Our legal system is designed to implement a stringent appeals process. When an unsuccessful party truly believes that the Court ‘got it wrong,’ either because they wrongly assessed the facts or wrongly applied the law (or in some cases both), they have the power to appeal to a higher court who can review the ruling and issue their own determination, as was the case with Ruston v. Keddco Mfg.
Court of Appeal
The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, has overturned a lower Court finding found that an employer should be “rewarded” with a lower fine if it complied with an Order from a Ministry of Labour Inspector to make safety improvements after an accident.
As you may recall, charges under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Criminal Code of Canada were laid against the company Metron for the death of four workers at a Toronto construction site when they fell from a scaffold that did not use proper fall arrest systems. A fifth worker was seriously injured. Metron was convicted under the Criminal Code provisions that make it a criminal offence to direct a worker to perform a task without taking reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to a worker. The trial judge fined the company $200,000 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge of 15 percent or $30,000. The Crown appealed and argued that the fine was manifestly unfit...