Breaking News re: CCD Intervention in Delta Airlines Inc. v Gábor Lukács


BREAKING: 19 January 2018 – in the matter of Delta Airlines Inc. v Gábor Lukács, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) has decided that it is unreasonable for the Canadian Transportation Agency (the “Agency”) to apply a narrow criteria for determining which complaints can be heard. Specifically, the SCC held that such a narrow approach unreasonably prevents public interest groups such as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (the “CCD”) from bringing complaints forward.

The SCC agreed with the CCD that “to refuse a complaint based solely on the identity of the group bringing it prevents the Agency from hearing potentially highly relevant complaints, and hinders its ability to fulfill the statutory scheme’s objective.” The SCC found that the Agency’s decision to deny Dr.Lukács’ complaint based solely on his identity was unreasonable as it “did not maintain a flexible approach”.

Consistent with the CCD submission, the majority SCC decision held that a more appropriate criteria may be to consider whether the complaint raises a serious issue to be tried.

Of particular note is the Court’s recognition that the Agency’s decision was flawed as it did not allow those with most at stake to be heard.

The matter was heard on 4 October 2017. PILC lawyers Byron Williams and Joëlle Pastora Sala appeared before the SCC, along with pro bono counsel Alyssa Mariani of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (“TDS”), on behalf of the CCD. Sacha Paul of TDS was also an integral part of the team who worked on this case. We would note that PILC articling student, Robert Walichnowski, was also involved in the preparation of pleadings.

For full decision, see: