Concerns still swirl around Bill 107 and what impact the new role the legislation ascribed to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal will have when it begins directly receiving applications next year.For example, with the Ontario Human Rights Commission no longer involved in screening complaints as of June 30, 2008, the new direct access system “will open the floodgates” for people to file grievances, predicts David Elenbaas, chief professional partner, and head of the employment and labour relations practice group at McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP.“There doesn’t seem to be any ability to weed out complaints that are frivolous or vexatious, as there was under the old legislation,” he says, adding individuals will have more time — a year, as opposed to six months — to file.Elenbaas expects there will be more hearings, since the tribunal won’t be able to dismiss complaints, until both parties in a dispute make oral submissions.
Not all applications will result in formal adjudication proceedings, since the tribunal gives the option to settle through mediation, says Michael Gottheil, the tribunal chair and a former Ottawa labour, employment, and human rights lawyer.
Meanwhile, higher damage awards are also likely, says Elenbaas. In addition to having the power to order monetary compensation or non-monetary restitution, the tribunal will be able to order compensation or restitution for losses caused by injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect. The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, which received royal assent last December, placed no limitations on the quantum of such awards, he explains.
“Previously, there was a $10,000 cap on mental-distress damages, and that’s now gone,” he says.
But Toronto labour and employment lawyer Patty Murray says the consensus within the legal community is that the existing system was “irretrievably broken.’
The new direct-access model for the tribunal will expedite the time it takes to get a hearing in which the merits of the case could be more swiftly determined, says Murray, a partner with Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP.
Like a raging, staggering drunk, the HRCs are simply spiralling out of control. No grip on reality. Incoherent. Completely lost.
I really do believe our politicians have lost their collective minds.
But maybe this is a good thing. It will help us paint this scam for what it is. If they started getting all reasonable on us and looking to curtail their powers with some window dressing measures, we’d have a much harder time taking them out.
As is it stands, this is great news — because it will really infuriate the victims and bring on a sooner demise than anticipated.
Wait till Ezra sees this one.
In other news….
Let me ask the questions again.
This time, guys, WAKE UP, and CLUE IN:
When Richard Warman and Giacomo Vigna visited Dean Steacy to print off a Stormfront posting on December 8 (see Steacy’s testimony A.3c. above), did they know that the internet connection being used to access the “jadewarr” Stormfront account was owned by a private citizen?
UNDER OATH, how can Richard Warman state that he had “no idea” of the specific origin of Exhibit B – “Jadewarr Welcome” at the Beaumont Hearing when, according to Steacy’s testimony above, Warman knew that Dean Steacy was, in fact, “jadewarr” before the Beaumont hearing (B.2) and that “jadewarr” was a Commission account (A.1)?
Read the build-up to these questions here.