Government seeks to dismiss Montreal man’s claims of institutional homophobia

Attorney General's Memorandum says too much time has passed since alleged discrimination

Former public servant Paul Richard’s battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission over allegations of homophobia has taken another turn. Last week, the Attorney General’s office submitted its Memorandum of Facts and Law stating that it is seeking an order dismissing Richard’s application for judicial review.

Among its points of contention, the Attorney General’s Memorandum states the prejudice in obtaining evidence is so great that it is stifling the Commission’s ability to move forward with the case. “The applicant cannot deny the prejudice which would be suffered by the respondent if this claim were to go forward. The applicant himself acknowledged being frustrated by his inability to obtain copies of his medical records as they had been destroyed given the lapse of time,” the Memorandum, dated Feb 5, 2010, reads.

Richard says that while obtaining his medical records took some effort, he submitted them to the Commission in 2008, and they are in an appendix of his Affidavit. He also says that the Attorney General’s Memorandum did not acknowledge his 19 named witnesses from his original complaint, nor did they make a genuine effort to locate any of them.

Richard contends that while there is prejudice in this case on both sides, “the prejudice to me is greater than it is to them,” adding that the Attorney General’s office asked for two extensions in compiling its most recent reply to Richard’s complaint, citing that the main attorney for this case was overworked. “The federal government has all kinds of resources; I don’t,” Richard says.

Richard will be filing an application for a federal court date in Montreal by the end of this week, with hopes of being before a judge within the next three months.

Tracey Lindeman

Tracey Lindeman is a freelance writer currently based in western Quebec.

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