What Was Said

Significant quotes from recent decisions.

“… the respondent disregarded and showed indifference to the consequences of its actions. As such, it engaged in the discriminatory practice against the complainant recklessly.

However, the evidence did not establish that the respondent's recklessness rose to the level of CBSA's conduct in Johnstone [76 C.H.R.R. D/53], where that party had ignored a previous Tribunal order regarding similar issues of discrimination.”


Human Rights Digest 20-1, January 2019

“… Ms. Wakeham is an experienced litigant.  She has advanced her claims in the courts through litigation regarding her motor vehicle accidents.  She has filed worker compensation claims; she has brought grievances under her collective agreement.  Then she brought this human rights complaint.  It may not have been the best means of vindicating her claims.  And if so, surely it could have been conducted more expeditiously and inexpensively than it was.  A casual acquaintance with the news tells us of the serious human rights issues confronting Nova Scotians.  Unlimited resources are not available to rectify these wrongs.  Careful expenditure of scarce public resources would suggest a better solution than the process pursued in this case.”


Human Rights Digest 19-8, November/December 2018

“The evidence shows that the applicant was doing well at school, until she experienced anaphylaxis in May 2014. Thereafter there were repeated acts of discrimination and harassment such as the long delay in posting signs, the failure to ensure that students understood the gravity of the applicant's allergy to fish and the failure on the part of Ms. Round [the London campus Director] to put a stop to the serious harassment and bullying of the applicant by other students. The threats by students to purposely put allergens on the applicant's work station was exceptionally egregious in light of the life-threatening risk of her allergy and, required firm action. Instead the applicant was dismissed by Ms. Round as a 'drama queen'.”


Human Rights Digest 19-7, October 2018

“… I have found in this decision … that the 2005 agreement remains connected to the foundational principles in such a way that there is insufficient evidence to find a breach of the Code. The parties are at liberty to negotiate a new compensation methodology which incorporates, among other things, the developments in the midwifery profession, the ongoing demand for services, the government’s changing health care priorities, economic and labour market forces and the research which has amassed since 1993 on the effects of gender-based discrimination in compensation. However, what has happened in this case is that the MOH has unilaterally withdrawn from the 1993 principles and methodology, leaving the compensation of midwives exposed to the well-known effects of gender discrimination on women’s compensation.”


Human Rights Digest 19-6, September 2018

“… the issue on appeal has, at times, been characterized by the parties and the courts below as being whether the Tribunal has the “jurisdiction” to consider direct attacks to legislation or whether the courts are the better forum to ascertain the validity of legislation. However, distilled to its essentials, the question before the Tribunal was whether legislative entitlements under the Indian Act fell within the definition of a service under the CHRA. As such, the Tribunal was determining whether the complaints concerned a discriminatory practice as defined by the CHRA.

Human Rights Digest 19-5, August 2018

“The LSBC's decision also reasonably balanced the severity of the interference with the Charter protection against the benefits to its statutory objectives. To begin, the LSBC's decision did not limit religious freedom to a significant extent. The LSBC did not deny approval to TWU's proposed law school in the abstract; rather, it denied a specific proposal that included the mandatory Covenant. Indeed, when the LSBC asked TWU whether it would 'consider' amendments to its Covenant, TWU expressed no willingness to compromise on the mandatory nature of the Covenant. The decision therefore only prevents TWU's community members from attending an approved law school at TWU that is governed by a mandatory covenant.”

Human Rights Digest 19-4, July 2018

“Before the Tribunal, the complainant did not seek to provide an explanation of the connection between street homelessness and Aboriginal background or between physical and mental disabilities and homelessness. Rather, it simply relied on statistical evidence to show that Aboriginal people and those with disabilities were more prevalent among the street homeless than in the general population. Intuitively, the association between homelessness on the one hand and Aboriginal heritage or disability on the other, does not appear to be mere coincidence. It is, however, a complex association. In the absence of evidence or any articulated theory, the Tribunal found the statistical correlations to be insufficient to demonstrate that prohibited grounds of discrimination were ‘a factor’ for the purposes of establishing prima facie discrimination.”


Human Rights Digest 19-3, May/June 2018

“The building of a Nation-to-Nation relationship cannot be more significant than by stopping the unnecessary removal of Indigenous children from their respective Nations. Reforming the practice of removing children to shift it to a practice of keeping children in their homes and Nations will create a channel of reconciliation. This is the true spirit of reconciliation. This is the goal. This is hope. This is love in action. This is justice.”


Human Rights Digest 19-2, March/April 2018

"… while the person in control of the complainant's employment may be primarily responsible for ensuring a discrimination-free workplace — a responsibility that is recognized in s. 44(2) of the Code — it does not follow that only a person who is in a relationship of control and dependence with the complainant is responsible for achieving the aims of the Code. Rather, the aspirational purposes of the Code require that individual perpetrators of discrimination be held accountable for their actions. This means that, in addition to bringing a claim against their employer, the complainant may also bring a claim against the individual perpetrator. The existence of this additional claim is especially relevant when the discriminatory conduct of a co-worker persists despite the employer having taken all possible steps to stop it."


Human Rights Digest 19-1, January/February 2018

"In summary, the complainant had an individual right under the Code to make a claim of discrimination against the NRHA, separate and apart from any other rights she enjoyed as a unionized worker under the collective agreement. The human rights issues in this case are much broader than simply whether there was just cause to terminate the complainant's employment which was not an issue that the Chief Adjudicator could consider because it involved the operation of the collective agreement."


Human Rights Digest 18-8, November/December 2017
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