LABOUR RELATIONS BOARDS - Jurisdiction of the court to review - Standard of review - Correctness

Law360 Canada (March 22, 2023, 6:22 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Unifor Local 2002 (Unifor) from Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador’s dismissal of Unifor’s application for judicial review of the arbitration award. Unifor argued the Applications Judge erred in declining to exercise jurisdiction to review the arbitrator's decision. Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd. (EVAS) was an airline headquartered in Newfoundland and Labrador that conducted operations and employed people in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. Unifor was the certified bargaining agent for the pilots and first officers employed by EVAS. EVAS laid off most of its pilots and first officers in the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unifor filed a grievance regarding the recall rights of those laid-off employees. EVAS and Unifor agreed to arbitrate the dispute. The arbitrator dismissed the grievance. Unifor applied for judicial review in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, seeking an order setting aside the arbitrator’s decision. Within that proceeding, EVAS applied for an order setting aside or staying Unifor’s application. EVAS’ position was that the court of Newfoundland and Labrador either did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter or, if it did, then it should decline to hear the matter because the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia was a more appropriate forum. The Applications Judge allowed EVAS’ jurisdictional application and dismissed Unifor’s application for judicial review. The Applications Judge decided the parties’ agreement to arbitrate in Nova Scotia necessarily implied they had also agreed that any judicial review would be conducted in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia....
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