Can an employer bring a complaint to arbitration for a breach of a collective agreement by either party?

Ontario, Canada

The following excerpt is from Gaignard v. Canada (Attorney General), 2002 CanLII 11495 (ON SC):

In New Brunswick v. O’Leary, 1995 CanLII 109 (SCC), [1995] 2 S.C.R. 967 it was held that a statutory provision for binding arbitration "[w]here a difference arises between the parties relating to the application or administration of this agreement” encompassed attempts to obtain redress for a breach of a collective agreement by either party. Although paragraph 92 (1) (a) refers only to the interpretation or application of an agreement and not to its administration, I do not believe I would be justified in attributing significance to the omission. A complaint that an employer’s conduct with respect to the plaintiffs was in breach of the terms of a collective agreement relates, in my judgment, sufficiently to an application of its provisions to them to them to fall within paragraph 92(1)(a) and qualify it for adjudication.

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