What Was Said

Significant quotes from recent decisions.

"With full knowledge that Mr. Hughes was disabled by depression and that he had requested work that would accommodate his episodic depression, and scornful of their duties under the CHRA to continue his employment, at least until the full extent of his disability was determined, HRSDC's management wilfully disregarded their duty under the CHRA and summarily terminated Mr. Hughes' employment."

Human Rights Digest 13-7, October 2012

"The respondents would not have run afoul of the Code had they insisted on the applicant's attendance in all circumstances, except where absences were required because of eldercare. In my view, there is no evidence that accommodating only those absences that were required due to the applicant's eldercare responsibilities would have resulted in any undue hardship to the respondents. The violation of the Code arises because of the respondents' blanket insistence that no absences, except when attendance was required at a business meeting outside the office, were acceptable, and their failure to distinguish between Code-related and other absences."

Human Rights Digest 13-6, August / September 2012

"While the business was operated by individuals with sincere religious beliefs respecting same-sex couples, and out of a portion of their personal residence, it was still a commercial activity. It was the Molnars' personal and voluntary choice to start up a business in their personal residence. In this respect, the Molnars were not compelled by the state to act in a manner inconsistent with their personal religious views."

Human Rights Digest 13-5, July 2012

"[T]he requirement that Ontario birth certificates reflect the sex assigned at birth unless a person has and certifies to the respondent that he or she has had "transsexual surgery" is substantively discriminatory because it exacerbates the situation of transgendered persons as a historically disadvantaged group, and thus perpetuates their disadvantage. In the alternative, the requirement... is substantively discriminatory because it perpetuates stereotypes about transgendered persons and their need to have surgery in order to live in accordance with their gender identity, among other things."

Human Rights Digest 13-4, June 2012

"By interpreting subsection 5(b) of the Canadian Human Rights Act so as to require a mirror comparator group in every case in order to establish adverse differential treatment in the provision of services, the Tribunal's decision means that, unlike other Canadians, First Nations people will be limited in their ability to seek the protection of the Act if they believe that they have been discriminated against in the provision of a government service on the basis of their race or national or ethnic origin. This is not a reasonable outcome."

Human Rights Digest 13-3, April / May 2012

"... it appears to me that both Mr. Holt and Coast Mountain became preoccupied with winning the test of wills over his wish to be accommodated with New Flyers at the BTC, and lost track of a possible resolution which would have rendered unnecessary the entire struggle over the existence of a disability, and the need for a formal accommodation"

Human Rights Digest 13-2, March 2012

"The Class is made up of some of the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in British Columbia. One of the reasons that the Code provides for representative complaints is to permit individuals who, individually, may face barriers in bringing human rights complaints to more easily coordinate and obtain assistance in doing so... In the end, there was no evidence from any member of the Class directly affected by Ambassadors' actions."

Human Rights Digest 13-1, January / February 2012

"In order to access benefits under the [Workplace Safety and Insurance Act], an injured worker must make a claim. A claim for benefits in turn requires individuals employed by the WSIB to make a decision. In this case, it was Mr. Spencer's role to decide what LMR plan the applicant should be granted under the WSIA. In this role, he was not acting akin to an independent adjudicator or a member of administrative tribunal, but as part of the bureaucratic framework established for the administration of WSIA benefits"

Human Rights Digest 12-8, November / December 2011

"The genesis of this dispute appears to be the fact that, in 2003, the Commission decided to restrict its advocacy on behalf of complainants... As a result, the role of the Commission in taking complaints forward to the Tribunal was restricted without provision for alternative means to assist complainants to do so. Significantly, however, these changes occurred without changing the legislation in relation to the power to award costs."

Human Rights Digest 12-7, October 2011

"Clearly there must not be turf wars between arbitration boards appointed pursuant to collective agreements on the one hand and the Human Rights Commission on the other. The legislature never intended that result in creating these concurrent jurisdictions. The BOI in rendering its decision created a result which was different from the previous Arbitration Board conclusion on the very same issue and that inconsistency in and of itself has undermined the credibility of the whole process thereby diminishing the Arbitration Board's authority, its credibility and the aim of finality as emphasized by the Supreme Court of Canada as being of the utmost importance..."

Human Rights Digest 12-6, August / September 2011
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