Government has referred sections seven to 23 of the Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal for an opinion on constitutionality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Court of Appeal is now asking parties who want to intervene in court proceedings to file an application on or before Nov. 30. The intervenor hearing will be held on Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.
Intervenors are parties that the Court of Appeal determines qualified to present arguments on the two key questions it is attempting to answer:
— are sections seven to 23 of the act constitutional under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
— if any of those sections violate the charter, are they within section one of the charter? (section one guarantees charter rights and freedoms, subject to reasonable limits in law and shown to be justified in a free and democratic society.)
The court will set dates for the reference hearing and filing of evidence and other documents following the intervenor hearing in January.
On Oct. 4, government announced that it would broaden the reference question to the Court of Appeal to cover additional sections of the act, including those that deal with the Public Service Award. The news release can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20171004003. The question was formally amended on Oct 13.
For information on how to apply for intervenor status in reference proceedings, please visit Nova Scotia Court of Appeal website at http://www.courts.ns.ca/Appeal_Court/NSCA_home.htm or contact the registrar at 902-424-8962. The file is CA No. 467145.