The Ontario Labour Relations Board has adjourned an appeal of a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance order against the City of Sudbury while a related prosecution under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is ongoing, despite the City’s objection.
The MOL laid charges under the OHSA against the City and Interpaving Limited in the Ontario Court of Justice. Evidently a Ministry of Labour inspector also issued a compliance order against the City. The City appealed the order to the OLRB and the MOL asked the OLRB to adjourn that appeal while the prosecutions (charges) were ongoing in court. Interpaving agreed that the appeal should be adjourned but the City disagreed.
The OLRB decided that the appeal of the inspector’s compliance order should be adjourned. The issues in that appeal overlapped with the issues in the prosecution. Continuing with the OLRB appeal would likely result in witnesses being required to testify and be cross-examined, which could cause prejudice to the MOL, the City and Interpaving in the prosecutions. Allowing the appeal to proceed first could interfere with the prosecution or result in inconsistent judgments on the same issues. Also, there was no ongoing issue with respect to the appeal because the MOL inspector’s compliance order that was under appeal had been suspended and the work completed.
The OLRB therefore adjourned the appeal for one year, subject to possible further extensions if the OHSA prosecution in the Ontario Court of Justice was not completed within that year.
This decision is consistent with the OLRB’s practice of adjourning appeals of MOL inspectors’ compliance orders while a prosecution, arising out of the same incident or accident, is ongoing in court.
City of Greater Sudbury v A Director under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2016 CanLII 67485 (ON LRB)