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Suncor's Implementation of Random Testing on Hold


By Hugh McPhail, Q.C.

Late yesterday, two of three judges hearing the case in the Alberta Court of Appeal decided to continue the interim injunction preventing Suncor from implementing a random drug and alcohol testing program for its employees in the oilsands.

Suncor must wait to convince an arbitrator in hearings starting next month that the program is justified (i.e. that safety trumps privacy).

The decision causes a significant pause in the implementation of random testing in the oilsands but the court’s ruling is not in any sense definitive on the merits of random testing since little evidence in support of testing was actually before the court. The court only dealt with the question of whether testing should be put on hold until the arbitration.

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