Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sexual harassment case adjourned

  • Print

MORE than two years after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against A+ Financial Services Ltd. to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, a last-minute psychiatric report caused the adjournment of the hearing for another three months.

Wendy Kilbride, a former employee of A+ Financial, originally filed the complaint in April 2010.

A motion to have the company's president and owner, Wayne McConnell, included on the complaint will be dealt with when the hearing resumes in March.

After a series of delays in scheduling the hearing this fall, including the disengagement of two lawyers who had been representing McConnell and A+Financial, hearing dates were set for five days starting Tuesday.

But on Dec. 6, the MHRC adjudicator assigned to the case, Peter Sim, received correspondence from A+ Financial's corporate lawyer asking for an adjournment for medical reasons.

Included in the correspondence was a medical report noting that McConnell was medically unfit to represent himself at the hearing.

Although the commission had permitted a series of delays while McConnell changed lawyers -- including one delay to allow one of them to pursue a jurisdictional review that ultimately did not proceed -- McConnell had intended on representing himself at the hearing.

Sid Soronow, a lawyer that represented A+ Financial in corporate matters, attended the hearing on Tuesday on McConnell's behalf. He said he had no previous knowledge of McConnell's psychiatric condition.

In his comments after granting the adjournment, Sim advised McConnell against representing himself when the hearing resumes.

Details of the allegations have not yet been disclosed.

Manitoba's Human Rights Code refers to sexual harassment as:

-- A series of objectionable and unwelcome sexual invitations or advances.

-- One single sexual initiate or advance by a person in an authority position who should have known it was not welcome by the victim.

-- A reprisal, retaliation or a threat of retaliation for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance.

Of the 251 complaints formally registered with the MHRC in 2011, only five were referred to adjudication and two of those were settled before the hearing began.

Before a complaint gets to the adjudication stage, a lengthy investigation by the commission staff is undertaken -- lasting an average of 8.2 months -- and a written report is submitted to the eight-person MHRC board.

The board then determines whether the complaint should be dismissed or sent back to mediation. If that mediation fails, then an adjudication hearing is set.

In 2011, the board dismissed 128 of the 251 formal complaints and 67 were resolved through mediation prior to a written report received by the board.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2012 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Dustin Byfuglien reflects on season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • June 25, 2013 - 130625  -  A storm lit up Winnipeg Tuesday, June 25, 2013. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press - lightning
  • July 1, 2012 - 120701  -   Canada Day fireworks at The Forks from the Norwood Bridge Sunday, July 1, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the province’s crackdown on flavoured tobacco products?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google