Federal Court


E-mails never formally entered into record and could not be considered evidence

Applicants sought judicial review decision of Public Service Staffing Tribunal dismissing applicants’ complaint of abuse of authority in internal appointment process. Tribunal found that there was no evidence that applicants were improperly screened and concluded that there was no abuse of authority. Judicial review was dismissed. Consolidation of applicants’ complaints did not breach procedural fairness as they were based on same internal appointment and factual background and were substantially similar. There was no breach of procedural fairness in tribunal’s refusal to order further production of documents which it had already ordered produced. Applicants failed to demonstrate breach of procedural fairness in tribunal’s handling of witnesses or requests for summonses. There was no evidence before court of any behaviour of tribunal member that would meet established threshold for demonstrating bias. There was no error in confining complaint to examination of individual appointment process for subject position of manager and not expanding their complaint and have tribunal examine all staffing appointments in Ontario region of Health Canada from April 2004 to date of hearing. Tribunal did not allow applicants to expand their complaint to include these issues of systemic racism and discrimination. This decision was correct as these issues were beyond tribunal’s mandate. Applicants made no submissions, presented no evidence and called no witnesses before tribunal, despite bearing burden of proving their complaint. Although applicants sent tribunal over one hundred e-mails prior to date of hearing, these e-mails were never formally entered into record and could therefore not be considered evidence. Tribunal based its decision on evidence before it, which was entirely presented by respondent. Tribunal decision assessed procedure in creating essential qualifications for position as well as decision to eliminate applicants’ candidacy at screening stage. Given that respondent’s evidence was not contradicted, tribunal’s decision was reasonable.

Alexander v. Canada (Attorney General)

(Nov. 8, 2011, F.C., O’Keefe J., File No. T-674-09) Application for judicial review from 96 C.L.A.S. 507 was affirmed. 209 A.C.W.S. (3d) 561 (28 pp.).

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