First: The Saskatchewan government is making it official. Legislation has been tabled to dissolve the provincial Human Rights Tribunal and forward complaints to the courts. This is a welcome step that should remove some of the bias against respondents that exists within Tribunal proceedings.
Second: The Human Rights Tribunals are now the front line in combating bullying in schools:
The BC Human Rights Tribunal has accepted a complaint against the Surrey School Board by a father, angry his daughter’s elementary school hasn’t properly disciplined three girls who have bullied his daughter.
The man claims these girls at Erma Stephenson Elementary have tormented his 7th grade daughter for years, calling her names and even spreading rumours about her. The girl has cerebral palsy and a mental disability.
Third: The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation reveals that in spite of laws requiring them to disclose expense reports, the several provincial agencies have to date not complied:
Effective September 1, 2009 expenses on travel, meals, and hospitality for Ontario’s 22 largest agencies were to be made public. This policy became law on November 30th, 2009. As of today, 13 months later, 20 of 22 agencies and crown corporation have made no public disclosures.
…including the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Fourth: CN Rail has asked the Federal Court of Canada to review their recent CHRT case that was decided against them. They argue that the Tribunal’s decision essentially creates two tiers of workers – those with children and those without.
CN spokesman Mark Hallman said the railway believes the tribunal erred when it ruled that employers have a duty to accommodate employees with families when it wants to send them to other parts of the country.
Maybe the Rule of Law will be esteemed a little higher in a Federal Court. However, the limited scope of a judicial review (CHRT decisions are immune to appeal) means that even if the judge didn’t like the Tribunal’s reasoning, he/she may be powerless to overturn it.