News Release Archive

A board of inquiry appointed to hear complaints that it is
discriminatory to deny pension and medical benefits to same sex
partners has released a preliminary decision on procedural

Wilson Hodder made a complaint under the Human Rights Act on
April 11, 1995. He alleged that he had been discriminated against
by the Department of Finance in its failure to recognize him as
the spouse of his deceased same sex partner for the purposes of
the Public Service Superannuation Pension Plan. 

Grant MacNeil, who is now deceased, made a complaint on April 12,
1995, alleging that he was discriminated against by the
Department of Finance and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, when
they failed to consider his same sex partner as his spouse for
the purposes of the teacher's pension plan and the teacher's
medical plan.

The complaints could not be resolved following an investigation.
The matter proceeded to a board of inquiry chaired by Patrick J.

In his decision of July 26, 1996, Mr. Duncan ruled on preliminary
motions by the Human Rights Commission and the respondents. He
rejected the claim by the Teachers Union that it had not been
provided sufficient particulars of the complaint against it. He
dismissed the commission's motion that Mr. Hodder's and Mr.
MacNeil's complaints be heard together, finding that the factual
backgrounds of the complaints were different and that the union
had no connection to Mr. Hodder's complaint. He dismissed the
motion by the Teachers Union that Mr. MacNeil's complaint against
the union should be heard separately from his complaint against
the Department of Finance.

In making these rulings, Mr. Duncan found that a board of
inquiry, appointed pursuant to the Human Rights Act, has the
power to determine its own procedure, subject to principles of

These complaints will now proceed to hearings on their merits.


Contact: Wayne MacKay 902-424-4111 or 902-422-1043
         Francine Comeau 902-424-4111

jlw                        Aug. 20, 1996        5:20 p.m.