Saskatoon Office
10th Floor
Sturdy Stone Building
122 3rd Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 2H6
Regina Office
1600 – 1920 Broad Street
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 3V2
(306)787-2406 (telephone)
(306)787-2664 (fax)

PRACTICE NOTE – INTERIM APPLICATIONS

Background:

 

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) is responsible for adjudicating certain disputes under The Saskatchewan Employment Act (the “Act”).  Typically, these disputes are resolved following a hearing where evidence is tendered and argument from the parties is heard by the Board.  However, it is noted that The Saskatchewan Employment Act also authorizes the Board to grant interim orders or decisions pending the making of a final determination on a matter pending before it. 

 

There may be occasions when a party seeks interim relief subsequent to filing an application with the Board.  Typically, interim applications are utilized in exigent circumstances where intervention by the Board is thought to be necessary to prevent harm from occurring before an application pending before the Board can be heard.  The Board may be asked, for example, to issue an interim order to remain in effect until some other remedial step can be taken.  On other occasions, however, the Board must deal with applications for interim relief or an interlocutory injunction as a separate matter prior to the full hearing. It is these applications which are the subject of this practice note, whether the application for interim relief cites Section 6-103 or any other section of the Act.

 

Making an Interim Application:

Applications for interim relief must comply with Section 15 of the The Saskatchewan Employment (Labour Relations Board) Regulations  (the “Regulations”).  Form 12 of the Regulations sets forth the form of an application for interim relief. 

An Interim Application cannot be made in a vacuum.  There must be an underlying application which states the issue which will ultimately be determined.  Furthermore, the application must make it clear that a request for interim or interlocutory relief is being made, and the grounds on which that request is based.  A separate application is required to be filed which states clearly what grounds are being relied on which would justify the granting of an interlocutory or interim order.  Care must also be taken with respect to the following points:

  • In drafting an application seeking interim relief, it should be kept in mind that the Board must be persuaded that there is some compelling reason to grant a remedy prior to a full hearing of the case.  The courts have said that an applicant must demonstrate that there will be "irreparable harm" which cannot be cured later when a decision is made and remedies ordered on the case as a whole.
  • Even where some irreparable harm can be demonstrated, the courts and this Board have required applicants to show that this harm is not outweighed by the harm which would be done to the respondent by making an order when the full case has not yet been heard, a factor which is referred to as the "balance of convenience."
  • Generally speaking interim relief will not be granted if, in the final analysis, it would amount to the granting of the full relief which is claimed by the party filing the application. 
  • The application will generally be determined on the basis of written material filed by the parties, and oral argument, but not the testimony of witnesses. The application should therefore be accompanied by a statutory declaration or affidavit, in which the deponent sets out those facts which will be relied on to support the application.   

Filing and Serving Applications and Scheduling Hearings

  • Section 15(5) of the Regulations requires that prior to filing the application; the applicant shall contact the Registrar of the Labour Relations Board to obtain a date on which a panel will be convened to hear it. The return date granted by the Registrar.  The Applicant is also responsible to file the application with the Board in accordance with the Regulations and thereafter serve the application and supporting materials on the responding parties.  After service has been affected, the applicant shall file proof of service with the Board.
  • No respondent will be expected to be prepared to respond to an application in less than three (3) clear business days from service of the application and supporting material. If an abridgment of that time is sought, a separate application for abridgement of time must be brought.
  • If the parties cannot agree to appear before the Board on the date initially established by the Registrar, then the Regisrtrar, at the request of the parties shall assist the parties to reach agreement as to an alternate date.
  • The Respondent should file with the Board and serve on the Applicant any reply with supporting material prior to the hearing.
  • In the absence of consent of both parties, any request for adjournment of the date agreed to by the parties or set by the Board must be made before the Board on the date when the hearing is scheduled.

Hearing Applications

  • The Board will generally determine the application on the basis of the written material filed, and oral argument made by the parties at the hearing. If the parties consent, the Board may allow cross-examination of an extremely limited kind or the affidavits filed; such cross-examination should be restricted to matters of clarification. In either or both of the parties wish to introduce matters which go beyond the matters deposed to in the affidavits, it is likely that an early hearing on the merits of the application would be more effective way of addressing the issues.
  • As in framing the applications, the argument before the Board should address the requirements for the granting of injunctions which have been set out by the courts, and accepted as a guide by this Board - the establishment of a plausible basis for the application as a whole, the demonstration of irreparable harm, and the assessment of the balance of convenience.

Reference Material:

 

Guidance for a party wishing to bring an application for interim relief may also be found in various decisions of the Board including:

Saskatchewan Joint Board Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union v. WaterGroup Companies Inc., LRB File No. 011-92.

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 4836 v. Luthercare Communities (Lutheran Sunset Home of Saskatoon) 2009 CanLII 22876 (SK LRB), LRB File No. 043-09.

Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union v. The Government of Saskatchewan, 2010 CanLII 81339 (SK LRB), LRB File No. 150-10. 

United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Local 1400 v. Affinity Credit Union, 2011 CanLII 61201 (SK LRB), LRB File Nos. 115-11 and 140-11.

 

This practice note is intended to provide general guidance concerning the current policy of the Board with respect to applications for interlocutory injunctions and interim orders of an interlocutory nature. It is not a legal document, and should not be viewed as a ruling by the Board or an official interpretation of the Saskatchewan Employment Act.  Specific inquiries should be directed to the Registrar of the Labour Relations Board at (306)787-2406.  Applicants are also directed to the Act, Regulations and previous decisions of the Board which may be found on its website at www.sasklabourrealtionsboard.com or at www.canlii.org.

 

DATED at Regina, Saskatchewan, June 12, 2014.