This week Federal courts has cases with issues of human rights, disability benefits
This week, parties involved in human rights and privacy law cases made appearances before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. The Federal Court also dealt with a class action alleging errors in the calculation of disability benefits.
Federal Court of Appeal
Last Monday, the court heard the case of Abdallah Zoghbi v. Air Canada et al, A-336-21, governing the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention), which was incorporated into the Carriage by Air Act, 1985.
The appellant claimed that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) had no power to decide legal questions beyond its enabling law, the Canadian Human Rights Act, 1985, such as the interpretation of art. 29 of the Montreal Convention. The CHRC allegedly incorrectly or unreasonably decided that the Montreal Convention applied to a refusal to transport a passenger.
The case of Chandrahas Jog v. Bank of Montreal, A-66-22 also arose from a CHRC decision. This one related to an unjust dismissal complaint against the Bank of Montreal. The appellant argued that the CHRC failed to explain why the alleged discrimination, harassment, and bullying did not happen and failed to consider that the complaint asserted wrongs independent from the unjust dismissal claim. Labeling the complaint as vexatious was wrong, the appellant added.
The case of Chandrahas Jog v. Bank of Montreal, A-49-22 involved the same appellant. The appellant asserted that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) failed to complete the investigation within the applicable time and failed to observe a principle of natural justice, procedural fairness, or other required procedure.
The appellant moved to extend the time to review the CHRC’s and the OPC’s decisions. The Federal Court dismissed the motions, which prompted the appellant to appeal. The appellate court last heard these proceedings on Thursday.
The case of Facebook, Inc. v. Privacy Commissioner of Canada, T-473-20 arose when the OPC investigated a complaint regarding Facebook, Inc.’s compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2000 (PIPEDA) relating to a political consulting firm’s alleged misuse of the Facebook developer platform.
Facebook asked for judicial review of the investigation process and the resulting report. The last hearing in this matter was on Wednesday.
The case of Dennis Manuge et al v. His Majesty the King, T-119-19 involved certain disability benefits for current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Veterans Affairs Canada annually adjusted these benefits under s. 75 of the Pension Act, 1985. A class action asked for damages for supposed underpayments of benefits due to alleged errors in the calculation of annual adjustments.
The court certified the class proceeding in December 2020. At last Wednesday’s case management conference, the parties and the court agreed to have another case management conference on Apr. 26 to consider the litigation’s next steps.