POLITICS

B.C. Court of Appeal sides with provincial court judges on pay and pension

03/27/2015 06:27 EDT | Updated 05/27/2015 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - Provincial court judges in British Columbia have won a round in a long-standing battle against the government over pay and pension.

Salary and pension recommendations were first made in a 2010 report by the Judges' Compensation Commission but were rejected by the legislature the following year.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge then directed the government to reconsider the matter, but in 2014 the legislature rejected the recommendations again.

The judges appealed, and in a 2-1 ruling, the B.C. Court of Appeal says they are entitled to the recommended compensation.

Justice Edward Chiasson says when the legislature decided the issue in 2014, it should not have considered financial data from 2013, and it shouldn't have given new reasons for its decision.

But dissenting Justice David Harris says by setting aside the legislature's decision, the court is encroaching on the government's jurisdiction to allocate public resources.

The Judges' Compensation Commission originally recommended that starting April 1, 2013, salaries be tied to increases in the B.C. Consumer Price Index.

The commission also recommended pension-accrual rates of 3.5 per cent for judges starting April 1, 2013, and that the government change the law so judges who work past the age of 70 can make pension contributions.