RCBY wins Abuse of Authority case at Federal Court of Appeal

The Federal Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Kane v. Attorney General of Canada, the first case before that Court involving a decision of the Public Service Staffing Tribunal. In its ruling, the Court of Appeal overturned the Tribunal’s decision, which had rejected Robert Kane’s argument that his employer had committed an abuse of authority in failing appoint him to his reclassified position.

In allowing Mr Kane’s appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal concluded that the Tribunal had acted unreasonably in finding that it was irrelevant whether the position in question was a new or reclassified position, given that this distinction served as the basis for the employer’s decision to proceed by way of an advertised appointment process.  Importantly, the Federal Court of Appeal also rejected the narrow test for abuse of authority proposed by the Attorney General of Canada, ruling that this test was at odds with the ordinary meaning of the provision and the purpose of the legislation.

Mr Kane, a member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (“PSAC”) was represented by Andrew Raven and Andrew Astritis. The full text of the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision is available here.