Monday, February 04, 2013

Sexist stereotypes does not deminish the importance of political expression HRTO Rules

By Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A., LL.B., L.E.C.
Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario, Canada)
Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana, Island of Trinidad)

Posted on February 4, 2013

The Reconsideration Decision of the Human Rights Tribunal in 2009-04368-I  Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union 2013 HRTO 180 was released by Associate Chair David A. Wright on Friday afternoon refusing to reconsider an earlier decision Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 2012 HRTO 1393. This case deals with the emerging issue of competing rights being dealt with by the Courts and Tribunal. In this case it involved sexist stereotypes of a female manager by a male union president at the Toronto Don Jail. The Tribunal found that the use of sexist or any other stereotypes does not deminish the importance of political expression.

This decision will be the subject of the great debate. However, much more than that it fundamentally affects the term of engagement for persons who are the subject of negative racist or sexist stereotypes. This decision considerably narrows the scope of rights available to aggrieved parties in the Human Rights Code.

The Applicant and the Ontario Human Rights Commission presented all the arguments that should have persuaded the Tribunal to reconsider, however, it simply determined it will not in the circumstances of this case.

Readers will be advised whether this case will be taken to Divisional Court for Judicial Review.