Friday, September 18, 2009

Barb's Powers Over Other Bodies' Decisions

Section 45.1

The Other day, I was doing a piece on the Ontario College of Teachers Tribunal, and opined at the end as follows:
If Barbara Hall had gotten this at the Ontario HRC, she could have spent a lot of tax dollars fixing this guy's little red wagon. If she gets wind of it now, she will probably try to set up a mechanism that allows her to Appeal OCT tribunal decisions to the OHRC, so she can get her pound of flesh out of them. Actually, I see a new special project for Barb's Boys coming here.
Well, silly me, I didn't have to keep quiet about it. Barb Hall already has the power in Section 45.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code:
45.1 The Tribunal may dismiss an application, in whole or in part, in accordance with its rules if the Tribunal is of the opinion that another proceeding has appropriately dealt with the substance of the application. 2006, c. 30, s. 5.
It says the Tribunal MAY dismiss a Compaint if some other body in the Tribunal's humble opinion has appropriately dealt with it.

That also means that the OHRC will have investigated it first and messed with people's lives again in a second go around at least, on an issue.

I picked this up because of an article by Brian Wasyliw of McCarthy Tetreault, one of Canada's pre-eminent law firms on Mondaq to which I subscribe. I assume you will need your own login to access this article. He examined a few cases that had gone from another body like the Landlord and Tenant Board, Ontario Labor Relations Board, and had previously written about one that was before an Independent Placement Review Committee and Special Education Tribunal.

Mr. Wasyliw came to the following conclusions in his article:

These cases re-affirm the basic approach set out in the Campbell decision that the Tribunal will consider two points when determining whether to dismiss a claim under Section 45.1.

  1. Had another proceeding taken place?
  2. If so, were the allegations before the Tribunal appropriately dealt with in the other proceeding?
    1. In deciding whether the other proceeding "appropriately dealt with the substance of the application," the questions is not whether the complaint was decided correctly in the other proceeding. The Tribunal does not have to be satisfied that it would have reached the same conclusion.
    2. However, some type of examination of the decision from the other proceeding is necessary. This examination requires the Tribunal to consider whether, in essence, the complaint was dealt with in a suitable and proper manner.
So, isn't it nice to know that among the super powers that the Ontario HRT has is the right to look over decisions of "inferior" tribunals and boards and see if they at least did it right? Our Ontario HRC brings a new meaning to dhimmitude. They are like mould.

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