2.10: Intervenor status

Case Summary

In the underlying Action, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (“AUPE”) brought an Action against Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta (“HMQ”) seeking a declaration that the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act, RSA 2019, c T-41.7 (“Bill 9”) breaches the AUPE’s freedom of association as protected by s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”). On July 29, 2019, Justice Macklin was to hear an Application by AUPE for an interim injunction staying the implementation or operation of Bill 9 until its constitutional challenge could be determined on its merits (the “Stay Application”).

The United Nurses of Alberta (“UNA”) applied for intervenor status in the Stay Application on the grounds that it would be specially affected by His Lordship’s decision in the Stay Application due to its potential impact on UNA’s parallel constitutional challenge of Bill 9. Further, the UNA stated that it had special expertise or insight to bring to bear on the issues. HMQ opposed the Application by the UNA to intervene on the ground that it had not met the requirements necessary for the granting of intervenor status.

Macklin J. noted that Rule 2.10 provides that a Court may grant status to a person to intervene in an Action subject to any terms and conditions and with the rights and privileges specified by the Court. Noting the relevant jurisprudence, Justice Macklin found that an intervenor’s Application may be allowed where, among other things, the proposed intervenor is (1) specially affected by the Decision facing the Court; or (2) the proposed intervenor has some special expertise or insight to bring to bear on the issues facing the Court. Macklin J. found that UNA would be specially affected by the Stay Application and had special expertise or insight pertaining to its perspective on the duty to consult requirement under the Charter.

Accordingly, Justice Macklin granted the Application by UNA to intervene in the Stay Application subject to the conditions that: (1) UNA’s submissions would be limited to the question of whether there is a serious issue to be tried; (2) written submissions by UNA would be limited to no more than five pages; and (3) oral submissions would be limited to 10 minutes.

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