Report Affirms Former Head of Human Rights Tribunal Mistreated Staff, Abused Authority

A report presented by the public sector integrity commissioner, Mario Dion, on Thursday, found that during the earthquake at nation’s capital in 2010, the former head of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Shirish Chotalia, unjustly ordered her frightened staff to remain inside the shaking building in order to continue the ceremony organized for her.

Results of the two-year investigation determined that Chotalia’s behaviour towards her employees and members of the tribunal is categorized under harassment and abuse of authority. Commissioner Dion, mentioned during a teleconference, that “in my soon-to-be two-and-a-half years as public sector integrity commissioner, this is the worst lack of respect vis-as-vis individuals that you are responsible for.” He explained that “Ms. Chotalia, during meetings and in the presence of other employees, behaved in a way that was belittling and humiliating toward individuals.” He added that “she frequently raised individuals’ personal health issues, the topic of a previous disagreement and unjustifiably blamed them for errors. In some cases, individuals were brought to tears as a result of her public humiliations.”

The report took notice of her belligerent interrogations of some staff, and that this behaviour was not limited to junior staff only. Investigators revealed that Chotalia often hassled with other government-appointed members of the tribunal as well. The report explains that “Ms. Chotalia frequently yelled insults and directed defamatory comments at a member, questioning his competencies and bringing up issues about this person’s health and capacity to work in the presence of other employees.”

1 Comment

  1. This is exactly the sort of person that you would expect the Harper government to appoint, to any position, but in particularly in human rights adjudication, for which the Conservative party has nothing but contempt.

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