Pension Surplus Trial Scheduled to Resume in February 2007
November 17, 2006
A Trial Management Conference was held on October 31, 2006 in order to ensure that the trial proceeds as efficiently as possible.
The dates for the second part of the trial have now been finalized. The evidence will be heard in 2007 during the weeks of February 26, March 5, March 19, March 26, April 2 and April 9. The argument will take place during the weeks of April 30, May 7 and May 14. It may not be necessary to use all of this time, but the parties have agreed that it is safer to err on the side of having too many dates rather than too few.
Other than finalizing the trial dates, the primary purpose of the Trial Management Conference was to ensure that everything is on track so that the trial runs smoothly.
A second Trial Management Conference has been scheduled for December 8 for the purpose of attempting to work out a joint statement of issues.
In the first phase of the trial, which took place in November 2005, Justice Panet ruled that 128 internal government documents would be admitted into evidence over the objections of the government lawyers. These documents, consisting primarily of statements, policies and communications by high level government officials show that during the 1990s, the government was using questionable accounting techniques to appropriate the surplus and pay down the deficit. They also reveal disagreements between Treasury Board and Ministry of Finance officials over the ownership and use of the surplus.
It is expected that the second phase of the trial will consist largely of testimony from expert witnesses regarding various aspects of the case. Justice Panet will continue to preside over the trial.
In the interim, counsel are continuing to prepare for trial, including preparing the expert evidence and the legal arguments.
CAPE will keep you updated on the trial as it progresses.