The court hears arguments in case #29323, Board of Governors of Lethbridge Community College v. Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, et al., on November 4, 2004.
The Board of Governors of Lethbridge Community College fired Sylvia Babin on October 9, 1997. Ms. Babin and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees grieved the dismissal, claiming that Ms. Babin had been fired without cause. The arbitration board concluded that the Board did not have just cause to fire Ms. Babin. In its interpretation of section 142(2) of the Labour Relations Code, the arbitration board awarded Ms. Babin damages in lieu of re-instatement, which is the normal remedy in such cases. Ms. Babin accepted the awarded damages. She further appealed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, with the union representing her, requesting a judicial review of the arbitrator’s decision and asserting her right to re-instatement. The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench rejected her petition. The union then took the matter to the Alberta Court of Appeal, which overturned the decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and ordered Ms. Babin’s re-instatement. The Board of Governors of Lethbridge Community College is asking the Supreme Court to rule that the arbitration board’s original interpretation and application of section 142(2) of the Labour Relations Code was sound and to therefore overrule the Alberta Court of Appeal’s ruling.
Lawyer Brent Gawne presents arguments on behalf of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, et al., responding to questions from several of the justices. Lawyer John Baigent speaks on behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees and Provincial Health Authorities of Alberta, an intervener in the case. Lawyer Laird Armstrong speaks on behalf of the Board of Governors of Lethbridge Community College.