In our last bulletin, we reported that the Supreme Court of Canada would be hearing Elizabeth Bernard v. Attorney General of Canada at the same time as it heard the case of United Food.
We have since learned that just two days prior to the scheduled hearing date, the Public Service Labour Relations Board was granted leave by the Court to file an application for Intervenor status. Due to this late application, the hearing was adjourned. It has been suggested that the revised hearing date may be in November 2013.
The Bernard case arises from Elizabeth Bernard’s objection to having her home contact information provided to the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada by her employer, given that she has opted not to be a member of the union and is only paying union dues under the Rand formula. The Public Service Labour Relations Board ordered that Ms. Bernard’s home contact information be provided to the union, subject to certain safeguards. The Board refused to consider Ms. Bernard’s Charter argument that the disclosure of the information violated her freedom not to associate. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Ms. Bernard’s application for judicial review on the basis that the Board’s decision was reasonable.