Human Rights Law Conference 2017

Course Date: November 30, 2017

Total: 12h 6min

Day 1: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Welcome and Introduction 

Conducting Workplace Investigations 

  • when and why to investigate
  • who should conduct the investigation
  • procedural fairness
  • legal privilege
  • privacy and confidentiality
  • cases demonstrating flawed investigations

Tonie BeharrellLegal Counsel, Health Sciences Associations of BC, Vancouver
Donovan G. PlompMcCarthy Tétrault LLP, Vancouver


Update on Accommodation of Family Status and Family Emergencies 

  • evolution of the test for prima facie discrimination based on family status in BC and the federal jurisdiction
  • the role of the employer, the union, and the employee in exploring accommodation
  • boundaries of family status: is there a duty to accommodate personal emergencies, outside of Ontario's statutory right to personal leave?
  • caregiving relationships and caregivers are being recognized in the cases and who is missing from the jurisprudence
  • the role of human rights law in the search for work-life balance

Kirsten Hume Scrimshaw — Ally Workplace Law Corporation, Vancouver
Krista James — National Director, Canadian Centre for Elder Law, Vancouver

A Review of the Scope of the Human Rights Code: Sections 8, 10, and 13 

  • discussion of the Schrenk case and/or decision before the SCC
  • review of the consideration of how relationships impact the question of jurisdiction
  • consieration of the extent of and limits to the applicability of the Code to tenancy, services customarily available to the public, and employment

Katherine Hardie — BC Human Rights Tribunal, Vancouver
David G. Wong — Fasken, Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver 

Lunch with Featured Speaker:
The Nevsun and Tahoe Cases: Litigation in Canada Alleging Abuses in Overseas Operations 

  • review of BC lawsuit by Eritrean refugees against Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources alleging they were forced labourers at Nevsun's mine in Eritrea, including claim of direct liability, traditional common law torts, and torts in violation of customary international law (i.e.: slavery, forced labour, torture, and crimes against humanity)
  • review of BC lawsuit by Guatemalans against BC's Tahoe Resources alleging they were injured when security personnel opened fire on a peaceful protest
  • review of applications by Nevsun and Tahoe to stay BC cases under the doctrine of forum non conveniens

Matt Eisenbrandt — Special Consultant, Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman Victoria 


Mental Disability: Cases, Strategies, and Enabling Insights 

  • review of notable 'mental disability' decisions from the past year; discussion of themes and common issues
  • exploration of strategies and insights to help human rights practitioners navigate 'mental disability' matters: i.e.: identifying and contesting stereotypical assumptions and generalizations; responding to 'pushback' and 'workplace morale problems'
  • exploration of the tools and insights provided by a 'trauma-informed' framework

Jon Chapnick — Senior Advisor, Workplace Mental health, UBC, Vancouver 
Kelsey Lavoie, JD, MA — Advocate, Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition, Victoria

Judicial Review Update 

  • review and update of significant BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of Canada cases

Devyn Cousineau — BC Human Rights Tribunal, Vancouver
Stephanie D. Gutierrez — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver

Day 2: Friday, December 1, 2017

Welcome and Introduction 

Case Law Update 

  • key cases
  • analysis and trends
  • effects on practice

Christopher M. McHardy — McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Vancouver
Ryley M. Mennie — McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Vancouver 


Applications to Dismiss for Complaints Filed Out Of Time 

  • the parameters for dismissal under section 27(1)(g) of the Code
  • review of recent case law

Eleni Kassaris — Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Vancouver

Limited Retainers: Benefits, Risks, and Ethical Considerations 

  • when to consider using limited retainers
  • how limited retainers can increase access to justice
  • practical tips for drafting limited retainers
  • the risks involved in acting on a limited retainer
  • ethical considerations, including when disclosure of a limited retainer is required

Sara Hanson — Moore Edgar Lyster, Vancouver
Kevin Love — Community Legal Assistance Society, Vancouver 


The Duty to Accommodate Doesn't Have To Be "Unduly" Hard! 

  • the responsibilities of the employer, the union, and the employee in the duty to accommodate
  • the benefits of having a cooperative approach
  • success stories

Mark E. Colavecchia — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Brett Matthews — Hastings Labour Law Office LLP, Vancouver 

Case Law Update On the Provision of Services Under Section 8 

  • procedural issues in section 8 cases, including anonymization, representative complaints, and jurisdiction
  • characterization of the service being offered
  • is the service customarily available to the public?
  • the interaction between section 8 and constitutional freedoms
  • bona fide reasonable justification, duty to accommodate, and applications to dismiss in the context of provision of services cases
  • other interesting section 8 cases since 2011

Carolyn M. MacEachern — Young Anderson, Vancouver
Chanelle C.O. Wong — Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Vancouver 


Ethics Fact Patterns 

  • what would/should you do?
  • discussions in context

Shona A. Moore, QC — Moore Edgar Lyster, Vancouver
Gabriel M.A. Somjen, QC — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver 

Closing Remarks