Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Judicial Review of Ontario Labour Relations Board Decisions: From CUPE to Dunsmuir, and Beyond [research note]

Document type Article
Author Marvy, Leonard
Author Stelmaszynski, Voy
Journal Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal
Volume 15
Date 2009-2010
Pages 555-572


In 1979, in the CUPE case, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a labour relations tribunal's interpretation of its constituent statute should be upheld on judicial review unless that interpretation was "patently unreasonable." By 2008, the Canadian courts were using three standards of review: patent unreasonableness, simple reasonableness, and correctness. In that year, however, in Dunsmuir, the Supreme Court held that the standard of patent unreasonableness was no longer to be used, but only the standards of simple reasonableness and correctness. By our count, during the 29 years between CUPE and Dunsnuir the courts decided 210 applications for judicial review of Ontario Labour Relations Board decisions. This research note sets out the results of our study examining those 210 cases and comparing them with 23 post-Dunsmuir cases in the Ontario courts involving applications for judicial review of the Board's decisions. --Introduction