Pension Surplus Trial - Justice Panet's Decision is Very Disappointing

November 21, 2007

On November 20, 2007, the decision the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the pension surplus trial was released. The case involves three court challenges by the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), PIPSC, PSAC, The Armed Forces Pensioners'/Annuitants' Association of Canada and RCMP employee associations to pension legislation passed by the government in 1999 (Bill C-78).

In the decision, Justice Panet dismissed the actions. He found that the plaintiffs do not have an “equitable interest” in the Superannuation Accounts. He held that the Superannuation legislation established a complete code setting out the government’s responsibilities and that the government had complied with all of its responsibilities under the legislation as of March 31, 2000.

“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the Court to reject all of our claims,” said CAPE President José Aggrey. “We have requested that legal counsel provide us with a legal opinion as to whether there are sufficient grounds to appeal the decision.”

CAPE and the other plaintiffs have 30 days from the date of the decision to decide whether to appeal the judgment to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

“We will carefully study what our next steps will be in our struggle to fight what can only be seen by our members as actions by the government that are morally wrong and unjust,” said José Aggrey. “We will be consulting with the other plaintiffs to determine how best to pursue this struggle. We will advise our members promptly once a decision has been reached on whether to appeal or to look at other avenues open to us to insure that our members are not subjected to such an injustice in the future.”