CRT confirms its jurisdiction to consider the Human Rights Code and whether an enactment has a discriminatory effect

Firm News

There had been some uncertainty as to the Civil Resolution Tribunal’s jurisdiction over matters relating to human rights issues because the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act provides that the CRT does not have jurisdiction over a question of whether there is a conflict between the Human Rights Code and another enactment, and that the CRT may decline jurisdiction to apply the Code.

In a recent CRT decision (Thompson v. Strata Plan BCS 1455 and A) where our CW strata team (Veronica Franco and Alexandra Andrisoi) acted as a helper to the strata corporation, the CRT confirms that the Act permits the tribunal to consider the Code and whether a neutral enactment may have an adverse discriminatory effect. The CRT further confirms that their jurisdiction extends to consideration of whether or not a person has a disability that requires accommodation, even though the Human Rights Tribunal also has that jurisdiction.

In this case, Mr. Thompson, an owner of the strata corporation, challenged the strata corporation’s decision to assign a visitor parking stall to another owner in order to accommodate that owner’s disability associated with her decreased mobility. The CRT ruled that the strata corporation’s neutral parking bylaws have an adverse discriminatory effect on the owner in that she requires accommodation by the strata corporation in the form of a different parking stall and that the strata corporation reasonably accommodated the owner by giving her the exclusive use of a visitor parking stall. The CRT further confirmed that the strata corporation’s decision to do so did not violate the Strata Property Act, given the appropriate consideration of the Code.