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Retired public servant's pension dispute from 1998 Crown divestment heads to court after Small Claims judge declines to summarily dismiss claim


November 23, 2023

A retired public servant who blames a decades-old Crown divestment for a shortfall in his pension will get his day in court after a Small Claims judge declined to summarily dismiss his claim.

The plaintiff was working for the Ontario Property Assessment Corporation when the Crown divested itself of the provincial agency in 1998, forcing him to switch from the Ontario Public Service Pension Plan to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Pension Plan.

In 2018, after the man realized that his split pension was worth less than the singular pension he would otherwise have received had the divestment never occurred, he sued the province, his former employer and his pension providers in Small Claims Court.

Just weeks before the trial was set to proceed, the defendants moved to strike his claim, arguing it was a waste of time and doomed to failure. However, the deputy judge sided with the self-represented plaintiff and ordered the trial to proceed, concluding that it was possible that he “may be able to prove at least one of his theories as against the Defendants, individually or collectively.”

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