Human Rights – Sometimes More Than One Process
In some cases, there may be another dispute between the condominium corporation and the complainant, in a different forum. For instance: Suppose a tenant has a pet in violation of a “no pets” provision in a condominium’s Declaration. As a result, the condominium corporation might bring a Court Application against the tenant and against the owner of the unit (to enforce the Declaration). In that Court process, the tenant may argue that he or she has a “human rights reason” (like a disability) that allows the tenant to keep the pet.
The point is that a “human rights issue” can sometimes be addressed under a different process (other than a claim to the Human Rights Tribunal).
In the above example, if the tenant then made a claim to the Human Rights Tribunal, the human rights claim might well be stopped (stayed or deferred) pending the outcome of the Court Application (because the human rights issue might well be decided by the Court).
This principle was at play in the recent case of Przysuski v. YRCC 818. In the Przysuski case, the applicant (a member of the Board of Directors) alleged that other Board members had mocked and harassed him during a Board meeting and had also excluded him from one or more Board meetings. He alleged discrimination because of disability, and he made a claim to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
The condominium corporation asserted that this Human Rights Claim should be deferred because similar issues would be addressed in a parallel civil proceeding between the parties. The Tribunal agreed and deferred consideration of the Human Rights Claim pending conclusion of that parallel civil proceeding. The Human Rights Tribunal said:
In this case, there is significant overlap between the facts and human rights issues raised in the Application and those raised in the civil proceeding.
The bottom line is as follows: Sometimes a human rights dispute is “covered” by some other process between the parties; and that other process should sometimes “take priority” over any claim to the Human Rights Tribunal.
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