The Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear an appeal from a former Nortel Networks Corp. employee who claimed her charter rights were violated over the issue of disability payments.

The employee, Jennifer Holley, had argued the 2015 agreement setting out disability benefits in the wake of Nortel’s bankruptcy was unfair and unreasonable.

According to a news release from Holley, she “is very disappointed that the Supreme Court is not giving her the opportunity to prove that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the disability income and medical and dental expense benefits of workers in Canada, should they become disabled.”

Read: Ex-Nortel workers seeking regulatory change to boost priority of disability benefits

The news release noted the settlement provided for $73 million for disability income, medical and dental expenses and life insurance for the group. Of that, $34 million was to come from the health and welfare trust in 2011, with another $39 million coming from the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act estate. A successful appeal would have increased the portion of the settlement for the group’s disability income and medical and dental expenses by 66 per cent, according to the news release.

“The next step for Jennifer Holley is to seek funding and to launch a direct constitutional challenge against the government of Canada on the same constitutional question of this application for leave to appeal in respect to the Nortel final plan of arrangement,” noted Diane Urquhart, an independent financial analyst and advisor to the group of former employees, in an email to Benefits Canada.

Read: Nortel employees seek legal clarity around health and welfare trust

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Join us on Twitter

See all comments Recent Comments

Joann Williams:

If you click on the link at the end of this article, you will see that the disabled former Nortel employees have been shafted since 2010. Assets in the Health and Welfare Trust (not part of the Nortel Estate) were not distributed in proportion to the liabilities, resulting in money that should gone to the disabled beneficiaries going instead to pensioners. This allocation purported to represent the cost of future life insurance premiums, even though these benefits are allowable only on a pay-as-you-go basis. When CRA was asked for help, their solution was to tax the life insurance allocations! I guess they concluded that if the disabled employees are getting shafted, the pensioners should get shafted too.

Monday, July 24 at 4:58 pm | Reply

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required