Why B.C. Crown Prosecutors won't consider charges against B.C.Teachers Federatio
Date: Friday, October 21 2005
Crown Counsel Office
500-865 Hornby St.
Telephone (604) 775-0987
Fax (604) 660-1097
May 12, 2005
B.C.’s Crown Counsel Sue B.C. Government, Minister of Labour and Attorney General for Bad Faith and Abuse of Public Office
Vancouver, B.C.: B.C.’s Crown counsel will file a law suit 10 a.m. Friday, May 13th in B.C. Supreme Court against the B.C. Government, the Attorney General and the Minister of Labour for acting in bad faith and abusing their public offices.
The suit is a response to the Crown Counsel Agreement Continuation Act (Bill 21) passed March 3, 2005. Bill 21 voids two arbitration awards in favour of B.C.’s prosecutors (Taylor 2004 and Jones 2005). The Jones award was binding on both parties and awarded B.C.’s four hundred Crown counsel much needed improvements to working conditions and a thirteen percent wage increase retroactive to 2003. Bill 21 voided the arbitration awards, gutted provisions of the existing contract with Crown counsel, and imposed a four-year-contract that provides no increases in the first three years, and a thirteen percent increase in April, 2006, the fourth and final year.
Launching the suit on behalf of the British Columbia Crown Counsel Association, Association President Michael Van Klaveren said, “This Government agreed to and participated in arbitration. When that produced a result the Government didn’t like, it simply passed legislation voiding the decision and tearing up its contractual commitments.” Van Klaveren added, “The Rule of Law applies to everyone in British Columbia, especially the government. The Rule of Law does not permit bad faith and arbitrary government action. Just because you make the law does not mean you are above the law. This unprecedented legislation violates the Rule of Law and simply cannot be allowed to stand”.
Van Klaveren added, “Arbitrator Jones found that the Attorney General, by failing to implement the recommendations of the 2004 arbitration panel, headed by Colin Taylor Q.C, had not acted in good faith, rationally or legitimately. Instead of complying with Jones’ order to implement those recommendations, the Government passed Bill 21 which gutted our agreement, voided the Taylor and Jones arbitration awards and continues the actions condemned by Mr. Jones.”
“Bill 21 harms the public interest,” said Van Klaveren. “The Arbitrators’ awards are necessary to ensure we retain and recruit effective and experienced counsel to deal successfully with increasingly complex cases such as Robert Pickton, Air India, Kelly Ellard and Eron Mortgage. The Arbitrators’ awards provided that adequate resources would be available to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of British Columbia.”
Crown counsel are represented by Joseph Arvay Q.C., of the firm Arvay Finlay.
For more information please contact:
Michael Van Klaveren
President, BC Crown Counsel Association
For a complete copy of the Writ and Statement of Claim please visit our website at: