Category Archives: Uncategorized

Anthony Moffatt has accepted our offer to join the Firm as an Associate Lawyer!

We are pleased to announce that Anthony Moffatt has accepted our offer to join the Firm as an Associate Lawyer commencing Wednesday, 3 January 2019. Anthony obtained his LL.B. from UBC in 2006. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2007, and was called to the BC Bar in 2010. Since 2011 he has worked as Senior Policy and Legal Advisor for WorkSafeBC, where he led his department to make complex policy and regulation amendments.

Prior to WorkSafeBC, Anthony practiced in Labour and Employment Law at Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP (now Norton Rose). Prior to that, he practiced in Employment and Labour Law at Ogilvy Renaud LLP, in their Ottawa Office (also now Norton Rose). Following law school, Anthony articled with McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Ottawa. Anthony brings with him previous sales and marketing experience, which he looks forward to applying with the firm.

Please join me in giving Anthony a very warm welcome to the Firm.

Discriminatory Facebook posting breaches Human Rights Code

Racial discriminationIn Perez-Moreno v Kulczycki, Vice-Chair Kershaw of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal held that the Respondent’s Facebook posting constituted discrimination contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Facts

On 1 August 2012, Perez-Moreno intervened in an argument at work between Kulczycki, a co-worker, and an individual with whom Perez-Moreno was in a relationship.

Vice-Chair Kershaw found that, on 3 August 2012, the Kulczycki referred to the Perez-Moreno as a “dirty Mexican.” In addition, Kulczycki was found to have told other employees, “now that Mexican (sic) is not going to give me anything.”

Perez-Moreno argued that Kulczycki’s posting and comments were derogatory, humiliating and damaging to his character, work and personal life and he claimed that they had a negative emotional, social and mental effect upon him.

Allegation

Perez-Moreno alleged that Kulczycki’s posting and comments constituted discrimination on the basis of race, origin, ancestry and citizenship contrary to Section 5(2) of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Analysis

Vice-Chair Kershaw found that Kulczycki’s posting and comments were vexatious and constituted harassment within the meaning Section 10(1) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which defines harassment as “a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably be known to be unwelcome,” on the basis of race, place of origin, ancestry and citizenship.  The Vice-Chair held that Kulczycki’s conduct constituted unlawful discrimination in the employment since it related to an incident that occurred in the workplace.

Vice-Chair Kershaw ordered Kulczycki to provide proof within 30 days that she had completed the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s on-line training course, “Human Rights 101.” She also directed Perez-Moreno and Kulczycki’s employer to consider whether human rights training may benefit all if its employees.

Discussion

This decision has a couple of unusual aspects.  First, it involves a human rights discrimination case between two co-workers; rather than the more usual employee-employer type of complaint.

Secondly, internet users often believe that their postings are unregulated and beyond the reach of the “long arm of the law”–along the same line of mistaken belief in moto, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” This case serves as an important reminder that such beliefs are little more than “false hope.”

Finally, even the employer in this case did not escape “honorable mention” as a result of the less than honorable conduct of its employees.

 

RCMP Class Action re Breach of Privacy

RCMP’s Unlawful Disclosure of RCMP Members’ Health Records

As you may know, we recently commenced legal proceedings under the BC Class Action Proceedings Act with respect to the RCMP’s breach of the federal Privacy Act concerning the RCMP’s unlawful disclosure of confidential health records of a number of RCMP Members. A copy of the Notice of Civil Claim is available on the RCMP Class Action page (see the menu above).

As of 5 November 2015, service of the Notice of Civil Claim has been completed with respect to the following Defendants:

 Attorney General of Canada;
 BC Attorney General and Minister of Justice;
 Roland Bowman;

 Craig Callens;
 Paul Darbyshire;
 Bard Hartl;

 Daniel Dubeau;
 Ray Bernoties;
 Judy Lepage;

 Bob Paulson; and 
 Maxine Schwartz.
  

We are in the process of attempting to serve the remaining Defendant.

We continue to receive Intake Forms from other Members claiming to be similarly affected from across Canada. We will commence reviewing and investigating the Intake Forms that we have received within the next week. If you have reason to believe that the RCMP has disclosed your medical records to a third-party without your knowledge or consent, please complete the RCMP Class Action Intake Form (there is no cost to you for completing and submitting the Intake Form).