Blue Line

Court rules Alberta politician can appeal part of disciplinary decision for officer

June 1, 2022  By The Canadian Press

May 31, 2022, Calgary, Alta. – The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled a member of the legislative assembly can ask for a review on whether provincial rules allow for a presiding officer to temporarily demote a police officer.

Shannon Phillips, who represents Lethbridge West for the Opposition NDP, has said two officers from the Lethbridge Police Service should be fired after they admitted to unauthorized surveillance on her when she was a provincial cabinet minister in 2017.

One of the officers was demoted from senior constable to first-class constable for two years, later resigning, and the other was reduced in rank to senior constable from sergeant for one year.

She appealed the penalty decisions from a disciplinary hearing to the Law Enforcement Review Board.


The board ruled against her in March, and she took the case against the sergeant to the Court of Appeal.

Alberta’s top court says she can appeal the temporary demotion, but dismissed some other aspects she had questioned.

“Ms. Phillips’ application is allowed, in part,” says the decision released Tuesday. “She is granted permission to appeal on the following question of law: Does the Police Service Regulation … authorize a presiding officer to impose a time-limited reduction of seniority within a rank … or reduction in rank … and to direct a return to previous rank?”

A spokesman for Phillips said she had no comment on the ruling.

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