Unjust Dismissal Under Canada Labour Code

The Role of the Inspector – CIRB


Role of the Inspector – CIRB

The Federal Court of Appeal in its 1998 decision considered the respective roles of the inspector and the adjudicator in an unjust dismissal complaint. The role of the inspector has since been replaced by the Canadian Industrial Review Board. The mechanics of the legislation remain the same. 1

The employee was advised that his existing contract of employment was not to be renewed. The agreement was set to expire on June 30. The complaint of unjust dismissal was assigned to an inspector who requested reasons for the dismissal. CBC replied that there was no dismissal and that “and that it was justified and entitled not to renew the complainant's contract”. This letter was not given to the employee.

The inspector advised the employee that his case was unfounded as a decision not to renew was not a dismissal. The employee nonetheless requested an adjudicator be appointed. The inspector refused to do so.

The employee sought a review of this decision. It was unsuccessful. The Federal Court of Appeal decision followed.

The inspector, the Court of Appeal found, has no decision making power. The function of this role is to determine if the complaint has been filed within the allotted time.

The question of whether a decision not to renew is an act of termination remains a live legal issue.

The appellate court concluded that the inspector was without power to determine a complaint to be unfounded as lacking a true dismissal. One of the issues to be proven at the hearing will be the dismissal, one which the adjudicator should determine.