Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kangaroo Justice

My Ontario Retired Grade School Principal Friend

Back on May 14, 2009, I started this blog. My first real posting was about my friend, a now retired grade school principal who was the real victim in an Ontario Human Rights Commission/Tribunal case, actually two of them.

After 3 1/2 years, this case was finally going to come to the Kangaroo Court on December 18, 2009. Part of the delay, and only a part of it was that the Complainant had gotten counsel beyond what was available to her from the HRC last summer. She was determined to right some self defined egregious discrimination that only she could see. The HRC was not inclined to pursue the case, but could not stop it.

The Complainant hired a black civil rights lawyer to ensure that she got her pound of flesh. However, after he listened to her screed for some time, he didn't figure that the black/white shtick would play well, since his client had anger management and authority issues. He kicked her to the curb somewhere along the way, further delaying the 'Roo session.

With her nose out of joint, she then found another lawyer to appear to buy in to her story, but he did not really buy in, and so the matter was settled quietly just before Kangaroo Court was to convene.

A big problem in the case was that it depended largely on my friend the principal's secretary for its testimony. This secretary had been disciplined by my friend for failing to do her work at the school, and not taking it too well, she filed her own HRC Complaint. She had turned her delusions into invented stories to support her own case, and was planning to use them to support the case here, in her testimony. The lawyer for the Complainant in this case did not like his chances with her testimony, even in Kangaroo Court, where truth is merely a potential obstacle to get at the desired outcome.

He approached the lawyers for the school board and my friend before court, and asked to settle the matter. So, now officially, the case does not exist, the matters are sealed and confidential, and there is of course the HRC standard non disclosure form in place to prevent the truth from leaking out.

The reality is though that the Complainant got a few shekels for her noise, maybe enough to pay for her new lawyer, if he is really cheap, I mean really cheap. This paltry amount will be paid by the school board, so my friend is not out of pocket, and does not have a black mark against her for having allegedly discriminated against this Complainant's son.

Implying that it cost my friend nothing to go on this HRC imposed journey is false. She has spent well over $20,000 in legal fees to date on this case and on the one still pending from her secretary. She has retired from a job she loved, and her health has been seriously compromised by the stress of these two matters. She lost big time. Her students lost big time. Her family lost big time. As Ezra Levant says, the process is the punishment.

1 comment:

Joshua S. said...

Michael:

Ontario is rife with such stories. For over a decade, I worked for a provincial government department which worked very closely with the OHRC. The superlatively surreal meetings that I attended made me wonder whether I was still on Planet Earth. ThenI was told that a complaint of saexual harassment had been made against me by a black colleague. This was about 15 years ago.

To make a long story short, I was kept in the dark about the specifics of the complaint until the day of a "special meeting". All I knew was that the colleague in question was one whom I had helped get her job with the Ontario government to begin with! At the meeting, this woman claimed that I had, one morning in a coffee line-up, commented to her that she was so well dressed that she MUST be sleeping with politicians.

The penny dropped for me then...

I IMMEDIATELY remembered an excahnge with this person in a coffee line-up. In ppoint of fact, I HAD commented on her attire. It was during the period when Bob rae was premier and had become the most unpopular premier in ontario history. My colleague was wearing a vivid prange outfit. Because she was black, she actually pulled off this colour rather well. It was also the official colour of Ontario's NDP party. By way of flippant comment, I had said that, in a dress that colour, she could expect some people to comment that "...she might be in bed with the NDP."

I countered her recollection that I had said that "she must be sleeping with a politician to be able to afford such a dress" with the plain truth. Then I stood up and declared: "This meeting is over. Should you wish to attempt disciplinary action against me, I will launch countersuits in every level of court necessary. I said that I was quite ready to DIE fighting this baldfaced lie, and that this was NOT a threat, but a PROMISE. I ended with: "Bring it on! I'll bury you all over this if you push me..." and I walked out.

I never heard another WORD about this nonsense, and a couple of years later, I noted that my colleaguye had become my FORMER colleague. Upon investigation, I learned that she had been caught with "both hands in the till" so to speak.

Dishonest is as dishonest does.