February 7, 2019 – Human Rights Tribunal Refuses to Award Interim Remedy Without a Full Hearing

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MT v Toronto District School Board2018 HRTO 1788

The applicant, a grade six student diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, requested interim relief in the form of a full-time special needs assistant pending the outcome of his application. In this interim decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario denied the applicant’s request, finding that the relief sought was the same as the substantive remedy sought in the application. The Tribunal noted that the application was already being expedited as part of the Tribunal’s Child and Youth Division, which meant that the applicant would not suffer unduly.

 

CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES REVIEW BOARD

Appellants v Respondent School Board, 2018 CFSRB 60
A pupil whose expulsion appeal was upheld by the Child and Family Services Review Board in 2016 applied to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in 2017 regarding the expulsion. The school board requested the CFSRB’s permission to use an unredacted version of its 2016 decision in the HRTO case. The pupil agreed. The CFSRB allowed the use of its unredacted decision because such use would not identify the pupil and the pupil was no longer a minor. The CFSRB, however, expressed doubt about the utility its decision would have for the HRTO.

 

CIVIL LITIGATION

Telford v School District No. 42 (Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows)2018 BCSC 2165
A 32-year-old man and former student alleged that he was sexually abused as a student in the early 1990s by a neighbour during the school day and while on school property. He sued the school district for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. The Court found that the plaintiff could not prove his case due to inconsistencies in his evidence. The school district supplied a clinical and forensic psychologist as an expert witness who challenged the plaintiff’s credibility.

 

LABOUR RELATIONS

Halton Catholic District School Board v Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association – Halton Elementary Unit2019 CanLII 3361
The union grieved the school’s interpretation of the maximum time teacher supervision when bad weather requires students to stay indoors during recess. The union argued that a letter of understanding reached at the Provincial Discussion Table superseded the local letter of understanding regarding maximum supervision. The school board argued that this letter of understanding was negotiated between the union and a third party (OCSTA) and was thus not binding on it. The arbitrator agreed with the school board. In order to incorporate language from another document into a collective agreement, the language purporting to make the incorporation must be clear and unequivocal. The grievance was dismissed.

 

ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

Ontario College of Teachers v Hachborn2018 ONOCT 52
A vice-principal installed a hidden camera in the staff washroom at his school. He used the camera to record staff using the toilet. When this information was discovered, he was criminally charged with voyeurism and was subsequently found guilty. The Ontario College of Teachers found the vice-principal guilty of professional misconduct and revoked his Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

 

PRIVACY

R v Reeves, 2018 SCC 56
A man was criminally charged with possessing child pornography after the police searched a computer that he shared with his common-law spouse. The spouse permitted the search; the police had no warrant. The Supreme Court ruled that the evidence found on the computer was inadmissible without a warrant. It reasoned that section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms created a reasonable expectation of privacy for individual computer accounts. Ownership of the machine did not matter; the accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy even if he did not have full ownership of the hardware. Shared ownership of a computer does not void Charter protection.

 

Parkland School Division No. 70 (Re)2018 CanLII 116082
A mother complained of the violation of her son’s privacy. The mother complained that the personal information she had provided in order to assist a teacher to teach her son had been used for another purpose, without her consent. She also complained that a teacher disclosed her son’s personal information by discussing his situation with her in front of others at the school. The Alberta Privacy Commissioner dismissed both claims and found that the School had used the personal information in a manner consistent with Alberta’s School Act, namely for the purpose of ensuring access to a proper educational program. With regards to the other complaint, the Commissioner found that while the teacher had attempted to speak to the mother about her son’s behaviour in the classroom, she was ultimately unable to do so because of the mother’s departure from the school. As such, no personal information had been disclosed.

 

New Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario releases new Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools

The Guide can be accessed here.

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Ontario Bill 48Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018
This bill amends the Education Act to provide that the Minister of Education may establish policies and guidelines respecting service animals in schools, and require school boards to comply with the policies and guidelines and to develop policies in accordance with those policies and guidelines. This bill is currently at second reading.

 

Ontario Bill 66Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018
This bill amends the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 by increasing the number of children under 2 years old who may be supervised by a single care provider. It also allows unlicensed care providers to be responsible for 3 children. The Education Act is also amended to require a school board to ensure that third-party child care facilities are licensed, rather than the individual care providers. The Bill is currently at first reading.

 

Ontario Bill 63Right to Timely Mental Health and Addiction Care for Children and Youth Act, 2018
Bill 63 would require the provincial government to provide any required mental health or addiction services to persons younger than 26 years old within 30 days of this person being deemed to require such service. The Bill is currently at first reading.