News Release Archive

  A board of inquiry into the complaint of Kenneth J. Wood
  against the Hants West District School Board and/or Andrew
  Kirk, principal of the Windsor Regional High School, has
  dismissed Mr. Wood's complaint.
  The ruling contains significant comments on fair process and
  the identification of witnesses.
  Mr. Wood made a complaint under the Human Rights Act on
  April 6, 1994, alleging that he was discriminated against
  because of his sex and/or his age when he applied for a term
  position as a grade eight math and science teacher at
  Windsor Regional High School. The complaint could not be
  resolved following an investigation. The matter proceeded to
  a board of inquiry chaired by Lyle I. Sutherland.
  In his decision of Jan. 15, 1996, Mr. Sutherland found that
  the successful candidate, who was a young woman, was hired
  because in the opinion of Andrew Kirk, the school principal,
  she was better qualified to teach middle school aged
  children. Mr. Sutherland found that sex and age were not
  factors in Mr. Kirk's decision.
  The Board of Inquiry found that the Nova Scotia Human Rights
  Commission has a duty to disclose the identities and
  evidence of all witnesses to the respondent, once a
  complaint proceeds to a board of inquiry. It found that it
  was acceptable to keep the identities of witnesses
  confidential at the conciliation stage.
  This is a significant ruling by Mr. Sutherland, in that the
  commission has in the past made every effort to keep the
  identities of witnesses confidential, in order to protect
  them. This has not been a universal practice and in some
  cases the identities of witnesses would be revealed, in
  order to allow respondents a fair hearing, or because it was
  impossible to keep their identities secret in a small
  This board ruling suggests that the identity of witnesses
  should be revealed to the respondent in a human rights
  Contact: Wayne MacKay  902-424-4111
  trp                     Jan. 17, 1996 - 1:35 p.m.