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APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW - Bars

Thursday, February 25, 2021 @ 6:19 AM  


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Appeal by Pelletier from a preliminary ruling finding she lacked standing to apply for judicial review. The appellant was dismissed from her employment with the province in 2018 for cause. Her union unsuccessfully grieved the dismissal before a labour adjudicator. The union did not pursue the matter further. The province consented to an initial extension of time for the appellant to seek judicial review. A motion by the appellant sought a further extension. The judge dismissed the motion on the basis the appellant lacked standing to seek judicial review, as the union rather than the appellant was the appropriate party before the adjudicator under the collective agreement and no natural justice issues were engaged. In any event, the judge would have denied an extension of time based on the principle of finality in the public decision-making process. Pelletier appealed.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The motion judge did not err in exercising discretion to refuse an extension of time, as the appellant did not have standing to seek judicial review. The appellant did not exercise her right to refer her grievance to adjudication without the union. The union brought the grievance and argued it on the appellant’s behalf. Therefore, the appellant was not a party to the adjudication and was not entitled to seek judicial review of the adjudicator’s decision. There was no evidence of bias, conflict of interest or deficient representation by the union. The motion judge correctly applied the law set out in the jurisprudence, made proper findings based on the evidentiary record and came to the right conclusion in denying an extension of time to bring a proceeding for which the appellant lacked standing.

Pelletier v. New Brunswick (Minister of Social Development), [2020] N.B.J. No. 321, New Brunswick Court of Appeal, J.C.M. Richard C.J.N.B. and K.A. Quigg and L.A. LaVigne JJ.A., December 23, 2020. Digest No. TLD-February222021007