Dr. Shiv Chopra’s dismissal appeal (SEPT 6th, 9:30 am)
Dr. Shiv Chopra’s dismissal appeal...
FEDERAL COURT of APPEAL - Docket: A-404-16
SHIV CHOPRA Applicant and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA Respondent
On consent, this Section 28 application is set down for hearing at the Thomas D'ArcyMcGee Building, 90 Sparks Street, 10th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, commencing at 9:30a.m., on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, for a duration not to exceed three hours.
The stark court date notification from the Federal Court of Appeal represents Dr. Shiv Chopra’s last chance at justice.
On September 6 Dr. Chopra, microbiologist and former regulator with the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs (BVD) at Health Canada will find out if he has his job back.
Thirteen years ago Chopra was fired for insubordination along with two other scientists, Drs. Margaret Haydon and Gerard Lambert.
The offence? Speaking out publicly about how alleged management corruption at Health Canada compromised the safety of the Canadian food supply.
LEGAL HISTORY -
Summary In 2004, Dr. Chopra and his colleagues, Drs. Haydon and Lambert, were terminated on the same day for essentially the same reasons. The terminations followed other disciplinary actions taken against them. With the support of their union, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), all of the disciplinary actions were grieved and David Yazbeck (Raven, Cameron, Ballantine & Yazbeck) was retained to represent them. The hearing of the seven grievances proceeded over 150 days and took over five years to complete. In some cases the grievors, particularly Dr. Chopra were submitted to intensive and exhaustive cross-examination lasting many weeks. In 2011 the adjudicator upheld the grievance of Dr. Lambert resulting in him being reinstated. The grievances of Drs. Chopra and Hayden were dismissed.
Yazbeck’s firm commenced judicial review against this decision. In 2014 the Federal Court set aside certain aspects of the decision and ordered a re-hearing in order to remedy the legal deficiencies identified. Following that hearing, the adjudicator allowed Dr. Hayden’s termination grievance with the result that she is now entitled to be re-instated. The adjudicator allowed one of Dr. Chopra’s grievances against a lengthy suspension that had been imposed on him, but the adjudicator refused to allow Dr. Chopra’s termination grievance.
It is the view of Chopra’s counsel “that the adjudicator failed to follow the principles of progressive discipline when he allowed Dr. Chopra’s grievance against a 20-day suspension but failed to allow the grievance in respect to termination. This is because the termination was based on prior discipline including the 20-day suspension. As a result we have commenced an appeal for judicial review in the federal court of appeal.” (To be heard on Sept. 6)