Intervenor: vol. 26, no. 2 - 3, April - August 2001

Cela In The Courts - Whistle Blower Case

CELA is representing a client before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) in a case against the Regional Municipality of York (RMOY). The RMOY was the subject of a Ministry of Environment (MoE) investigation after a sewage spill occurred at its Leslie Street Pumping Station, causing the discharge of raw sewage into the Don River. CELA's client was the Chief Operator of the Leslie Street Pumping Station and provided a statement to the MoE investigator.(Also read Intervenor Volume 26, Number 1 "CELA in the Courts") A MoE investigator who testified at the OLRB hearing said that he considered the statement to be important in establishing lack of due diligence by the RMOY in relation to the sewage spill. The MoE laid charges against the RMOY and also disclosed the Chief Operator's statement prior to trial. The RMOY fired CELA's client shortly after receiving the statement. CELA's client therefore brought an application before the OLRB alleging that the RMOY's action contravened the whistle blower protection provided under the Environmental Protection Act. Both CELA and the RMOY have filed written submissions in the case and closing arguments are set to be heard on September 14, 2001. CELA will report on the OLRB decision regarding this case in a future issue of the Intervenor.

Ramani Nadarajah is a lawyer at CELA