How have the courts interpreted the merit principle in the context of a public service appeal board?

Canada (Federal), Canada

The following excerpt is from Gayef v. Canada (Attorney General), 2003 FC 1364 (CanLII):

In Evans v. Canada (Public Service Commission Appeal Board), 1983 CanLII 141 (SCC), [1983] 1 S.C.R. 582 at 593, Mr. Justice Estey, writing for the majority, noted that the function of selection boards "is to assess the application for eligibility by each candidate, applying thereto a uniform standard of tests or yardsticks". In dissent, but not on this point, Mr. Justice Dickson (as he then was) noted at p. 618: The merit principle serves employer as well as employee interests. The merit system protects an applicant's interest in being assessed on the basis of reasonable and appropriate selection standards; but it is also designed to protect the public interest in having the best qualified people available appointed to the public service.

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