2.10: Intervenor status

Case Summary

The Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta (“AASUA”) applied for Intervener status. The Application was not opposed. Lee J. noted that the Court has the discretion to grant or refuse such an Application. Lee J. reviewed the Rules and determined that “[t]here is nothing in the language of the rule that suggests that the common law principles that have developed in regards to intervener status are not applicable”. Lee J. reviewed the common law principles as set out by Wittmann C.J. in R v Hirsekorn, 2011 ABQB 156:

1) An intervention may be allowed where the proposed Intervener is specially affected by the decision facing the Court or the proposed Intervener has some special expertise or insight to bring to bear on the issues facing the Court (Papaschase Indian Band v Canada (Attorney General), 2005 ABCA 320;

2) An Intervener in an appellate court must take the case as they find it and cannot, to the prejudice of the parties, argue new issues which require the introduction of fresh evidence (Batchewana Indian Band v Canada (Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs) (1996), 199 N.R. 1 (F.C.A.));

3) Intervener status may also be granted where the proposed Intervener’s interest in the proceedings may not be fully protected or argued by a party (United Taxi Drivers' Fellowship of Southern Alberta v Calgary (City)), 2002 ABCA 243); and

4) The Court should take a two-step approach to determine an Intervener application: first determine the subject matter of the proceeding, and second determine the proposed Intervener’s interest in the subject matter (Papaschase).

Lee J. granted Intervener status to the AASUA on the basis that it brought a different perspective which may be of assistance to the Court.

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