Letters and Editorials 3052 Views by Rowan4u

When Manitoba Justice Becomes Crimininal

Once symptoms of a known disability became exacerbated due to a toxic work environment, a government employee (terminated June 2008 after 3 years of exemplary reviews) followed due process to address her complaints of unfair labour practices. ‘Marie’ bears witness to the difficulties, bias, incompetence, perjury and flawed logic of government that was allowed to go unchecked to the point of a criminal act. Government employees conduct all preliminary investigations so when Labour Board admin staff stonewalled the process 260 days (avg is 48 days) it is clear that the practice of government investigating government is terribly flawed, unlawful and even unconstitutional.

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Even throughout the excessive delays, Marie was not given a contact name as to who would be conducting the MLB investigation; given no reason for the excessive delays; there was no phone call or meeting to clarify or confirm information; and written requests for a response were answered months later or not at all. The Board defended itself by stating that it did not talk to a single person in Government or union either. One would then question what was the Board doing all that time?

Given the complexities and ever-changing misinformation by Government vs Marie’s evidence that never changed, standard procedure would be to proceed to hearing by an independent panel not only to ensure that there is a fair and impartial hearing but it needs to be perceived as such. Instead, in a show of power, the Board dismissed the complaint in a closed door decision and further elevated the situation to a ‘quasi-justice turned criminal act’ as follows:

Subsequent to the Board refusing to provide written reasons for dismissal, Marie filed an Appeal (Request for Review and Reconsideration) citing numerous grounds why the matter ought to have, and should still proceed to hearing. In a response refuting the Appeal prepared by Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, legal counsel mistakenly left a notation for the deponent. Besides the obvious implications of a deliberate attempt to introduce fabricated evidence contrary to that previously deposed to; the fact that the notation was left in the document is proof that the COO did not read the document, or alternatively did not read it in its entirety before swearing to it. Through information accessed in 2011, email dated June 19, 2009 from CSC EAP Director states that the external EAP would start up in in the fall of that year. This occured one year after the Labour Board complaint of September 2008 solid proof that the statement was false and yet the document is on record with the Labour Board as confirmed by the Ombudsman:

(x) ... CSC employees have the option to request that they be referred to an external EAP provider, which option was always in place during the Applicant's employment with the CSC/OSD.

[ON: Anna Schmidt-Beauchamp to confirm this fact]

For the COO to then sign a sworn declaration to be true without reading it is not only in violation of Manitoba Evidence Act but shows misplaced trust in counsel who likely had been given so much creative freedom in fabricating the defence that the COO likely viewed proofing said document for accuracy superfluous especially given the complexity and confusion in keeping the different versions of the mounds of disinformation straight.

This further speaks to the COO’s lack of credibility, and therefore any and all uncorroborated evidence previously accepted as evidence highly suspect. Furthermore, as the COO was a named Respondent in this and other complaints including under The Human Rights Code, under MEA the COO should have been regarded as ‘hostile’ and made this witness available at a hearing for cross-examination.

The Board refused to respond to the several letters from Marie to take appropriate action and instead dismissed Marie, rescinded her Charter Rights and abruptly rejected her right to Appeal. The Board’s decision addressed there was a typo(234 characters would never constitute a 'typo' to a reasonable person) and falsely stated the typo was in an attachment. The nine-page Reply contained NO attachments. Although obstruction to justice and perjury is a criminal violation the issue of the Government as Respondent and as investigative tribunal collaborating together in this criminal act has yet to be addressed.

After the Manitoba Ombudsman failed to act, repeated requests in writing and by phone were then made to The Department of Justice who eventually deferred the matter out to Human Resource Services. The Manager of HR then attempted to do a sidestep of the allegations regarding misconduct of abuse and authority by both senior government officers at CSC as well at at the Labour Board, stating Marie's complaint "was under the purview of the Manitoba Labour Board" and she should take it up with them. After clarifying that it was not a Labour Board complaint under the Labour Relations Act but under MEA and therefore a criminal matter (summary conviction at the very least) it is then of public interest and ought to be treated like a crime.

The HR Manager then responded, “The Manitoba Evidence Act provides the statutory foundation for the way information and documentation is to be handled. It does not provide the Deputy Minister or employees of Manitoba Justice with the authority to investigate. …Investigation of an allegation of a crime would be in the purview of the relevant policing authority. You may also consider consulting a lawyer” How can this be interpreted as justice?

What is most frightening is that the provincial government would view brute force as an effective, and even desired means of achieving its goals of effectively dealing with issues involving mental illness, rather than showing compassion and empathy. Government is well aware those most vulnerable afflicted with mental illness could never afford a lawyer or gain access to the courts. Without transparency and accountability from Government, without consequence to those that have crossed the line, one can only expect that this sort of thing will lead to an increased reliance on brute force as an instrument that works; ‘#WINNING’ at all costs particularly when there is no fear of intervention or retaliation, in order to preserve and promote the shameless glorification of government prowess.



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