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Administrative - Limiting Submissions

. Speck v. OLRB

In Speck v. OLRB (Div Ct, 2021) the Divisional Court considered a judicial review of an OLRB duty of fair representation case. One of the issues was procedural fairness where the appellant had filed 1300 pages of material:
[34] While the applicant felt that his original filing was well-organized and necessarily compendious, the Board found it to be “generally incomprehensible and difficult to follow,” and pointed out that such a document made it impossible for the Union “to discern the specific allegations against” it. Such a finding, in the applicant’s view, was “completely unfounded.”

[35] We disagree. The Board’s concerns were reasonable, given the nearly 1300 pages of application and exhibits that the applicant had filed. In fact, they were guided by the Board’s duty of procedural fairness to the Union to permit it to understand the allegations that it must answer, the factual basis for the allegations, and the remedies sought. The Board had the authority to set page limits that required the applicant to focus his arguments and render them more manageable for response and argument. In making its interim determination, the Board was balancing its duties to accord procedural fairness to all parties. The Board’s interim decision did not bar the applicant from applying for relief. It merely imposed on the applicant a duty to provide a more concise application. The applicant complied with the interim decision. Once that application was filed, the responding parties promptly filed responses.

[36] The applicant further complains that the page limitations emasculated his application and placed him “in the near-impossible position” of describing six years of evidence within the required page limits without sacrificing relevant material.

[37] We do not agree that the applicant suffered unfairness in that regard as a result of the interim decision. The applicant’s application ultimately did not proceed as a result of the Board’s decision not to inquire into it because of undue delay. Given that determination, the applicant cannot show any unfairness or prejudice that he suffered as a result of the page limits that were imposed: Kuehne + Nagel Ltd. v. Uniform, 2019 ONSC 6779, at para. 7.


[70] Substantive rights are often subordinated to procedural requirements in a system of justice, and a substantive right does not trump every other concern in the justice system: Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014 SCC 62, [2014] 3 S.C.R. 176, at paras. 160-162. All parties who seek redress before the Board – employers, unions, and workers – are subject to the same presumption with respect to delay, and non-unionized workers must likewise comply with limitations periods set out in other fora. One fundamental purpose of the Act is to promote “the expeditious resolution of workplace disputes” in pursuance of which the Chair of the Board may make rules governing practice and procedure: Act, ss. 2(7), 110(7).


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