Alberta Human Rights Information Service March 12, 2019

In this issue:
Human rights case law: Court and tribunal decisions
Commission news

HUMAN RIGHTS CASE LAW: COURT AND TRIBUNAL DECISIONS

1. Important court decision related to human rights:
Alberta Human Rights Commission (Director), et al. v. Webber Academy Foundation (Supreme Court of Canada, February 28, 2019)
Supreme Court of Canada dismissed application for leave to appeal
The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the Director of the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s application to seek leave of the Court of Appeal decision in Webber Academy Foundation.

2. Recent tribunal decisions
 The Commission recently released the following tribunal decisions:

  • Michael Facey v. Bantrel Management Services Co. (Decision on Costs; February 27, 2019; Cherie Langlois-Klassen, Tribunal Chair)
  • Dawit Kebede v. SGS Canada Inc. (Preliminary Decision-Application to Dismiss; February 4, 2019; Karen Scott, Tribunal Chair)
  • B.L. v. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers, Local Lodge 146 (Preliminary Matters Decision; November 19, 2018; Karen Scott, Tribunal Chair)
  • Ginette Benvenuto v. Display Design Systems Ltd. (Interim Decision; January 8, 2019; Michael Gottheil, Tribunal Chair)
  • Victoria Cabot (on behalf on Darcy Cabot) v. Enerflex Ltd. (Preliminary Matters Decision Severance Agreement; January 4, 2019; Jean Munn, Q.C., Tribunal Chair)

These tribunal decisions can be accessed free of charge through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

COMMISSION NEWS

1. Commission launching Case Inventory Resolution Project
The Commission is launching the Case Inventory Resolution Project to deal with the case inventory more efficiently through streamlined processes. All human rights complaints received before January 1, 2019 will be handled through either the Investigation Stream or Conciliation Stream. More details will be provided on our website in the next few weeks.

2. Commission releases 2017-18 annual report
The Commission has released its 2017-18 Annual Report. The report provides a summary of results achieved in the three areas of activity undertaken by the Commission: education and engagement, inquiry and complaint resolution services, and complaint adjudication. It also includes information about the legislative framework for the Commission and the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund, biographies of the Members of the Commission, and listings of tribunal decisions made in 2017-18. You can read the report.

3. The Chief of the Commission and Tribunals in the Community
Michael Gottheil, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission, presented at the following events:

 

  • ​Keynote speaker: Standing Together Conference: Michael Gottheil presented a keynote speech at the Standing Together Conference: Collective approach to safe workplaces, on March 6, 2019 in Calgary. The conference was hosted by the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women. Mr. Gottheil's topic, "Whose Law? What Order? Exploring the Tension Between Experience and Justice," examined current barriers to justice for victims and survivors of sexual harassment and violence.​ 

 

  • Black History Month: Michael Gottheil provided opening remarks at the Dialogue for Taking Action Against Racism, marking Black History Month, hosted by Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l’Alberta Society at the Campus Saint-Jean in Edmonton on February 16, 2019. You can read the Chief’s Message regarding Black History Month. (English) (French)

    Picture of Michael Gottheil, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, providing opening remarks at the Dialogue for Taking Action
    Michael Gottheil, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, providing opening remarks at the Dialogue for Taking Action Against Racism, hosted by Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l'Alberta Society at Campus Saint-Jean in Edmonton.
4. Projects funded in part by grants from the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund
Tree logo Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund

Recent grant projects address discrimination and workplace harassment

With funding support from the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund, a variety of non-profit organizations, municipalities and secondary institutions across the province have received grants to develop projects that address racism, discrimination, and inclusivity in Alberta society. You can read the current list of 2018-2019 grant recipients and descriptions of their projects.

One of these recent projects focuses on increasing human resource professionals’ capacity to address harassment and bullying issues in the workplace.

The Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Alberta is conducting a literature review and engaging focus groups to inform the development of a toolkit for prevention and investigation of bullying and harassment in the workplace. While there are resources and tools on the subject of workplace bullying and harassment, there is a need for resources on prevention.
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