Federal Appeal

Human Rights

Practice and procedure

Commissions, tribunals and boards of inquiry

Judge should not have discussed merits of discrimination complaint

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) found that complainant was married, not separated, so she had to repay certain benefits and credits she had received. Complainant later established she had been separated. Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed complainant’s complaint that CRA discriminated against her on ground of marital status. Relying on s. 41(1)(b) of Canadian Human Rights Act, Commission decided not to deal with complaint on ground that it could be more appropriately dealt with by Tax Court of Canada under Income Tax Act. Federal Court judge dismissed complainant’s application for judicial review. Complainant appealed. Appeal dismissed. There were no grounds to interfere with judgment. Commission’s decision was reasonable and relied on proper legal basis to dismiss complaint. Commission did not breach any obligations of procedural fairness. Judge should not have discussed merits of discrimination complaint as Commission did not rule on merits so issue was not before Federal Court.

Maximova v. Canada (Attorney General) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 569, 2019 FCA 37, Gauthier J.A., David Stratas J.A., and Rennie J.A. (F.C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 1423, 2018 CarswellNat 1678, 2018 FC 376, 2018 CF 376, Sébastien Grammond J. (F.C.).

Law Times Poll

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced that real estate lawyer Doug Downey will be Ontario’s new attorney general. Do you expect Downey to take a substantially different approach to his portfolio than his predecessor in the role?