Although Bills 202 and 10 are not currently law, the common law
in relation to bullying has developed such that there is a legal
obligation on school boards to protect students from bullying. The
high profile 2005 British Columbia Court of Appeal case School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v.
Jubran is an unfortunate example of homophobic bullying
and the failure of the school to address homophobic insults and
The B.C. Human Rights' Tribunal ruled in favour of Azmi
Jubran's human rights complaint of homophobic bullying at
school. Jurban, who did not self-identify as gay, had suffered five
years of homophobic insults and harassment by other students. Based
on the extensive evidence provided to the Tribunal, it found Jubran
had been subjected to harassment on a prohibited ground of
discrimination and sexual orientation. The North Vancouver School
Board was held to have been responsible for the discrimination
because it failed to provide an educational environment free from
discriminatory harassment. Put another way, it had not done enough
to stop the harassment.
Another case reported that a parent was suing an Ottawa school
board because her daughter suffered depression and anxiety
allegedly as a result of repeated bullying and harassment. She was
seeking over $300,000 in damages arising from the school
board's failure to protect her daughter from these events. A
settlement was reached. In October, 2010, Law Times reported that four families were
suing a school board in southwestern Ontario because their children
were allegedly being harassed. They were seeking $35 million in
School Board Duties
School boards owe duty of care to the students under their care
and supervision. The law of negligence requires individuals and
school boards to take reasonable steps to counter foreseeable risks
of injury to those to whom a duty of care is owed. The standard of
school boards to its students has been determined by the Court is
that of a "reasonable and prudent parent."
Alberta's School Act requires school boards to
ensure that students enrolled in their schools are provided with a
safe and caring environment that fosters and maintains respectful
and responsible behaviours.
Alberta school boards are also responsible for ensuring that
their services do not discriminate against students based on any of
the protected grounds in Alberta's Human Rights Act, and for
providing a discrimination-free educational environment. School
boards may take the following steps to provide a safe and caring
school environment, including providing an environment which is
free from homophobic conduct:
Promote a climate of understanding
and mutual respect so that all students are treated equally with
dignity and respect;
Identify inappropriate student
conduct, including scenarios where students are not treated with
dignity and respect, and address these cases in a timely
Continue to educate students about
the importance of maintaining a non-discriminatory, tolerant, and
respectful school environment; and
Continue to educate teachers about
available tools to educate their students on respectful behaviours,
Teach students about the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms and equality rights;
Teach students about the importance
of tolerance including sexual orientation and gender
Promote and talk about the
schools' codes of conduct;
Work with students to understand that
discriminatory homophobic is not tolerated in schools; and
Invite outside speakers to talk to
students and teachers about homophobia and other discriminatory
Alberta is going through a difficult economic period. These times can be challenging and while owners struggle to get their business through the rough patch, they want to preserve the assets and capital they have built up.
Legal issues surrounding contaminated sites affects landowners, developers, realtors, as well as consultants and contractors working on the front lines. This webinar will provide a practical review of how the legislation is actually being used, recent court decisions, challenges with brownfield developments, and future changes.
Who Should Attend: This webinar will be of interest to developers, contractors, environmental and real estate consultants, realtors, owners or lessors of land which may be impacted, and municipalities.
The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in BMW Financial Services Canada, a Division of BMW Canada Inc. v. McLean provides some useful insight into the relationship between automobile dealers and the financing arms of the manufacturers for whom those dealers are franchisees.
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