File photo

B.C. teacher not issued certificate lodges human rights complaint after sexual assault charge stayed

To date the TRB has not decided if it will issue him a teaching certificate

An unidentified man who disclosed to the Teacher Regulation Branch that he had been charged with sexual assault but the charges were stayed has filed a human rights complaint against the branch for not issuing him a teaching certificate.

The man made his application to the TRB in December 2016 and his disclosure prompted it to investigate if he was suitable to become a teacher.

The investigation began in February 2017 and concluded last fall, but to date the TRB still has not decided if it will issue him a teaching certificate.

The TRB is part of the Ministry of Education and regulates B.C.’s teaching profession under the provisions of the Teachers Act.

The applicant says the delay amounts to discrimination “on the basis of a criminal conviction unrelated to his proposed profession,” contrary to the Human Rights Code.

“In this case, the applicant strongly disputes the allegations of sexual assault,” Tribunal Member Devyn Cousineau noted in her reasons for decision issued Thursday (March 28). “The alleged incident happened in 2009, over seven years before the applicant applied for a teaching certificate. Charges were laid in 2010 and stayed on the day that the trial was scheduled to begin in March 2011.

“The reason that the charges were stayed appears to relate to the applicant’s fiancee refusing to testify – in his view, because the allegations were false.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

READ ALSO: Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’s relative

The TRB denies any discrimination.

“It argues that the applicant has not experienced any adverse impact in respect of his membership in the profession,” Cousineau said of the TRB, “and that, in any event, a criminal charge for sexual assault is related to the job of being a teacher.”

The TRB asked Cousineau to dismiss the complaint, but she decided it “surpasses the realm of conjecture” and as such decided the complaint should be heard as it “warrants the time and expense of a hearing.

“I stress that this decision is not a prediction about whether the complaint is likely to succeed,” she said.

She also ordered that the tribunal restrict publication of the applicant’s name “until the hearing of this complaint,” a date for which has not yet been set.

“This complaint involves unproven allegations about sexual assault against a person who is applying to become a teacher,” Cousineau noted in her reasons. “If the applicant is eventually granted a teaching licence, in my view it would be harmful to his professional reputation and the interests of his students to have his name associated with these allegations. As such, I have exercised my discretion in this decision to anonymize the name of the complainants,

“This is an interim measure, which will remain in place until the hearing of the complaint,” Cousineau said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Body of Maple Ridge man recovered near Harrison Lake

21-year-old last seen on May 16 when he fell into Silver Creek

Soggy dog plucked from Vedder River by Chilliwack Search and Rescue

A 10 month old puppy bit off far more than she could chew throwing herself into the rushing river

Chilliwack mayor’s message acknowledges challenges for 2020 grads

‘You’ve put in the hard work and are ready to take on the next phase of your life,’ Mayor Popove says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Missing since 2016, Marie Stuart’s remains found in Abbotsford

Pregnant Abbotsford woman was last seen in December 2016

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Most Read