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article imageHuman Rights Tribunal boss in Canada, abused, belittled her staff

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 19, 2013 in Crime
Ottawa - A report was tabled in the Canadian Parliament Thursday detailing the abuse directed at staff at Canada's Human Rights Tribunal in Ottawa. The report describes abuse meted out to the staff by their boss, the former chair of the tribunal.
The report was filed by Public Service Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion; Dion says that Shirish Chotalia, the former chair of the tribunal, is guilty of making inappropriate remarks, of gross mismanagement and other improper behaviors.
Dion told the CBC in a conference call on Thursday that he's never previously encountered such shocking behavior from a public official. He said that Chotalia created a "poisoned atmosphere" and the way she treated staff and those appointed to the tribunal was "belittling and humiliating."
Human Rights Chair inexperienced
The Integrity Commissioner interviewed 26 witnesses to compile his report. Some of the things Chotalia did that Dion describes in his report include refusing to allow staff to take shelter during an earthquake in Ottawa in 2010, forcing a staff member to wear keys around her neck even though that staff told her the keys were too heavy, accusing staff of stealing, spying on staff, making belittling remarks and talking about staff's private health matters to others.
Chotalia, who had no management experience before being appointed to the post by the Conservative government in 2009, quit as the tribunal chair last November, four years before the posting was to be over but after the investigation into her conduct had begun.
Dion said she blamed her plight on the fact her skin is brown and that the unions did not want her to succeed, accusations Dion could not substantiate. He has been unable to speak with her since last Spring, though for privacy reasons he could not say why.
Tabling the report does not allow him to punish Chotalia, Dion said, and it appears she will not have to face any disciplinary actions for the bullying she did to her staff.
More about Human rights tribunal, canadian human rights chief, human rights canada, Shirish Chotalia
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