CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT - Breach - Express terms - Duration - Fixed term contract

Law360 Canada (August 11, 2023, 6:05 AM EDT) -- Motion by defendant seeking to strike the Statement of Claim on the ground that it did not plead a viable cause of action. The Plaintiff brought a breach of contract claim in respect of the termination of his employment. This action was a proposed class action. The Plaintiff and members of the putative class were former members of adjudicative tribunals in Ontario. Each class member was appointed as an adjudicator by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council on the advice of the Ontario Cabinet by an Order-in-Council (OIC). The duration of their fixed term appointments was set out in each OIC appointing them. The Plaintiff and all of the putative class members served out the term to which they were appointed. Neither the Plaintiff nor any of the putative class members were reappointed to a further term by the government. The Plaintiff contended, however, that embedded as part of the employment contract formed by the appointment was that the term would subsequently be renewed. It was the Defendant’s position that there could be no breach of employment contract since the Plaintiff and all potential class members were statutory office holders by appointment, not employees. Accordingly, there was no obligation on the government to reappoint a fixed-term office holder, and therefore there was no reasonable prospect of success for this claim....
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