Molyneaux Law lawyer Roberto Henriquez wrote about backlogs at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and in other Ontario tribunals in a recent editorial for the Hamilton Spectator.
Delays at the human rights tribunal hurt our clients and our communities, leaving employees waiting years for a determination about workplace discrimination and harassment. As Roberto writes:
Once a prominent example of the benefits of a dedicated administrative law branch, a slew of departures, short-term appointments, and a lull in political appointments at the HRTO has created a backlog that often results in processing delays and, of course, the dreaded cancellation of hearings. In its publicly available documents, the HRTO shows that approximately 70 per cent of its adjudicators have appointments expiring in the first few months of 2020. Sadly, if adjudicators are walking off in early 2020, who will make decisions, who will provide remedies and who will deliver justice to users of the Human Rights system? Despite these challenges, the Ford government is still not making the appointments that are needed to meet these demands.
Not surprisingly, in 2018-2019, about 75 per cent of the complaints to the Ombudsman in relation to administrative bodies under Tribunals Ontario had to do with delays.
As labour advocates have often reminded us: Justice delayed is justice denied! We remain hopeful that this backlog will be addressed so parties can proceed to a prompt hearing of the very serious issues heard by Ontario tribunals each day.
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