Eric Tran says he was unfairly treated by an investigator at the Quebec Human Rights Commission.
He says his 17-year-old was expelled unfairly from a high school in the Montreal borough of Pierrefonds in 2017, after being bullied repeatedly. She doesn’t want to be identified for fear of being ridiculed.
They took the matter to the Human Rights Tribunal of Quebec, where he says he and his daughter were treated with suspicion.
“For 90 minutes she was trying to prosecute the case against us,” he said, “and trying to make us feel bad, and guilty. Before hearing our version, she did not believe in what we had to say to her.”
Fo Niemi of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations is representing the family. He says it seems the investigator heard the school’s side before talking to the family.
“So basically her questions were designed to refute and discredit the claim that the parent and the daughter made in the complaint,” Niemi explained at a news conference.
The family complained to the commission about the investigator’s behavior. According to Niemi, while that complaint was being looked in to, the investigator in question was handed two more racial discrimination files. He says the alleged victims in those cases also felt they had been mistreated by the investigator.
There was also Asma Al Shawarghi who says she was discriminated against at a store. According to her, the investigator didn’t interview her witnesses, but spoke to people who supported the store — even though they didn’t witness the alleged instance of discrimination.
Niemi says he’s never seen a situation like this.
“There’s explicit bias, there’s a lack of balance, there’s a lack of impartiality, there’s a lack of fairness, and the Commission doesn’t seem to do anything about that,” he says. “So that raises the question: has anything changed at the Commission that led to complaints being so badly treated?”
The Commission told Global News that it can’t comment on individual files.
All three families want an external review of how the investigator handled each case and how the Commission dealt with the complaints.