Federal Court


Public service

Grievance procedure provided only forum in which plaintiff could seek relief

Plaintiff was former federal public servant. During his employment plaintiff complained about his performance rating. Plaintiff asserted he and Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Human Resources verbally agreed that his performance rating would be changed for better and he would receive same performance rating for next year if he received positive reviews. In return plaintiff was to resign from public service by specified date. ADM, Human Resources denied agreeing to terms. Plaintiff’s performance rating did not change. Plaintiff’s grievance was denied. Plaintiff referred grievance to Public Service Labour Relations Board. Board denied grievance and rejected allegation that plaintiff’s treatment amount to bad faith or disguised discipline. Plaintiff’s application for judicial review was granted and redetermination of grievance resulted in favourable decision. Plaintiff filed application for judicial review asserting that decision-maker failed to deal with allegations of bad faith and damage to his reputation. Plaintiff claimed damages asserting actions of official in processing his grievance constituted misfeasance in public office. Defendant asserted court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate claim. Defendant brought motion to strike statement of claim. Motion granted. Claim was struck in its entirety without leave to amend. Grievance procedure in Public Service Labour Relations Act (Can.) provided only forum in which plaintiff could seek relief. Plaintiff’s bald allegations of bad faith, malice and corruption did not bring his claim outside scope of grievance process.

Price v. Canada (Attorney General) (June 10, 2016, F.C., Simon Fothergill J., T-87-16) 268 A.C.W.S. (3d) 866.

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