On January 23, 2017, Arbitrator Bernard Lefebvre rendered two decisions in interest arbitrations: one with respect to a first collective agreement between the Union and the Cineplex Entertainment LP (Ste-Foy Cinema); and second with respect to a first collective agreement between the Union and the Famous Players Limited Partnership (Laval Cinema) (“the 2017 Decisions”). In the Decisions, the Arbitrator considered twenty-six items on which the parties had not reached an agreement.
Cineplex Entertainment LP and Famous Players Partnership Limited filed an application for judicial review of the 2017 Decisions with the Superior Court of Quebec.
On January 15, 2018, the court partially allowed the application for judicial review and ruled that the file should be returned to Arbitrator Lefebvre, rather than be referred to another arbitrator.
On November 13, 2018, the arbitrator rendered the new arbitral awards (“2018 Decisions”).
Cineplex Entertainment LP and Famous Players Partnership Limited filed another application for judicial review with the Superior Court of Quebec regarding the 2018 Decisions of Arbitrator Lefebvre.
In the present case, the Court considered the new applications. In its decision dated June 19, 2019, it held that the Arbitrator’s decisions were unclear and it was not possible to understand his reasoning that led to the conclusions. The reasoning is was matters in this case, not the final decision. The Arbitrator did not comply with the previous decisions of the court. The decisions from November 13, 2018 are therefore unreasonable. Although the Union had invited the court to refer the case back to Arbitrator Lefebvre, the court ordered that the case be returned to a different arbitrator.
The court allowed the application for judicial review. It ruled as follows on the matters before it:
- The decisions rendered on November 13, 2018 by the Arbitrator are quashed and annulled;
- The file must be returned to another arbitrator so that he can rule on the salary scales by dispute arbitration at Cinémas Ste-Foy and Laval.
- The parties must agree within ten days on the choice of an arbitrator; failing this, an arbitrator will be appointed by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity.
- The parties must file before the new arbitrator all the evidence available before Arbitrator Lefebvre.