Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
While the African Canadian Legal Clinic is monitoring a number of settlements that it negotiated before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”), it is also currently representing clients in connection with a number of matters before the Tribunal, including the matters described below.
F.G. v. City of Toronto – this is a human rights application currently at the Human Rights Tribunal, alleging discrimination in employment. The Applicant (represented by the ACLC) was subject to racial slurs, over-monitoring, exclusion from workplace networks and activities and denied promotional opportunities. The Respondent brought a request to dismiss on the basis that there was no reasonable prospect of success that the application could succeed, which was argued in April 2013. By decision dated May 5, 2014 the Human Rights Tribunal declined to exercise its discretion to dispose of the Applicant’s allegations on this basis. The HRTO noted that it is often difficult to establish direct evidence given the subtle and nuanced ways in which racial discrimination manifests in our culture. If proven, the allegations could lead to a finding that the Applicant experienced discrimination as a result of a culture of systemic discrimination in the workplace. The matter will now be scheduled for a hearing of the merits.
Ontario Divisional Court
Aiken v. Ottawa Police Services Board – this is an application for judicial review of a May 2013 decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, denying the Applicant (represented by the ACLC) a hearing of his request for a data collection remedy in respect of his complaint of racial profiling by the Ottawa Police Service. All aspects of the complaint, with the exception of the requested remedy of data collection, were settled in July 2010. The parties agreed to a hearing on the matter of a data collection project. Just before the hearing, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (a party to the complaint) settled with the Ottawa Police Services Board for a 2-year data collection project on all traffic (vehicle) stops. The Human Rights Tribunal granted the Police Services Board’s request to dismiss the remainder of the proceeding on the basis that there was no reasonable prospect of success that the Tribunal would order a data collection project that is more than what was achieved in the settlement. A hearing date for the judicial review application has not yet been set.
The ACLC’s current interventions include the following:
Supreme Court of Canada
R. v. Nur – this is an intervention in a constitutional Charter challenge to the mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years upon conviction for a first offence of possession of a loaded, restricted firearm. In November 2013 the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down s95(2) of the Criminal Code after finding that it violates section 12 (cruel and unusual punishment) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On 10 April 2014 the Attorney Generals of Ontario and Canada were granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The ACLC is working with outside co-counsel Faisal Mirza on an application for leave to intervene at the SCC.