• Alberta Court of Appeal Upholds Union Dues Suspension Remedy
  • December 6, 2006 | Authors: Hugh J. D. McPhail; Glenn D. Tait; David J. Ross
  • Law Firms: McLennan Ross LLP - Edmonton Office ; McLennan Ross LLP - Yellowknife Office ; McLennan Ross LLP - Edmonton Office
  • Hospital workers at various hospitals in Alberta engaged in an illegal strike in May 2000. One remedy that the Labour Relations Board chose to grant was an order suspending the remittance of union dues by the employer to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees for two months.

    A judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench overturned the Board decision in 2004 on a variety of grounds. The appeal was finally heard in November of this year. In its recent decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal restored the original Board decision, signaling a high level of deference to the Board’s freedom to make decisions within its area of expertise.

    The decision supports the Board’s approach in this situation and affirms that this remedy is not inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This potential remedy will therefore resume its place as a significant deterrent against illegal strikes in Alberta.