Woman whose sexual harassment complaint was tossed files appeal

·1 min read
Christine Shupe filed a complaint with Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission alleging she was sexually harassed at her former workplace. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Christine Shupe filed a complaint with Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission alleging she was sexually harassed at her former workplace. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

A woman has filed an appeal after her sexual harassment complaint was dismissed by a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry due to a paperwork error.

Christine Shupe's complaint was filed with the commission in 2018. It claimed she was sexually harassed on the job by her former boss, Wyatt Redmond, at a recycling depot in Spryfield.

Commission staff investigated and her case was referred to a board of inquiry, the final stage in the complaint process, which involves a public hearing with witnesses, evidence and cross-examinations.

But the board of inquiry dismissed her complaint this March because the business the commission named in its paperwork, Beaver Enviro Depot, does not legally exist. The business is legally registered as 2557617 Nova Scotia Limited.

The lawyer who dismissed the case, Benjamin Perryman, said he did not have the jurisdiction under the Human Rights Act to alter the official complaint.

But the appeal filed Thursday by Shupe's lawyer, Andrea MacNevin, argues Perryman could have added the correct name of the business rather than changing the listed respondent.

The appeal asks the court to quash Perryman's decision and substitute its own, naming Redmond and the numbered company as respondents, or to order a new board of inquiry to hear the case.

Shupe said she's excited that she has a second chance at having her complaint heard.

"It was only fair that I did. It was nothing to do with what I did. I did not make a mistake. I followed all procedures that I was supposed to do.… They're the ones that made the mistake. I'm glad I don't have to pay for their mistake."

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