29th and how the Court dealt with them.
• The motion argued was procedural and no submissions were made concerning the new Cost of Living adjustments as legislated under the Shared Risk pension plan. In addition, no “Charter” arguments were made. The Court described the Coalition as “part of a group of former provincial government employees who retired before the implementation of the COLA changes” as prescribed in An Act Respecting Public Service Pensions. The Court stated that the “main thrust of this proceeding is the challenge to the validity of the legislation … on the basis that it infringes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the provisions of the Taxpayer Protection Act.”
• The motion concerned whether the Coalition should have served advance “notice” to the Crown before starting the case. The Court agreed with the Coalition on this point and ruled that no notice was required. The Court rejected the Crown’s request to strike the proceeding and declare it a nullity.
• The Court agreed with the Crown that our case is more appropriately brought by way of “action” instead of by “application”. The Coalition originally chose the application route because we believed it would be more expedient and cost-effective to proceed this way. The Court said that the Crown has alleged lots of facts to be in dispute in the case, and in the Court’s view, “proceeding by way of action will not be any less expeditious than the process proposed” by the Coalition. The Court rejected the Crown’s argument to dismiss the case and instead the Court took the step of “converting” our application into the action format.
• The Court authorized the Coalition to file its action document by January 9, 2015 and ordered the Crown to file its defense within 20-30 days after the Coalition files (according to court rules). The Coalition is already commencing work on this document.
• The Court ordered that no party is required to pay the costs of the other for the Sept. 29 attendance, since both the Coalition and the Crown were equally successful.
The Coalition is pleased with the progress and success we have achieved to date. We appreciate the ongoing support of you all. We will be in touch in the coming weeks.
TRADUCTION a Suivre: nos bénévoles nous feront parvenir la traduction dès que possible. Merci bien.
Bonny Hoyt-Hallett, Chair