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ARMED FORCES - Military administrative law - Grievances - Standard of review

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 6:36 AM  

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Appeal by Beddows from the dismissal of his judicial review application. The appellant sought judicial review of a decision of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) that denied his 2017 grievance. The CDS found the appellant’s request for reimbursement of the legal fees and costs he incurred in relation to a prior grievance was not the proper subject of a grievance. In 2014, the appellant, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, grieved a repatriation order. The grievance was denied on the basis it was not filed within prescribed time limits. In judicial review proceedings, the matter was referred back to the Final Authority for reconsideration. The application judge found the CDS’s decision denying the 2017 grievance was reasonable. He refused to consider two new issues the appellant raised at the hearing without prior notice.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The application judge appropriately chose to apply the reasonableness standard to the CDS’s decision. There was no basis to interfere with his conclusion that the CDS’s decision was reasonable. It was within the application judge’s discretion to decline to entertain the new issues raised by the appellant. The CDS’s conclusion that the 2017 grievance sought redress for the refusal of the 2014 grievance was amply supported. The National Defence Act supported the reasonableness of the CDS’s determination that the appellant could not grieve a refusal of a previous grievance. The CDS provided sufficient reasons.

Beddows v. Canada (Attorney General), [2020] F.C.J. No. 964, Federal Court of Appeal, J. Gauthier, M.J.L. Gleason and R. LeBlanc JJ.A., October 6, 2020. Digest No. TLD-November92020007