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Statutory Interpretation - Interpretating Across Statutes

. Mulmer Services Ltd. v. LIUNA, Local 183

In Mulmer Services Ltd. v. LIUNA, Local 183 (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considered (but disregarded) what an applicant characterized as the 'harmonization' principle of statutory interpretation:
[69] On this point, I agree with the argument of LIUNA, which I adopt as my own:
That unionized employers are subject to the [LRA] and non-unionized employers are not is trite. That there are “different obligations for an organization under each piece of legislation”, “based only” on whether an employer is unionized, is the universal case in all matters of labour and employment quite irrespective of the Decision. That an incoming employer who ousts a unionized employer might find itself subject to the successorship provisions of the Act (and a collective agreement as a result), even if it would otherwise not be required to pay severance under the ESA, is not “inconsistency” on any interpretation that is reasonable or otherwise intended by the legislature. Preservation of bargaining rights and continuity of employment is the point of section 69.1. It is not in any way contingent on – let alone determined by – whether an incoming employer would have to pay severance if the outgoing employer were not unionized.

There are a myriad of fundamental and substantive differences between the Act and the ESA. The Board’s recognition of that difference is reflected in the Decision here and is consistent with the Board’s findings in the first case to consider the application of the reinstituted section 69.1, in [Imperial Parking].[67]
[70] The Board’s Decision implicitly recognizes that the two statutory schemes serve different objectives. The Decision is consistent with previous OLRB jurisprudence. In my view, the Decision cannot be said to be unreasonable on this point. Therefore, this ground must also fail.
. Canada (Attorney General) v. Bacile

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Bacile (Fed CA, 2023) the Federal Court of Appeal considered statutory interpretation when interpreting across related statutes:
[12] The Court presumes harmony, coherence and consistency in the interpretation of provisions within a statutory scheme and between statutes dealing with the same subject matter: R. v. Uybel Enterprises, 2001 SCC 56, [2001] 2 S.C.R. 867 at para 52; Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership v. Rex, 2002 SCC 42, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 559, at para. 27. ....
. International Air Transport Association v. Canadian Transportation Agency

In International Air Transport Association v. Canadian Transportation Agency (Fed CA, 2022) the Federal Court of Appeal cites the principle that different statutes are to be interpreted in accordance with the "presumption of legislative coherence" - wherever this is possible:
[75] The appellants also submit that the scope of the Agency’s regulation-making authority under section 86.11 of the CTA is further constrained by the presumption of legislative coherence. Pursuant to that well established presumption, overlapping provisions from different statutes must be interpreted so as to avoid conflict wherever this is possible: Thibodeau at paras. 89, 93 and 99; Barreau du Québec v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2017 SCC 56, 404 D.L.R. (4th) 201 at para. 73; Friends of the Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 1992 CanLII 110 (SCC), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 3, 88 D.L.R. (4th) 1 at p. 38 [Oldman River]; P.-A. Côté, The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada, 4th ed. (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2011), at p. 365. What is true of statutes is also true of delegated legislation: regulations can neither conflict with their enabling legislation nor with any other act of the legislature: Oldman River, at p. 38; D.J.M. Brown & J.M. Evans, Judicial Review of Administrative Action in Canada (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2022), at § 15:61. Since the Montreal Convention has the force of law in Canada as its provisions have been incorporated into Canadian law by subsection 2(2.2) of the CAA, the appellants argue that Parliament must be presumed not to have authorized the adoption of delegated legislation pursuant to section 86.11 that would be inconsistent with the Montreal Convention.


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Last modified: 17-08-23
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