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Those briefings were rejected by several courts and public health experts, the DCAO said, “though Crowns continued to file these briefing notes even after one major COVID-19 outbreak at an Ontario jail.”
According to the OCAA’s request for an injunction, the union “had a great deal of trouble” getting health and safety information from the ministry during earlier stages of the pandemic crisis and “persistently encouraged” the ministry to close courthouses “as Ontario was near the height of the pandemic.”
According to its grievance, the union attempted to play a collaborative role in discussions to reopen court, but was shut out of the “management tables” where decisions were made. The OCAA was notified on June 4 of the July 6 reopening date.
“As the process progressed, it became apparent to the OCAA and others that these 149 courtrooms were going to reopen without adequate precautions being taken to protect the health and safety of the employees who were being called back to work in these reopened courtrooms and courthouses,” the application states.