The complainant appeared before the member as Minister’s Counsel at an admissibility hearing before the Immigration Division (ID).
The complainant alleged that:
- As part of an exchange between the member and the complainant about withdrawing a serious criminality report, the member began shouting: “I’m sick and tired of wasting time with CBSA on a decision I’ve already given you” and “No, it won’t be a new decision!”. The member further angrily stated that they had already told the CBSA offices the same and that if the complainant or CBSA did not like the member’s decisions, that they should go to Federal Court
- When discussing a new date for the hearing, and when counsel asked if they should be prepared to address the second report, the member said “It’s my intention to proceed with the second report. Of course, the Minister will argue I should proceed with both”, with a dismissive tone
- The member refused to make a new decision prior to hearing submissions on a new request. This indicated that the member wasn’t approaching the new request with an open mind
- The member’s reference to previous issues with other CBSA offices added to the appearance of bias, as each case should be heard and decided on its own set of facts, not a member’s general frustration with CBSA
After reviewing the complaint, and consistent with the recommendation of the Ombudsperson, the Chairperson decided to refer the allegations for investigation by the Ombudsperson pursuant to the
Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member (the Procedures), as the allegations were within scope of the Procedures.
The investigation report concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to determine whether or not there was a breach of the
Code of Conduct for Members of the IRB (the Code) for the following reasons:
- In their submissions, the member admitted that they became frustrated during the exchange in question. The member apologized if the complainant felt that the member did not treat them with courtesy and respect but did not admit that they failed to show courtesy and respect
- There was no audio recording of the exchange
- The lone witness in this case submitted that they did not believe that the member “displayed any lack of professionalism or was in breach of any conduct with respect to how [they] handled [themselves] during this off-the-record moment”
- As there were conflicting accounts of the exchange between the complainant and the member, the evidence does not support a conclusion that the member was unprofessional, discourteous, disrespectful or acted with impropriety
The investigation report was provided to the Chairperson. He was satisfied that the investigation was thorough and fair. The Chairperson accepted the conclusions in the report and found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude whether there was a breach of the Code.
The complaint was dismissed, and the file was closed.