Case Report – Arbitrator says relevant video surveillance evidence is admissible… period

On January 26th, Saskatchewan Labour Arbitrator William Hood rejected a union argument to exclude surveillance evidence recorded by an in-plant video surveillance system. In doing so, he made the following broad statement on the admissibility of unlawfully obtained evidence at labour arbitration:

Video evidence, even if improperly obtained, is admissible. As a general rule, subject to circumstances where the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom [sic] apply, the test for admissibility of evidence in a court of law is relevance and if admissible, the court is not concerned with how the evidence was obtained (see R. v. Wray, [1971] S.C.R. 272).

Not all Canadian labour arbitrators apply this traditional rule of evidence.

Saskatchewan Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union v. McKesson Canada Corp. (Birch Grievance), [2010] S.L.A.A. No. 1 (QL) (Hood).

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