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Equity Watch rally to tell Nova Scotia Human Rights commission, do your job!

April 8, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

When: Thursday, April 8, Noon to 1 pm

Where: Park Lane Mall, 5657 Spring Garden Rd (MASKED AND SOCIAL-DISTANCED!)

Three and a half years ago, Christine Shupe of Halifax left her job at Beaver Enviro because of what she claims was sexual harassment by the boss.

She filed her complaint at the NS Human Rights Commission, but the Commission dragged its feet – as usual — in pursuing the case.  Finally the case moved forward after Shupe contacted the NS Ombudsman’s office.

The Commission sent her case to a public Board of Inquiry. But last month the Board dismissed her complaint because the company had not been named correctly.  Though Beaver Enviro is the name on the building, the company’s registered name is 2557617 Nova Scotia. In fact, the problem with the name was identified just 3 months after Shupe approached the Commission.

Because of this technical mistake, Shupe’s case of sex discrimination was tossed. The Commission is not allowed by law to alter its original complaint, and because the harassment incidents had taken place more than 12 months before, the Commission could not file a new complaint.

Says Equity Watch spokesperson Judy Haiven, “That would not have happened, for example, in New Brunswick whose Human Rights Act allows: ‘18(2) The Commission may extend the time for the filing of a complaint if, in the opinion of the Commission, the circumstances warrant it.’

“Equity Watch is not happy to hear of yet another case of the NS Human Rights Commission dragging its feet, and losing the chance to pursue violators. This shows that Nova Scotia’s human rights regime is way past due for an overhaul.”

Equity Watch’s report Justice Impeded: A Critique of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Regime details case after case of the NS Human Rights Commission not doing its job – and dismissing cases on a technicality, or through sloppiness or ignoring timelines.  

Equity Watch is asking the NS Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia government to simply do their job. That is the least they owe Nova Scotians. 

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