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Human Rights Law - ENFORCEMENT AND PROCEDURE - Commissions - Investigation - Investigators - Report - Decision

Thursday, January 12, 2017 @ 7:00 PM  

Appeal by Miakanda-Batsika from the dismissal of her application for judicial review of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision. The Commission found that further inquiry into Miakanda-Batsika’s complaint against Bell Canada, her employer, was not warranted, because the evidence before the Commission did not support her claim of harassment and discrimination. Miakanda-Batsika complained that three of her supervisors had treated her in a discriminatory manner based on her race, ethnic origin and colour in the course of her employment, and that Bell had, because of her supervisors’ conduct, failed to provide her with a harassment-free workplace. In dismissing her judicial review application, the judge, after considering the investigator’s report and the Commission’s decision, found that Miakanda-Batsika was not denied procedural fairness in the investigation. He noted that she was permitted to provide comments about the investigator’s report, and found that two witnesses she identified that were not contacted by the investigator had no relevant information to add. The judge found the Commission’s decision reasonable in light of the evidence the investigator had gathered.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The judge made no reviewable error in respect of either the procedural fairness issue or the reasonableness of the Commission’s decision. The investigator examined the relevant documents, including emails submitted by Miakanda-Batsika, and interviewed Miakanda-Batsika, her supervisors and a Bell employee who had investigated a prior harassment complaint from her. Based on this evidence, the investigator reasonably concluded that the complaint was not substantiated. Both Miakanda-Batsika and Bell were given ample opportunity to provide information to the investigator before the report was issued. The Commission was entitled to rely on the investigator’s report in dismissing Miakanda-Batsika’s complaint.