Surrounding circumstances clarify employment contract

Court interpreted the purpose the contract was entered into
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Skyreach Equipment Ltd. is in the business of renting construction equipment and tools to construction companies. On Aug. 3, 1999, Brian Paradis’s employment with Skyreach was terminated because he refused to move from Kamloops, B.C., where he was based, to Edmonton, Alta., where Skyreach wanted him to work.

Mr. Paradis began working for Skyreach in November 1998. He was hired to manage the shutdown division in Western Canada, a new division renting out tools and construction equipment to industries such as pulp , paper and saw mills, refineries, gas and cement plants during times when they shut down their operations to do maintenance.

His employment contract stated that he reported directly to regional managers, vice-presidents and the president on a weekly basis. His remuneration consisted of an annual salary of $72,000 plus commissions on gross profit of rental revenue generated from Western Canada. The contract did not state whether the commission was payable with respect to revenue generated by Skyreach generally, or revenue earned by the shutdown division.