Report blasts former head of human rights tribunal over harassment, abuse

OTTAWA – A withering report by the public sector integrity commissioner accuses the former head of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal of treating her staff so badly it hurt their health and created a dysfunctional workplace.

The results of Mario Dion’s two-year investigation are contained in a report tabled in Parliament.

The report says Conservative appointee Shirish Chotalia’s behaviour towards some employees and members of the tribunal constituted harassment and abuse of authority.

It says she committed gross mismanagement through intimidating and aggressive behaviour and by making inappropriate comments.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Chotalia, an Edmonton lawyer, as chair of the tribunal in 2009.

But she quit the agency last November — four years before her term was supposed to end — following several controversies.