High court rules National Assembly guards fired for voyeurism can grieve

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that three former security guards at the National Assembly can grieve their firings after they were found to be using a camera to spy on patrons of a neighbouring hotel.

The three guards were dismissed in July 2012 by Speaker Jacques Chagnon after an investigation revealed they were using a legislature surveillance camera for voyeuristic purposes.

The agents' union filed a grievance on their behalf.

The Speaker objected that a labour tribunal had no jurisdiction over the matter because he had exercised parliamentary privilege to manage employees and eject unwelcome people from the national assembly building.

Decisions went back and forth as the case moved through the courts, with the Quebec Court of Appeal ruling in the union's favour in 2017, saying the guards were entitled to due process.

In a 7-2 ruling in favour of the guards today, the Supreme Court upheld that decision, saying the legislature cannot evade labour laws by invoking parliamentary privilege.