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Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Law - WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY - Offences and enforcement - Appeals and judicial review - Procedure

Thursday, December 01, 2016 @ 7:00 PM  

Appeal by Thompson from a chambers judge’s determination of wages owed by the respondent, Procrane. The respondent discharged the appellant from employment. The appellant alleged the discharge was improper, as it was due to reporting safety concerns to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. In prior related proceedings, the Occupational Health and Safety Council directed the reinstatement of the appellant on the condition the respondent had sufficient workload. The Council directed the respondent to pay the appellant one month’s wages. A number of interlocutory proceedings ensued, as the appellant challenged the Council’s decision, arguing for more wages and better reinstatement terms. The respondent sought judicial review of its obligation to reinstate the appellant. Their hearings remained pending. Meanwhile, the chambers judge gave a deadline for payment of the lost wages award. The parties were unable to agree on the amount and returned before the chambers judge. The judge fixed the quantum of lost wages at one month. Thompson appealed.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. Based on the wording of the Council’s order, the determination of the amounts owed by the respondent to the appellant was within the chambers judge’s inherent jurisdiction. The appellant participated in that process and appeared before the chambers judge for that purpose, having sufficient opportunity to state his case, supported by extensive documentary evidence. There was no reviewable error in the judge’s quantification, as an approach based on the appellant’s actual historical earnings was reasonable and correct. The appellant’s allegation the judge was biased was without merit.