What Was Said

Significant quotes from recent decisions.

"I also find the applicant's miscarriage is a disability. I acknowledge that a miscarriage may be covered under the ground of sex or as an intersection of sex and disability. It also is not a common ailment, and it is certainly not transitory. It is clear from the applicant's testimony that she continues to experience significant emotional distress from the miscarriage even today.”

Human Rights Digest 17-3, April 2016

"The Tribunal's reasons leading to his conclusion that APEGA could have accommodated Mr. Mihaly and others sharing his characteristics are rife with logical errors, findings of fact that are not supported by the evidence, and failures to take into account relevant considerations. From the Tribunal's unreasonable interpretation of the [EGP Regulation], to his unsupported assumption that the FE Exam disproportionately excludes foreign trained engineers from being registered with APEGA, to his failure to appreciate that demonstrated entry level engineering competence is reasonably necessary to safe practice as a professional engineer, and his failure to consider relevant factors in the assessment of undue hardship, it is clear that his conclusion regarding accommodation falls outside the range of acceptable outcomes that are defensible in light of the facts and law; and as such was unreasonable ...”

Human Rights Digest 17-2, February / March 2016

"In terms of ensuring reasonably comparable child and family services on reserve to the services provided off reserve, the FNCFS Program has a glaring flaw. While FNCFS Agencies are required to comply with provincial/territorial legislation and standards, the FNCFS Program funding authorities are not based on provincial/territorial legislation or service standards. Instead, they are based on funding levels and formulas that can be inconsistent with the applicable legislation and standards. They also fail to consider the actual service needs of First Nations children and families, which are often higher than those off reserve. Moreover, the way in which the funding formulas and the program authorities function prevents an effective comparison with the provincial systems.”

Human Rights Digest 17-1, January 2016

"[T]he respondent store argued that Ms. Balachandra could not have racially profiled and discriminated against the applicant because she is also a racialized woman. Ms. Balachandra is South Asian. I disagree. In my view, it is not in dispute among well-informed, reasonable persons that racial stereotypes about persons of Black African descent exist in South Asian communities in both South Asia and Canada. Furthermore, South Asian individuals in Canada who hold such stereotypes and are in positions of power in employment, services or housing undoubtedly have the capacity to discriminate against Black individuals.”

Human Rights Digest 16-8, November / December 2015

"I have concluded that race-based stereotypes played a role and, in some cases, a significant role, in the BCVMA's dealings with the complainants, including negative generalized views about the credibility and ethics of Indo-Canadians in relation to their veterinary practices. I find there was clear evidence of such views held by persons of influence in the BCVMA, that the BCVMA was aware, or ought reasonably to have been aware of this, and that it largely ignored, and condoned, the expression of such views. The result was a poisoned relationship between the BCVMA and the complainants, which the BCVMA then blamed entirely on those individuals claiming that they were 'playing the race card'.”

Human Rights Digest 16-6, August / September 2015

"The appellant's approach amounts to a suggestion that even an employee in a highly safety sensitive position who knows precisely what he is doing can unilaterally and in a secretive manner disregard the profound safety obligations of his employment not only to the employer but to his co-workers. The absolution for doing so is said to arise from error or misconception on the part of that employee — namely denial. In our view, legitimizing such a subjective manner of defining one's safety-related employment duties in hazardous work environments loses touch with the test in Meiorin, and with the objectives of anti-discrimination laws.”

Human Rights Digest 16-6, August / September 2015

"The prohibited ground of discrimination o[n] family status should encompass the eldercare obligation because … non-fulfillment can attract not only civil responsibility (Maintenance and Custody Act), but also criminal responsibility if not exercised properly (Peterson). Eldercare obligation is entrenched in Canadian societal values. It demonstrates the adult children's responsibility to their elderly parents.”

Human Rights Digest 16-5, July 2015

"Given the nature of the temporary foreign worker program, the fact that work permits are tied to a specific employer, and that trying to find a different employer while in Canada poses immense difficulties for a migrant worker, including the need for any new employer to qualify for the program by obtaining a labour market opinion and the reality that in the interim migrant workers would lose access to the accommodation provided by their existing employer, the reality is that renewing her contract with Presteve was the only real choice that M.P.T. had if she wanted to remain in Canada and continue working.”

Human Rights Digest 16-4, May / June 2015

"With respect, what is in issue here is not complete secularity, but true neutrality on the State's part and the discrimination that results from a violation of that neutrality. In this regard ... I do not think that the State's duty to remain neutral on questions relating to religion can be reconciled with a benevolence that would allow it to adhere to a religious belief. State neutrality means ... that the State must neither encourage nor discourage any form of religious conviction whatsoever. If the State adheres to a form of religious expression under the guise of cultural or historical reality or heritage, it breaches its duty of neutrality. If that religious expression also creates a distinction, exclusion or preference that has the effect of nullifying or impairing the right to full and equal recognition and exercise of freedom of conscience and religion, there is discrimination.”

Human Rights Digest 16-3, April 2015

"To the extent a person can be considered a "repeat offender", this necessarily impacts upon the determination whether there has been wilful and reckless contravention of the Code for the purposes of s. 31.4. Mr. Pontes' corporate entities were found to be in violation of the Code, for employment discrimination based on sex as early as December 6, 2007… He has been previously ordered to cease and desist. He has previously been sanctioned in costs for unreasonable and vexatious behaviour. He has, in past proceedings, been ordered to post anti-discrimination policies at Northwoods Inn & Suites. Mr. Pontes can be presumed to possess full knowledge of that which constitutes unacceptable conduct under the Code.

Human Rights Digest 16-2, February / March 2015
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