An independent, well-resourced office for an ombudsperson that can investigate allegations and enforce orders on Canadian extractives’ overseas operations should be established by the federal government to provide effective remedies in a timely and inexpensive manner, recommends a United Nations working group on business and human rights.
The proposal is one of several made by the UN panel to ensure that federal and provincial governments strengthen access to both judicial and non-judicial remedial mechanisms to victims of human rights abuses.
The mother of a child who was the victim of discrimination based on a handicap was awarded $7,500 in moral damages by the Quebec Court of Appeal in a ruling that reaffirms and advances the rights of parents, according to educational and human rights lawyers.
In a closely-watched ruling by the province’s educational sector, the Montreal School Commission was also ordered to pay an equal amount in moral damages to the child, who is afflicted with Down syndrome, after the appeal court found that it discriminated against him when it failed to implement necessary accommodations to teach him in the first two years of high school.
However the appeal court also found that the school commission did not act in a discriminatory manner when it decided that it would be in the best interests of the child, given his special needs, if he pursued his studies in a specialized school rather than a regular school.
A retirement home has been ordered by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal to pay more than $11,000 in material, moral and punitive damages to an employee who was fired because of her health condition.
The “important” decision reaffirms the wide reach of article 18.1 of the Quebec Charter of human rights and freedoms, which circumscribes information-gathering at the pre-hiring stage, highlights the importance for employers to have thorough pre-employment medical questionnaires that do not breach the Charter, and underscores the need for employers to take immediate action when employees demonstrate bad faith, according to employment and human rights lawyers.