Federal Court


Federal and provincial pension plans

Federal pension plans

Minister not entitled to judicial review of Social Security Tribunal - Appeal Division’s reasons

Pension claimant JT injured her wrist in 2007 and worked sporadically until August 2008 when she was no longer able to work. Social Security Tribunal–General Division determined that claimant was eligible for disability pension under Canada Pension Plan because disability was severe and prolonged as of minimum qualifying period. Social Security Tribunal–Appeal Division granted Minister of Employment and Social Development leave to appeal on ground that General Division may have erred in finding that disability was severe, but did not grant leave on other two arguments. Minister brought application for judicial review, seeking to have appeal proceed on all three arguments. Application dismissed. Minister alleged three distinct erroneous findings but they all fell within just one ground of appeal recognized by statute. Minister was seeking judicial review of Appeal Division’s reasons, not its disposition. Appeal Division referred to other issues as “grounds” and found they did not have reasonable chance of success, but to refer to all instances of error as “grounds” was problematic. Language of statute was clear that there were only three possible grounds of appeal and that appeal was either granted or refused. Since Minister was not seeking different disposition, Minister had no basis upon which to bring judicial review application prior to completion of appeal proceedings. Appeal Division was specialized tribunal with expertise to interpret scope of its own appeal jurisdiction and statute. There was no reason to interfere with Appeal Division’s finding on issue of capacity to work and severity of disability. Appeal Division’s determination of factual issues raised by Minister was reasonable.

Canada (Attorney General) v. Tsagbey (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 1310, 2017 FC 356, Richard G. Mosley J. (F.C.).

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