Federal Appeal

Employment Insurance

Complete, whole day did not necessarily mean calendar day

Claimant became entitled to employment insurance benefits effective July 3, 2011. For short period of time claimant was outside Canada and unavailable for work. Claimant left Canada on morning of first day and returned during evening of second day. Pursuant to s. 37(b) of Employment Insurance Act (Can.), claimant was not entitled to receive employment benefits for any period she was not in Canada. Umpire found that first day did not count in calculation of period claimant was outside Canada, but second day did. Attorney General applied for judicial review of umpire’s decision. Application dismissed. Interpretation that would disentitle person from benefits for fractions of days would not further administrative efficiency. Express words, design and architecture of Act supported view that “period” in s. 37(b) was to be expressed only in whole days, not fractions of days. Person who was outside Canada for fraction of complete day was not counted as “period” outside of Canada under s. 37(b). Claimant was away for total of one day, but on each calendar day she was away for only fraction of day. Absence on each calendar day should not be disregarded. “Period” in s. 37(b) was period, expressed in complete, whole days, during which claimant was outside of Canada. Complete, whole day did not necessarily mean calendar day and it could include continuous 24-hour period that straddled two calendar days. Claimant was outside of Canada for one complete whole day and she was not entitled to receive one day of benefits.

Canada (Attorney General) v. Picard (Feb. 17, 2014, F.C.A., K. Sharlow J.A., David Stratas J.A., and D.G. Near J.A., File No. A-3-13) 239 A.C.W.S. (3d) 659.

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