Financial Services Tribunal & Pension Commission of Ontario Case Summaries/
Summaires des dcisions du Tribunal des services financiers et de la Commission des rgimes de retraite de l'Ontario

Case Name/nom du dossier:Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Ontario & Certain Former Monsanto Employees and Association of Canadian Pension Management - P0013-1998

Type/type:Pensions/Rgime de retraite

Decision Date/Date de la dcision:99-06-21

Tribunal/tribunal:FST/TSF

 



Franais

Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Superintendent of Financial Services) and Certain Former Monsanto Employees and Association of Canadian Pension Management

FST File No.: P0013-1998

Dates of decision: June 21, 1999
January 20, 2000
April 14, 2000

Panel members: Colin H.H. McNairn, Chair, Louis Erlichman, C.S. (Kit) Moore

Parties to hearing: Monsanto Canada Inc.
The Superintendent of Financial Services
Certain Former Monsanto Employees
The Association of Canadian Pension Management

ISSUES: DISCLOSURE/INTERROGATORIES
PARTIAL WIND UP DISTRIBUTION OF SURPLUS
LEGITIMATE EXPECTATION DOCTRINE
EXPERT WITNESS
BENEFIT ENHANCEMENT AMORTIZATION

Summary:

This is a hearing requested by Monsanto in relation to a Notice of Proposal issued by the Superintendent to refuse to approve the partial wind-up report submitted by Monsanto.

June 21, 1999 Order:

This was a request for an Order by Monsanto that the Superintendent respond to certain interrogatories and to make disclosure requested by Monsanto. The Tribunal adopted a three-part test to decide or order the disclosure or not. The Tribunal was persuaded that the information sought by Monsanto, as to any practice of the Superintendent in matters of this kind, was arguably relevant to the issue that Monsanto has raised of whether the doctrine of “legitimate expectation” applied to the case. The information was sufficiently particularized by Monsanto and no claim was made that disclosure would involve a violation of privilege.

Thus, applying the test for pre-hearing disclosure consistent with Rules 13.01 and 20.03 of the Tribunal and section 5.4 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, the Tribunal ordered the Superintendent to disclose particular documents and to answer specific interrogatories.

January 20, 2000 Decision:

This is a request by Monsanto to preclude an expert witness of the Superintendent from testifying at the hearing. Monsanto argued that if the expert witness testified, the Tribunal would be biased in favour of the Superintendent as the expert had been a member of the former PCO. The Tribunal found that Monsanto failed to satisfy the burden of proof as to a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of the Tribunal were the expert witness to testify. Therefore, the request was dismissed.

April 14, 2000 Decision:

This is the decision of the FST on the main issue of the partial wind-up report. The Superintendent proposed to refuse to approve that report, on the basis, amongst others, that it failed to provide for the distribution of surplus on partial wind-up. The Tribunal found that given the very general language of section 70(6) of the PBA, which does not refer to surplus rights specifically, that the PBA can be taken to require an allocation and distribution of some portion of the surplus of a pension plan on a partial wind up.
Therefore, the Tribunal ordered the Superintendent to refrain from carrying out the order contained in the Notice of Proposal and to approve the Partial Wind Up Report.

On the issue of “legitimate expectation” the Tribunal found that this was a proper case for applying the doctrine of legitimate expectations or the doctrine of estoppel as it applied against a public authority.

On a secondary issue that the Benefit Enhancements provided by Monsanto amounted to inappropriate use of the surplus by Monsanto, the Tribunal found that those Enhancements did not involve a payment of surplus to Monsanto that would have required a surplus withdrawal application. The Tribunal also found that the Benefit Enhancements were funded from the undifferentiated surplus of the Plan and, therefore, did not attract any special requirement of proportionality simply because they were associated with a partial wind up.

On the issue of leaving the pension assets of affected plan members in the pension plan, the Tribunal found that there is no provision in the Act dealing specifically with the question of whether the members of a partial wind up group can be given the option of leaving their pension entitlements in the plan. It was found that they could if they had terminated their employment outside the context of a wind up. The Tribunal stated that the Act implicitly precludes this option. Therefore the Tribunal concluded that Monsanto was free to give the Affected Employees the option of leaving their pension entitlements in the Plan.

Appeal:

Divisional Court: (2000) 138 O.A.C. 100, (2001) 144 O.A.C. 204, Appeal allowed, the Court confirmed that there should be distribution of surplus on partial wind-up, and legitimate expectation did not apply.
Court of Appeal: (2002) 166 O.A.C. 131, Decision of the Divisional Court upheld.
Supreme Court of Canada: (2004) 189 O.A.C. 201, Decision affirmed the requirement for distribtion of surplus on partial wind-up.

Legislation and Polices referred to:

Income Tax Act and Income Tax Regulations R.S.C. 1985, Chapter 1 (5th Supp.), updated to April 30, 2004
FSCO Policy No. S900-900
FSCO Policy No. W100-100
FSCO Policy No. W100-125
FSCO Policy No. W100-101
FSCO Policy No.B100-251
The Standard of Practice for Valuation of Pension Plans of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (January, 1994)

Cases referred to

Old St. Boniface Residents Association v. Winnipeg (City) (1990), 75 D.L.R. (4th) 385
Committee for Justice and Liberty v. Canada (National Energy Board), [1978] 1 S.C.R. 369
Re Public Utilities Board (1985), 21 Admin. L.R. 59
Schmidt v. Air Products of Canada Ltd., [1994] 2 S.C.R. 211
Anova Inc.Employee Retirement Pension Plan (Administrator of) v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.
(1994), 121 D.L.R. (4th) 162
Mair v. Stelco Inc. (1995), 9 C.C.P.B. 140
R. v.Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Ruddock and others, [1987] 2 All E.R. 518(Q.B.D.)
Council of Civil Service Union v. Minister for the Civil Service, [1985] A.C.374 (H.L.)
R. v.Inland Revenue Commissioners Ex Parte Unilever Plc, (1996), 68 T.C. 205, (C.A.)
Aurchem Explorations Ltd. v. Canada (1992), 7Admin. L. R. (2d) 168
Lidder v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) (1992), 6 Admin. L.R. (2d) 62, at p. 71 (Fed. C.A.)
Libbey Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Minister of Labour) (1999), 42 O.R.(3d) 417, at p. 435 (Ont. C.A.)

Other References:

R. Sullivan, Driedger on the Construction of Statutes, 3d ed. (Toronto: Butterworths,1994), at p. 246
D.W.M. Waters, Law of Trusts in Canada, 2d ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 1994)
D.P. Jones & A. de Villars, Principles of Administrative Law, 3d ed. (Toronto: Carswell,1999)
Reference reCanada Assistance Plan (Canada) (1991), 1 Admin. L. R. (2d) 1
PCO Bulletin of July, 1991 (vol. 2, issue 2)
PCO Bulletin of November, 1991 (vol. 2, issue 3)

This summary is offered as a public service and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Many factors unknown to us may affect the applicability of any statement or comment made in the summary to your particular circumstances.

Monsanto Canada Inc. c. l’Ontario (Surintendante des services financiers), certains anciens employs de Monsanto et L'Association canadienne des administrateurs de rgimes de retraite

No de dossier du TSF : P0013-1998

Dates des dcisions : Le 21 juin 1999
Le 20 janvier 2000
Le 14 avril 2000

Groupe d’experts : Colin H.H. McNairn, prsident, Louis Erlichman, C.S. (Kit) Moore

Parties B l’audience : Monsanto Canada Inc.
Surintendante des services financiers
Certains anciens employs de Monsanto
L'Association canadienne des administrateurs de rgimes de retraite

QUESTIONS : DIVULGATION/INTERROGATOIRES
RPARTITION DE L’EXCDENT A LA LIQUIDATION PARTIELLE
DOCTRINE DE L’EXPECTATIVE LGITIME
TMOIN EXPERT
AMORTISSEMENT DE L’AUGMENTATION DES PRESTATIONS

Sommaire :

Monsanto a dpos une demande d’audience relativement B un avis d’intention de la Surintendante de rejeter le rapport de liquidation partielle que la socit avait soumis.

Ordonnance du 21 juin 1999 :

Monsanto a dpos une demande d’ordonnance obligeant la Surintendante B rpondre B certaines questions et B rvler les renseignements demands par la socit. Le Tribunal a adopt un test en trois parties pour dcider ou non d’ordonner la divulgation. Il tait persuad que les renseignements demands par Monsanto, ayant trait B la pratique de la Surintendante dans des affaires de ce genre, taient, on pourrait soutenir, pertinents B la question souleve par Monsanto, B savoir si la doctrine de l’expectative lgitime s’appliquait B la cause. Les renseignements taient suffisamment formuls par Monsanto et personne n’a allgu que la divulgation impliquerait une violation de privilPge.

Par consquent, appliquant le test de divulgation prparatoire B l’audience conformment aux rPgles 13.01 et 20.03 du Tribunal et B l’article 5.4 de la Loi sur l’exercice des comptences lgales, le Tribunal a enjoint B la Surintendante de divulguer certains documents et de rpondre B des questions prcises.

Dcision du 20 janvier 2000 :

Monsanto a dpos une motion afin de faire rcuser un tmoin expert de la Surintendante lors de l’audience. La socit craignait que le Tribunal ne serait pas impartial si l’expert tmoignait, car l’expert avait sig auparavant B la CRRO. Le Tribunal a tabli que Monsanto n’avait pas prouv B sa satisfaction qu'il existerait une crainte raisonnable de partialit de la part du tribunal si l’expert tait appel B tmoigner. Il a donc rejet la motion.

Dcision du 14 avril 2000 :

Cette dcision du TSF porte sur la question principale du rapport de liquidation partielle. Le Surintendant proposait de refuser d’approuver ce rapport et son rejet tait fond, entre autres choses, sur le fait qu’il ne prvoyait pas la rpartition de l’excdent existant B la date de la liquidation partielle. Le Tribunal a conclu qu’tant donn le libell trPs gnral du paragraphe 70(6) de la Loi sur les rgimes de retraite, qui ne mentionne pas les droits B l’excdent, la Loi ne peut Ltre interprte comme exigeant une allocation et une rpartition d’une partie quelconque de l’excdent d’un rgime de retraite B la liquidation partielle.

Par consquent, le Tribunal a enjoint B la Surintendante de ne pas excuter l’ordonnance contenue dans l’avis d’intention et d’approuver le rapport de liquidation partielle.

Quant B la question de l’expectative lgitime , le Tribunal a conclu qu’il s’agissait d’une instance oj l’on pouvait appliquer la doctrine de l’expectative lgitime ou, comme dans certains cas, la thorie de la prclusion s’appliquant B une autorit publique.

Quant B une question secondaire, B savoir que l’augmentation des prestations accorde par Monsanto reprsentait un usage inappropri de l’excdent, le Tribunal a conclu que cette augmentation n’impliquait pas un paiement de l’actif excdentaire B Monsanto qui aurait requis une demande de retrait d’un excdent. Il a galement conclu que l’augmentation des prestations tait finance B partir de l’excdent du rgime sans distinction et, par consquent, n’entranait pas une exigence particuliPre de proportionnalit pour la simple raison qu’elle tait lie B une liquidation partielle.

Quant B la question de laisser dans le rgime les avoirs de retraite des participants affects, le Tribunal a conclu qu’aucune disposition de la Loi ne traite en particulier de la question de savoir si les participants touchs par une liquidation partielle peuvent se faire offrir l’option de laisser leurs droits B la pension dans le rgime, comme ils le pourraient certainement s’ils mettaient fin B leur emploi en toute autre occasion qu’une liquidation. Il a affirm qu’il ne croyait pas que la Loi exclut implicitement cette option. Par consquent, le Tribunal a conclu que Monsanto tait libre d’offrir aux employs touchs l’option de laisser dans le rgime leurs droits B la pension.

Appel :

Cour divisionnaire : (2000) 138 O.A.C. 100, (2001) 144 O.A.C. 204, Appel accueilli, la Cour a confirm qu’il devrait y avoir rpartition du surplus B la date de la liquidation partielle et que l’expectative lgitime ne s’appliquait pas.
Cour d’appel : (2002) 166 O.A.C. 131, la dcision de la Cour divisionnaire a t confirme.
Cour suprLme du Canada : (2004) 189 O.A.C. 201, la dcision a confirm l’exigence relative B la rpartition de l’excdent B la liquidation partielle.

Lgislation et politiques mentionnes :

Loi de l’impt sur le revenu et RPglement de l’impt sur le revenu L.R.C. 1985, chapitre 1 (5e supp.), mis B jour jusqu’au 30 avril 2004
Politique no S900-900 de la CSFO
Politique no W100-100 de la CSFO
Politique no W100-125 de la CSFO
Politique no W100-101 de la CSFO
Politique no B100-251 de la CSFO
La norme de pratique pour l’valuation des rgimes de retraite de l’Institut canadien des actuaires (janvier 1994)

Jurisprudence :


Old St. Boniface Residents Association v. Winnipeg (City) (1990), 75 D.L.R. (4th) 385
Committee for Justice and Liberty v. Canada (National Energy Board), [1978] 1 S.C.R. 369
Re Public Utilities Board (1985), 21 Admin. L.R. 59
Schmidt v. Air Products of Canada Ltd., [1994] 2 S.C.R. 211
Anova Inc.Employee Retirement Pension Plan (Administrator of) v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.
(1994), 121 D.L.R. (4th) 162
Mair v. Stelco Inc. (1995), 9 C.C.P.B. 140
R. v.Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Ruddock and others, [1987] 2 All E.R. 518(Q.B.D.)
Council of Civil Service Union v. Minister for the Civil Service, [1985] A.C.374 (H.L.)
R. v.Inland Revenue Commissioners Ex Parte Unilever Plc, (1996), 68 T.C. 205, (C.A.)
Aurchem Explorations Ltd. v. Canada (1992), 7Admin. L. R. (2d) 168
Lidder v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) (1992), 6 Admin. L.R. (2d) 62, at p. 71 (Fed. C.A.)
Libbey Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Minister of Labour) (1999), 42 O.R.(3d) 417, at p. 435 (Ont. C.A.)

Autres rfrences :

R. Sullivan, Driedger on the Construction of Statutes, 3e d. (Toronto: Butterworths,1994), p. 246
D.W.M. Waters, Law of Trusts in Canada, 2e d. (Toronto: Carswell, 1994)
D.P. Jones & A. de Villars, Principles of Administrative Law, 3e d. (Toronto: Carswell,1999)
Reference reCanada Assistance Plan (Canada) (1991), 1 Admin. L. R. (2d) 1
Bulletin de la CRRO, juillet 1991 (vol. 2, numro 2)
Bulletin de la CRRO, novembre 1991 (vol. 2, numro 3)

Ce sommaire est offert B titre de service public et ne saurait constituer des avis juridiques. Nombreux sont les facteurs que nous ignorons et qui peuvent avoir une incidence sur l’application de nos commentaires B votre cas particulier.