Education Law Newsletter

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Our education law newsletter is a monthly publication outlining recent decisions and articles that can impact the workplace of educational institutions.

The articles listed below are intended to provide readers with general information. They should not be regarded or relied upon as legal advice or opinion.

 

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September 3, 2021 – The Divisional Court unanimously agreed that constitutional rights of management employees do not provide a positive right to strike

September 3, 2021

The Divisional Court unanimously agreed that constitutional rights of management employees do not provide a positive right to strike UFCW v. Aurora Cannabis Ontario’s principals’ and vice-principals’ associations intervened at the Divisional Court to argue that labour relations schemes must include an express right to strike. The four Ontario trustee associations (OPSBA, ACÉPO, AFOCSC, OCSTA) opposed the position of the Ontario’s principals’ and vice-principals’ associations. The Court unanimously upheld the position of the Ontario trustee associations. Emond Harnden’s Paul Marshall and Joël Rocque successfully represented the two public school boards’ associations. The Court’s decision reinforces the constitutionality of principals’ and…

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May 5, 2021 – Remote work expense reimbursement policy: arbitrator held that the Board reasonably exercised its management rights

May 5, 2021

Remote work expense reimbursement policy: arbitrator held that the Board reasonably exercised its management rights Toronto District School Board v. CUPE Local 4400, 2021 CanLII 27922 The arbitrator found that the school board’s Reimbursement Policy relating to expenses incurred due to remote working was not an unreasonable use of management rights under the Collective Agreement.   HUMAN RIGHTS Huynh v. CSC Mon Avenir, 2021 HRTO 247 The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario dismissed an application filed late by a retired teacher. The Tribunal allowed the school board’s objection, ruling that the applicant’s medical evidence was inadmissible in the absence of…

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April 1, 2021 – Obligation to wear a mask at school may fall within the jurisdiction of the HRTO

April 1, 2021

Obligation to wear a mask at school may fall within the jurisdiction of the HRTO CL as represented by his Litigation Guardian KL v. Toronto District School Board, 2021 HRTO 159 An Application regarding the requirement to wear a mask at school falls within the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s jurisdiction when it relates to a student’s disability or any other protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code.   HUMAN RIGHTS VJ v. Thames Valley District School Board, 2021 HRTO 149 The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may order the reimbursement of tuition fees for a private school, where…

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March 2, 2021 – A litigant’s disclosure obligations supersede a school board’s privacy obligations

March 2, 2021

A litigant’s disclosure obligations supersede a school board’s privacy obligations Gargari v. Toronto Catholic District Board School, 2020 ONSC 6903 Disclosure obligations in the context of litigation supersede a school board’s privacy obligations.   HUMAN RIGHTS Chilliwack Teachers’ Association v. Neufeld, 2021 BCHRT 6 The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal held that a school board could be, in certain circumstances, responsible for a trustee’s discriminatory statements made outside of their duties. Beart v. Edmonton Public School Board, 2021 AHRC 3 The Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta ruled that the decision of the school board to accommodate an employee in response…

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January 21, 2021 – Search of Student’s Purse Uncovering Cocaine Not a Violation of Charter

January 21, 2021

Search of Student’s Purse Uncovering Cocaine Not a Violation of Charter R. v Calabretta, 2020 ONCJ 435 The Ontario Court of Justice determined that a student’s freedom from unreasonable search and seizure pursuant to section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom was not violated when her purse was searched by an employee of the School Board. While the student attended her high school prom, the vice-principal performed a mandatory search of her purse and found two grams of cocaine. The Court held that, despite the absence of reasonable grounds for the search, the mandatory security search of bags at a…

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October 7, 2020 – OLRB Dismisses Unions’ Appeal of Province’s Back to School Plan

October 7, 2020

OLRB Dismisses Unions’ Appeal of Province’s Back to School Plan OSSTF et al v Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, 2020 CRTO The Unions alleged that the Ministry of Education’s Guide to Re-opening Schools violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and appealed the Ministry of Labour’s refusal to inspect and/or issue orders to the Ministry of Education under OHSA to correct the deficiencies of the Guide. The OLRB dismissed the Unions’ appeals holding that it did not have jurisdiction to deal with them absent an inspection conducted by a Ministry of Labour inspector.   HUMAN RIGHTS…

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September 8, 2020 – Ontario Superior Court of Justice: The Ontario Government is in a Better Position than the Courts to Assess and Address School Attendance Risks

September 8, 2020

Ontario Superior Court of Justice: The Ontario Government is in a Better Position than the Courts to Assess and Address School Attendance Risks Chase v Chase, 2020 ONSC 5083 The Applicant mother brought an urgent motion to obtain sole decision-making ability for educational decisions respecting her child. The mother requested that her child be registered and attend school in-person in September 2020. The Respondent father requested that their child remain at home until such time that the School Board’s safety protocols are proven successful and that leading health experts are able to offer more certainty relating to the safety of students…

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August 5, 2020 – School Board’s Directive Requiring Teachers to Remain in School Until 4 p.m. Was Reasonable

August 5, 2020

School Board’s Directive Requiring Teachers to Remain in School Until 4 p.m. Was Reasonable The Portage la Prairie Teachers’ Association v The Portage la Prairie School Division, 2020 MBQB 93 The Union brought an Application for judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision holding that the School Division’s directive requiring teachers to remain in school and available until 4:00 p.m. each day, regardless of whether they have assigned duties after the instructional day, which ends at 3:20 p.m., was reasonable. The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the application for judicial review and held that the directive was reasonable, due in part on…

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June 30, 2020 – School Board’s Decision to Demote Principal is Quashed on Judicial Review

June 30, 2020

School Board’s Decision to Demote Principal is Quashed on Judicial Review Oberg v Saskatchewan (Board of Education of the South East Cornerstone School Division No. 209), 2020 SKQB 96 A School Principal applied for judicial review of the decision of the School Board by which he was removed from his position as a School Principal because of conflict of interest and conduct unbecoming of a School Principal. The Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan quashed the decision to demote the principal, holding that the School Board breached its duty of procedural fairness toward the employee. The School Board demoted a school…

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March 3, 2020 – Union’s Advice to Teachers did Not Amount to Unlawful Strike

March 3, 2020

Union’s Advice to Teachers did Not Amount to Unlawful Strike Halton District School Board v Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, 2020 CanLII 5702 The School Board’s grievance alleged that the Union, in advising teachers not to participate in mandatory Behaviour Management Systems training, amounted to an unlawful strike. The arbitrator dismissed the grievance and determined that the Union’s advice to its members did not amount to calling, causing, authorizing, counseling, procuring, supporting, encouraging or threatening to call an unlawful strike.   CIVIL LITIGATION AH v Alberta (Minister of Education), 2020 ABCA 54 The Plaintiffs’ action against the Ministry of Education of Alberta…

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