Federal Appeal

Human Rights

Practice and Procedure

Commissions, Tribunals and Boards of Inquiry

Canadian Human Rights Commission’s reliance on investigator’s report was reasonable

Complainant, member of Canadian Forces (CF), alleged he was discriminated against by CF because he was homosexual. Complainant made human rights complaint against CF on grounds he was discriminated against by CF on basis of his sexual orientation. Investigator issued investigation report. Canadian Human Rights Commission, relying on report, concluded inquiry was not warranted and dismissed complaint. Complainant’s application for judicial review, alleging report contained factual errors was dismissed. Complainant appealed. Appeal dismissed. Complainant’s attempt to introduce fresh evidence through chain of emails exchanged with Commission’s counsel in attempt to demonstrate counsel committed perjury by stating he was represented by counsel was rejected. Evidence complainant sought to introduce had no bearing on outcome of case, neither as for issue of reasonableness of decision nor as for procedural fairness. Complainant did not meet onus to introduce new evidence. Commission’s decision was reasonable; investigator was required to conduct thorough and neutral investigation - absolute perfection was not standard. Although investigation report contained factual mistakes, these were not material and they did not lead to fundamentally flawed conclusions. Given that complainant sought to leave CF on his own initiative year prior to end of his mandatory service period, it could reasonably be asserted that CF’s decision to release him at expiration of his mandatory service period related not to discrimination, but to complainant’s earlier request to terminate his service. Commission’s reliance on investigator’s report was reasonable. Judge did not err in finding Commission did not violate procedural rights of complainant.

Ritchie v. Canada (Attorney General) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 2424, 2017 FCA 114, A.F. Scott J.A., Yves de Montigny J.A., and J. Woods J.A. (F.C.A.); affirmed (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 1866, 2016 CarswellNat 2858, 2016 FC 527, 2016 CF 527, Ann Marie McDonald J. (F.C.).


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