The Saskatchewan Employment Act  
In the Matter of an Arbitration Pursuant to a Collective Agreement  
Between:  
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2067  
(AB, Grievor),  
Union  
- and –  
Saskatchewan Power Corporation,  
Employer  
Before:  
Anne M. Wallace, Q.C.  
Sole Arbitrator  
Representing the Union:  
Heather Robertson and Sam Schonhoffer  
Representing the Employer: Susan Barber, Q.C.  
Heard at Regina, Saskatchewan  
May 8, 9 and 10, July 31, and August 1 and 2, 2017  
Concluded August 28, 2017 by Additional Written Submissions  
Award  
I. Introduction  
1. On February 22, 2016, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local  
2067 (“IBEW” or the “Union”) filed a Grievance (the “Grievance”) on behalf of a  
former employee (“AB” or the “Grievor”) against Saskatchewan Power Corporation  
(“SaskPower” or the “Employer”) with respect to the February 19, 2016 termination of  
AB’s employment.  
2. The Union filed the Grievance pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement  
between the Employer and IBEW in force from January 1, 2016 to December 31,  
2016 (the “CBA”). The parties agree this is the relevant CBA. The parties also agree  
AB’s seniority date with SaskPower was January 24, 1994.  
3. The Union alleges termination was too severe a penalty in all the circumstances. The  
Employer claims just cause for the termination. The parties were unable to resolve  
the Grievance and the Union referred the Grievance to arbitration. The parties  
appointed me as single Arbitrator to hear the case.  
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4. At the outset, the parties acknowledged I have been properly constituted as sole  
Arbitrator and I have jurisdiction to hear and determine the Grievances. The parties  
also agreed to the usual order for exclusion of witnesses.  
5. Heather Robertson and Sam Schonhoffer represented the Union. Susan Barber,  
Q.C. represented the Employer.  
6. Employer witnesses included:  
a. Mark Caswell  
b. Chris Burgess  
c. Jillian Orr  
d. Kathy Potts  
7. The Union’s witnesses included:  
a. AB  
b. AB’s psychiatrist, Dr. O  
c. Curtis Lizee  
d. Doug Hesch  
e. John Perfect  
f. Brandon Lang  
8. In addition to the oral testimony, the parties entered some documents in evidence  
by agreement and each party entered some documents through their witnesses.  
9. The parties agreed that in the first instance I should decide the question of liability  
and whether reinstatement is appropriate, and that if I should find in favour of the  
Union, I should reserve on the question of damages to allow the parties an  
opportunity to work out the damages. Then, failing agreement on damages, I would  
hear evidence and argument on damages.  
II.  
The Termination Letter  
10. The letter of termination dated February 19, 2016 (the “Termination Letter”), signed  
by Mark Caswell and delivered to AB that day, says:  
The investigation with respect to the Corporation’s concerns regarding your conduct of  
February 17, 2016 has been completed. The results of this investigation have been  
completed. It has been determined that you failed to adhere to the expectations detailed  
in your Decision Making Leave letter, issued October 22, 2014 by demonstrating  
aggressive, and belligerent behaviour.  
SaskPower is committed to ensure employees are provided a safe, healthy and  
respectful workplace, free from destructive behaviour such as employee discord,  
harassment and workplace violence.  
Your actions are deemed culpable and unacceptable and cannot be condoned.  
Due to the egregious nature of this incident, effective immediately you are dismissed with  
cause.  
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With the exception of public areas, you are directed not to come onto SaskPower  
property without prior management approval.  
III.  
The Grievance  
11. The Grievance claims violation of Article 9 of the CBA (Suspension and Dismissal)  
and any other applicable Letters of Agreement, policies or laws. The Details of the  
Grievance are:  
On February 19, 2016, AB was terminated for behavior on February 17, 2016 that was  
deemed to be aggressive and belligerent. While the Union does not condone this  
behavior, it is the belief that there were extenuating circumstances which led to this  
behavior. The grievor returned to the workplace on February 17, 2016 after being away  
on an approved medical leave for approximately three (3) months. Prior to his leave, the  
grievor had expressed to his supervisor, Mark Caswell, that working indoors was very  
uncomfortable for him. When the grievor returned from his leave, Mr. Caswell  
immediately assigned the grievor to work indoors. Even though this assignment upset the  
grievor as he had previously expressed his concern about working indoors, he said he  
would accept the assignment but needed space to calm down. The grievor has stated  
that Mr. Caswell continued to follow him which resulted in the unacceptable behaviour.  
The Union feels that due to the nature of the grievor’s leave from which he was returning,  
that there could have been a softer approach to the grievor’s work assignment upon his  
return.  
IV.  
Summary of Evidence  
12. This summary of evidence includes a summary of the evidence of the witnesses  
along with reference to relevant portions of the documents entered in evidence at  
the hearing.  
13. I will deal with the credibility, reliability and relevance of the evidence in the Analysis  
section of this Award. There are also some issues with respect to admissibility of  
some of this evidence in relation to particular issues. I will deal with those in the  
Analysis section of the Award as well.  
General Information  
Mark  
Caswell  
Caswell has worked at SaskPower since August 2014. He is the Manager of Materials  
South in the Logistics Business Unit of SaskPower. His office is in Central Stores in  
Regina Service Centre Building Three in the warehouse district. His area includes a  
line from Davidson south and includes warehouses in Carlyle, Weyburn, Yorkton and  
Swift Current, and a secondary warehouse in Regina.  
Central Stores handles materials required to build and maintain the power line network.  
Caswell oversees the operation. Caswell is responsible to make sure employees  
ensure there is material available for those who need it. He is responsible to make sure  
employees are trained and workloads are scheduled. He works with stakeholder  
groups to manage intake and outflow of material. He is responsible to make sure  
workers are productive and respectful, and to remove obstacles in the way of workers  
doing a good job. Caswell is responsible to go to his boss when he needs more  
resources to keep up with demand.  
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Central Stores’ customers are mostly SaskPower employees, but some are  
contractors. At the time of the hearing there were 17 employees at Central Stores and  
another ten at other locations. All employees are in scope of the Union.  
In Central Stores, AB was in the position of Storekeeper. In the work of the  
Storekeeper, there are three core areas shipping, receiving and salvage.  
There are five or six employees in shipping depending on the workload. They receive  
orders from stakeholders and assemble that material into a package for a truck to  
come haul it away. Orders generally come through the computer system. Greg  
Simpson is the senior in scope supervisor. Simpson looks after delegating orders to  
members of the team as the orders come in. The employees working in the warehouse  
work with materials every day, both by hand and using smaller forklifts inside the  
warehouse.  
There are shippers both inside and outside the warehouse. All employees are capable  
of doing all roles and all are trained on the forklift. The employees are used where  
needed based on operational need.  
There are usually three or four employees in receiving or even up to five depending on  
the volume of material received at any point. As materials are received, the employees  
verify that correct quantities are received and that the quality is at a given standard  
based on visual inspection using a checklist. Receivers put the stuff away. There are  
receivers both outside and inside. At the time of the hearing, Jordan Matt was in scope  
supervisor in receiving. John Perfect was in scope supervisor at the time of AB’s  
termination. Perfect later retired after more than 30 years of service. The in scope  
supervisor in salvage is Darren Kivisto. Three employees typically work in salvage.  
Sometimes a lot of others are assigned to help for a period of time.  
If there is a heavy workload in one area, it is common to borrow some of the team from  
another area to come and help. All the employees can move among all three functions  
in the warehouse. All three areas involve use of equipment, including forklifts on a daily  
basis. Salvage has other equipment as well.  
The storekeeper job is safety sensitive. It is high risk work and consequences could be  
quite severe. SaskPower provides ongoing safety training, including four large entire  
team meetings each year focused on safety. These meetings include topics such as  
changes to policies and present an opportunity for refresher for details of a safety topic  
such as ergonomics and how to lift, how to fill out a hazard and risk assessment form in  
the morning, how to properly walk about the forklift before starting to use it for the day  
and so forth.  
Employees receive training when they start and the training is ongoing. SaskPower has  
on line learning, the LMS Learning Management System. Everyone also gets training  
from a qualified trainer on how to safely operate a forklift. The technical details of each  
job are different, but all have to have some safety equipment and personal protective  
equipment. All have to have the same training on the forklift. All are trained and  
certified.  
Within SaskPower’s Logistics Group, there are two other managers in the building. One  
is Chris Burgess, Manager of Logistics Dispatch. The other, Kim Closson is Manager of  
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Inventory Control. Closson lives in Saskatoon and spends two days a week in Central  
Stores. There are other out of scope employees in the building as well.  
Blair Debruyne hired Caswell to replace Joel Flory. Flory hadn’t been there a long time,  
maybe a year and a bit. Debruyne wanted a productive efficient workplace. He made  
Caswell aware that there were some corporate cultural problems in terms of low  
employee morale and some behaviour issues in Caswell’s area in particular. Debruyne  
did not provide names because he wanted Caswell to discover those for himself.  
Storekeepers report through their supervisors but they are all direct reports to Caswell  
in the organizational chart. There are three in scope supervisors in Regina. Supervisors  
are responsible for the day to day in the moment supervision of the team in the  
warehouse and in the yard and to delegate tasks to their teams to make sure their  
teams are working safety and to address concerns if they see them. They follow up to  
ensure work assignments are completed to acceptable standards, to make sure their  
team is staying on top of their workload, and to raise concerns to Caswell if there are  
things they don’t feel comfortable dealing with.  
Caswell meets with the supervisors for discussions several times every day and has a  
formal meeting once a week. Day to day, Caswell makes sure the supervisors have  
resources to do their job. He helps them to make some delegated decisions if they are  
unsure how to achieve everything on their plate. He suggests ways to meet  
expectations for workloads. Caswell doesn’t like to tell them what to do. They look for  
affirmation they are on the right track.  
Caswell is out in shipping and receiving and on the warehouse floor on a daily basis.  
He lets the supervisors assign the tasks unless there is something with a particularly  
large project or tight deadline. When he is away, he empowers the supervisors to make  
decisions. When he is there, he still gives them a tremendous amount of power to  
make decisions. He sees his role as helping to move any obstacles out of their way.  
All the employees are trained to the same level and have the same ability. It largely  
falls to who is available as to who they assign. For some tasks they look for a more  
senior employee to get something done more quickly or to a higher standard based on  
experience and skill. There is a lot of pressure to get material out quickly.  
When Flory was there, he rotated storekeepers into different roles on an arbitrary  
basis. There was a rotation every six months or something. When Caswell took charge,  
he did not have a rotation. He wanted to observe and understand and see where the  
skills were and where the bottlenecks were and make decisions from there based on  
operational need rather than arbitrary rotation.  
In 2016, there were three shifts. Some employees started at 7:00 a.m. Perfect started  
at 7:30 and rest started at 8:00. That had been in place for a time. As of January 1,  
2017, everyone starts at 7:30, and the end time is 4 o’clock. AB was working at Central  
Stores when Caswell started working there. Caswell did not know AB before Caswell  
came to SaskPower. AB worked 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m..  
There was no bidding process within the workgroup. Opportunities to supervise on  
temporary basis were informal. There was no bidding for where the person worked in  
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the three areas.  
Right from when Caswell started until February 2016 when SaskPower terminated AB,  
every day there would be some back and forth to accommodate workloads, but there  
had been no wholesale rotations. It was as business needs dictated.  
Some storekeepers express a preference as to where they liked to work. That would be  
taken into consideration but that can’t be the only requirement. The work is what it is  
and depending on what is happening, there may be a need for more resources in  
different areas.  
AB worked in the receiving area as Storekeeper in Central Stores, putting material  
away upon receiving it and inspecting it. AB spent a lot of his time in the yard. Caswell  
can only assume AB had the training because all employees get the same training and  
AB was current with his training.  
AB can be a challenging guy to deal with. He doesn’t always take direction very well. He can be  
extremely volatile in his response and is unpredictable.  
Most of the time I got along with him well. We were able to have conversations that seemed to  
be two way conversations and there seemed to be the ability to communicate effectively.  
AB has got a big personality. He is loud. His body language is often very big. He uses  
big gestures and fills a lot of space in a room particularly as he starts to get agitated.  
His voice starts to rise. The language is profane and pointed. It’s not swearing. It’s the  
kind of workplace where swearing is common. There is a difference between swearing  
in conversation and being sworn at. With AB, he was swearing at you. It felt like you  
were on the receiving end.  
Chris  
Burgess  
Burgess has been with SaskPower about ten years. At the time of the hearing, he was  
Manager of Planning and Field Support within Logistics. He began work with  
SaskPower as a student and was an analyst before taking an opportunity as the  
Manager for Materials South which became Central Stores. Then he went to a  
Materials Process Improvement Project for a year before taking on his current role.  
Logistics is an umbrella group that encompasses all materials, planning and field  
support, and inventory control, as well as fleet services. Central Stores is part of  
Logistics. The areas don’t overlap with but they do interact. Burgess was Manager in  
Central Stores from about April//June of 2012 to April of 2013. AB reported to Burgess.  
The supervisors directed the day to activities of each area. Burgess was responsible  
for scheduling. They had a rotating schedule where employees would flip between  
locations quarterly. If someone was in shipping one quarter, the next quarter they  
would rotate to receiving and so forth. Shipping and receiving both involved work  
outdoors and indoors. The pole yards were also part of the rotation, but Burgess had to  
make sure people who worked in the pole yards had the proper training and were  
comfortable working with the large equipment.  
AB rotated through the various work locations. AB never told Burgess he couldn’t work  
inside. If AB had asked for an accommodation, there is a standard response through  
the Return to Work Office (“RTW”) and the RTW office eventually advises of any  
restrictions. All employees expressed preferences. AB’s preference was to work  
Central Stores as opposed to Regina region or pole yards.  
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Burgess produced an email dated May 10, 2012 which he sent to all Storekeepers. At  
the time Burgess was trying to boost employee engagement and get a feel for where  
the people were most comfortable working. He needed to address the needs of the  
pole yards and find out where everybody would like to be. He sent an email asking for  
work area preferences.  
AB responded that he preferred to work in Central Stores, second choice was the wood  
yard and third was the steel yard, and he did not want to work in the Regina region. AB  
agreed he would like to sub as in scope supervisor, but AB made it clear if subbing, the  
person should have to sub in all three locations. There was another staff who only  
wanted to sub in receiving and AB said he didn’t believe anybody should be able to  
pick. He felt if you were subbing you should sub in all locations.  
Burgess recalls AB and Darren Kivisto raising a concern with an employee who had a  
lot of issues with driving forklift. They felt a Storekeeper should be able to do all the  
duties and they didn’t think it was fair for this employee to work just on the inside and  
not on the outside on the forklifts. Burgess agreed with them and put into practice a  
schooling session for the employee and gave the employee a buddy he could go to for  
help and guidance.  
On October 23, 2012, Burgess sent an email to his supervisors. They were just about  
to go into the next quarter rotation. Burgess was looking at three things -- employee  
engagement, performance check and behaviours. He wanted to make sure people  
rotated fairly through the schedule and there was going to be some upset people about  
it. Burgess followed through with the schedule he made at the time and AB worked  
inside salvage on this rotation.  
Burgess also had to deal with work performance concerns. There were a lot of tempers  
at the time. Crew members from the construction side would come into Central Stores  
and there was havoc within the workload. Tempers would fly with people swearing. AB  
and Darren Kivisto were the two hottest heads. There were also performance issues  
because some employees worked harder than others, and Burgess was trying to get  
some equalization on that.  
During the time Burgess was in Central Stores, Burgess put a letter on one employee’s  
file for time theft. Another employee was reverted to a previous position because he  
didn’t pass probation. AB was away often and he was required to provide mandatory  
doctor’s notes to tell RTW why he was away from work.  
Towards the end of April 2013, Burgess moved over to the Materials Management  
Process Improvement Program and relocated to head office downtown for a year.  
Jillian  
Orb  
Jillian Orb is a senior Human Resources Business Partner (“HRBP”) with SaskPower  
and has been with SaskPower since November 2013. She has one HRBP reporting to  
her. Each HRPB has portfolios assigned. Orb and her partner have Transmission,  
Finance, and Procurement and Supply Chain Management. This has included Central  
Stores except for a seven month period in 2016 when a different HRBP was assigned  
to Central Stores.  
The role of the HRPB is to provide advice and support to the managers, to coach  
managers through performance management, anything employee or labour relations  
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related, strategic planning, employee engagement, corrective discipline, compensation  
and benefits and so forth.  
Human Resources (“HR”) focuses on coaching, performance management, corrective  
discipline, and how to enhance effectiveness of the work team including using the best  
tools to run the business. In cases of discipline, HR is there to support and advise and  
coach on how to apply policy from written reprimand to termination. They help to gather  
facts which sometimes needs IT or Enterprise Security and sometimes Payroll. HRBP’s  
consider who they need to talk to and are involved in interviewing and assessing  
information. They work with the Labour Relations Department to make sure they are  
following the CBA. As a team, they pull in someone from LR when necessary, ninety  
per cent of time Todd Boldt who is the manager.  
They check the CBAs to make sure they apply policy consistently. They talk on a  
regular basis and weigh the mitigating and aggravating factors of each situation. They  
discuss the factors and play out what happened and talk and vet to make sure what is  
recommended in one area is consistent with what is recommended in another. HRBPs  
also engage their HR Business Services Director with respect to any termination.  
Orb knew AB because of Orb’s role as an HRBP for Central Stores. Orb met Caswell at  
the end of August 2014 after Caswell joined SaskPower. Orb provided HR support to  
Caswell.  
Caswell and the HR Director reached out to Orb to help Caswell become familiar with  
what SaskPower does in terms of performance management, what things are  
available, how SaskPower sets expectations, and what things the CBA has in it going  
forward. She explained how the business unit could support Caswell.  
Kathy  
Potts  
Kathy Potts has worked for SaskPower for twelve years. She is a specialist for health  
and wellness and looks after health and wellness for the whole company. One other  
specialist and two admin staff work with her. Catherine Yates is the other specialist.  
SaskPower has between 3,400 and 3,500 employees.  
Potts has a degree in social work and is a registered social worker, a registered rehab  
professional, a Canadian certified rehab consultant and a certified vocational  
professional. She has extensive experience.  
An average person away from work for up to five days will likely not hear from Potts.  
For absences of more than 5 days, the employee is required to provide Pott’s office  
with medical supporting the absence.  
If an absence is pretty straightforward and the return to work date is within 30 days,  
then the supervisor manages the absence. If the absence is more than 30 days, Potts’  
office manages it because there are processes for people to access long term disability  
and those sorts of things. Potts’ office manages all WCB claims right from day of  
incident.  
Each employee is entitled to 1.25 days per month sick time, and it accumulates over  
time. They can carry it forward. When sick leave is exhausted, they apply for Plan B  
which is 75 % of gross monthly salary until return to work or for 119 days if they are off  
work completely or 85 non-consecutive work days if they are at work sporadically. It’s a  
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bridge to long term disability (“LTD”). Then they have to apply for LTD.  
Curtis  
Lizee  
Curtis Lizee has been the Assistant Business Manager for IBEW Local 2067 since  
March of 2014. His permanent position with SaskPower is as an electrical inspector in  
Regina. Lizee deals with the Union membership and their problems. Lizee was Local  
2067 President for three years. He is currently on Union leave. He has 16 years  
seniority.  
Lizee works to resolve issues without having to go to management or to resolve issues  
with management when necessary. Lizee files grievances and sometimes investigates  
before filing. He attends meetings with management with respect to grievances he files  
and tries to see the grievances to the end including arbitration when necessary.  
AB  
AB worked with SaskPower as a material handler, sometimes called Storekeeper at  
SaskPower’s Central Stores location in Regina. He had a seniority date of January 24,  
1994. He was born April 5, 1967.  
I was on the receiving side. There’s three departments in Central stores – receiving, shipping  
and salvage. I was outside forklift in receiving. Every third Friday I would substitute as the  
coordinator for John Perfect when he was on banked time off. If he had extended holidays, I  
would cover that position for him.  
AB looked after incoming semis to unload them with the forklift, put materials in stock  
and count materials to make sure the order was correct. He made sure the material  
was put in the proper location. If it didn’t have a location, he determined what would be  
a good location. AB operated a bigger forklift for moving heavier objects and then  
inside the warehouse they had a stand-up lift they used to put product away in the  
racking, to put the pallets up in racks. There were four levels of racks, like a shelving  
system.  
AB’s wife works as a secretary for a plumbing company. When AB worked at  
SaskPower he made almost double the money his wife earned. AB has a GED Twelve  
education.  
In February 2016 AB’s immediate in-scope supervisor was John Perfect who was  
coordinator for receiving. The other in-scope supervisors were Greg Simpson in  
shipping and Ken Fink in salvage. Fink passed away suddenly.  
Mark Caswell was the big boss”. He was Simpson, Perfect and Fink’s boss. Caswell  
was the manager and AB would report to Caswell also if there was a special project  
Caswell wanted AB to do. AB understood Caswell was the manager.  
I called him El Hefe. We would chuckle about that.  
Debruyne was Caswell’s boss.  
Bright Lights is SaskPower’s individual recognition program. If you were doing a good  
job or going above and beyond, they would give some points and once you collected  
enough points you could get an award like a $250 MasterCard card or other stuff.  
There was a place on line where you could look to see what you could purchase.  
Blair Debruyne gave Bright Lights points to AB on two occasions August 14, 2014  
and September 18, 2015. In 2014 the points were for AB’s work on a new racking  
system. AB received 3500 points on each occasion. AB is not aware if everyone gets  
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points. He took heat from the boysbecause nobody else got points. It was just a little  
bit if ribbing from fellow materials handlers, more in good fun.  
At the time AB never gave the points much thought:  
…but when your bosses’ boss recognizes the time and work I put into the outside racking, of  
course it felt good. I got a pat on the back. Who doesn’t appreciate a pat on the back for good  
work?  
AB began working with SaskPower in 1994 as a caretaker (on the 12th floor downtown  
which was the President’s floor) empting garbage, cleaning the bathroom, and cleaning  
the law department offices. He did that for a year and then got a permanent bid in the  
mailroom. Eventually AB got the bid he wanted from day one which was a meter reader  
job in Regina.  
I was getting older. Winters were getting harder ploughing through four feet of snow. …It was  
just getting tougher on me with my age. I am a little overweight. It was time to change when the  
opportunity came at Central Stores.  
AB worked at Central Stores for nine years. The job was the icing on the cake for AB.  
He had always been a heavy equipment operator before SaskPower. This was his  
dream job, working outside with some responsibility in the yard. It was good. It was  
busy. There was no watching the clock.  
When you pick inside, it is kind of like shopping. You have a cart and a handheld computer and  
you pick orders and it is just so monotonous. I don’t like shopping to start with – any kind of  
shopping. Being outside I just wanted to do a good job, stay there and show my work.  
Outside work is constant. Decisions need to be made on a regular basis on which truck  
is next or what to do with material. There are so many things going on and it kept AB’s  
mind totally busy. Inside you look at the device and go to an aisle, grab a cart and put it  
on the cart and push the cart to the next place. Then once you are finished picking fifty  
lines, then you put it on a pallet, wrap it with plastic to keep it all right, band it and then  
that is it. The outside guy takes it and puts it where it needs to be.  
The outside work is busy. Loaded trucks need to be unloaded. Semis come into the  
yard empty and need to be loaded. Smaller couriers drop off material at receiving.  
There are couriers picking up parts. Contractors come in usually first thing in the  
morning which is busiest.  
AB worked at Central Stores both inside and outside. AB was the main outside forklift  
guy who loads material on semis and who also picks outside material for jobs. You  
need a forklift for outside stuff because it is heavier. Three, four or five employees pick  
inside using the handheld.  
Up to 2016, going back five years, I was receiving for almost three years at the outside forklift.  
Prior to moving to receiving, I was the outside forklift guy at shipping for two and before that I  
was at salvage doing outside forklift stuff there.  
When people come to Central Sores, they usually start picking inside so they can learn  
the material and it is a bit of a slower pace. AB personally found that work to be  
monotonous.  
I am not a shopper. It is not what I prefer. I like to be outside making decisions, directing traffic. I  
looked at receiving outside as my own little project since we did the new racking. A lot of my  
ideas were used on my locations for this stuff to be put in accordance to what is easier for  
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shipping to pick and put in their pile.  
I policed the yard Kevin and I Kevin is the outside shipping forklift operator. Sometimes  
truckers can be in their own world or following their own guidelines. It was basically up to Kevin  
and I to make sure they are complying, have their hard hats on, high vis jacket, safety boots. …  
When I pick inside, it gives me way too much time to think about other problems in my life. It’s --  
here pick these 50 lines and that is your job for the day. I like to be motivated and take pride in  
what I do. Picking an order and wrapping it was a downer for me. My whole mood would change  
inside compared to outside -- more subdued spent more time alone -- would take my breaks  
alone. When picking outside you have no time to reflect on what happened last night or the week  
before or personal things no time to reflect.  
When asked if he ever told his supervisor that working outside was his preference, AB  
said:  
Absolutely, everyone was aware of my preference to being outside. I believe that is why Kenny  
when I worked at salvage let me work outside at salvage. Greg left me picking outside for close  
to two years and John knew I liked to pick outside for three years and I even told Mark Caswell I  
liked to pick outside. I told Chris Burgess I liked it and did a better job.  
When Caswell had been with SaskPower for three or four months, there was in incident  
where Caswell got upset with a junior employee who had improperly used a floor  
cleaning machine and a wheel came off. The junior employee came to AB and AB went  
to talk to Caswell.  
Dude you gotta pick your battles now that you’re new here and you have openly admitted this job  
is new for him. The materials and stuff and he was gonna have an investigation of this and it  
was just a simple accident. I told Mark it was all good. He didn’t mean to do it. Cut him some  
slack. Mark laid off of that.  
At that point I told Mark if I ever piss you off, please don’t make me pick inside. That is my  
kryptonite. It sucks the life out of you working inside with no purpose. At that time he chuckled  
and said that is not the way he operates and that I really do a good job outside and not to worry.  
We chuckled and that was the end of it.  
Kryptonite kills Superman. It’s like stuffing envelopes for me. I am good at what I am doing, so  
why am I picking inside. Everyone accommodated me somewhat not that I didn’t do a good job  
when I was inside.  
Picking inside causes AB “extreme stress”.  
AB would see John Perfect first thing in the morning. They would have a chit chat and  
they had two way radios where they could keep in touch or AB would just go inside the  
office and talk. Perfect could see AB unloading a truck from his office. If AB was close-  
by Perfect would sometimes come into the forklift if he had instructions for AB. AB  
started work at 7:00 a.m. and John Perfect started at 7:30. There was also one more  
employee in receiving, Don Valley, and he started work at 8:00 a.m. Valley was inside  
helping Perfect with smaller material and AB put bigger material away outside.  
In cross-examination:  
AB agreed he was trained to perform all duties of the Storekeeper. AB subbed for  
John Perfect as in scope supervisor every third Friday for about the last year and a  
half before his termination. That assignment came from Caswell.  
AB agreed that the fact SaskPower awarded AB with Bright Lights points shows  
SaskPower was prepared to reward him for helping out and doing a good job. AB  
11  
agreed being rewarded for good behaviour is positive. He also agreed that  
SaskPower would also be justified in discouraging bad behaviour and bad  
performance and that an employee who behaves badly might deserve some  
discipline.  
AB acknowledged that when Burgess was manager, the storekeepers were on a  
rotation. He said under Harnish and Burgess, the storekeepers switched rotation  
every four months. Burgess allowed some of the employees to trade their  
assignments. AB acknowledged that with Burgess as manager, AB did work inside  
in shipping. AB claimed not to recall Burgess’ instructions that the employees would  
be rotating and there would be no trading.  
AB acknowledged that under Burgess and Flory before Caswell, AB rotated through  
all the areas including inside shipping.  
When counsel suggested it was AB’s preference to work outside on the forklift, AB  
said, “That’s where I was most comfortable was working outside.”  
AB said no matter where he worked, he reported to an in scope supervisor, whether  
Perfect, Simpson or Fink.  
AB said he was working outside in receiving when Caswell came on as manager.  
AB said he didn’t feel he was entitled to that position and didn’t have a right to that  
job, but  
…you get the best work out of employees if they are happy with doing it. Some preferred inside.  
Some preferred outside. You try to accommodate to get the best performance.  
AB agreed he wasn’t the only guy with a preference, but that ultimately the  
Employer decides where you will work.  
When counsel suggested to AB that lots of people had preferences for where they  
wanted to work and expressed that, AB said:  
For some of us. Some of us are pretty quiet and do what we are told. I would voice that I  
preferred to work outside.  
AB agreed that the employee Lam expressed a preference to work inside and that  
AB complained to Burgess about that and insisted Lam should rotate, AB said:  
I heard Chris Burgess say a lot of things that weren’t true. I’m not sure how you want me to  
answer that. …it would be a set up to fail for Lam and possibly kill somebody.  
When counsel suggested to AB that at no time did he tell the employer he couldn’t  
work inside and ask for accommodation based on a medical restriction, AB said:  
I didn’t know that was an option. If I had known it was an option, I would have gotten any report  
they needed.  
AB acknowledged he never at any time brought a doctor’s note to say he could not  
work inside.  
AB confirmed his earlier testimony about his conversation with Caswell around the  
time Caswell was upset with the employee about the floor cleaning machine:  
We were having a normal discussion. I seen the pressure he was putting on Justin. After we  
12  
discussed how I thought maybe just go easy on him. I said -- If I ever piss you off Mark, please  
don’t make me pick inside. That’s my Kryptonite. …He chuckled. That is not the way he operates  
and you do a good job out there and not to worry.  
AB said he thinks this discussion with Caswell happened a few months before  
February of 2016. Caswell wasn’t brand new into his role but he had been there a  
few months. AB acknowledged that he wasn’t involved in the investigation with  
respect to the floor cleaner so he doesn’t actually know what the outcome was.  
When asked if it was his position that his job duties couldn’t be changed, AB said:  
My job duties can change. We can be told to go wherever we’re to go. I had no right to be  
outside all the time. It was something in the past my supervisors have helped me with that.  
When counsel suggested AB told Caswell about the anniversary of his father’s  
death, but did not tell Caswell he suffered from anxiety and depression at any time,  
AB said he believes he did tell Caswell about the anxiety and depression the day  
when Caswell said he has a bottle for when he has a really bad day.  
When counsel put Caswell’s evidence that he had no idea AB suffered from anxiety  
and depression until this proceeding, AB said:  
Mark knew I suffered from depression and anxiety whether that day or a previous day. We had  
talks about it. I don’t have days and times for you – can’t tell you every time Mark and I went for  
a walk. It was at least every second or third day.  
When asked if he remembers those conversations, AB said:  
No, I don’t remember those conversations. I don’t tell people I don’t trust.  
When asked what he told Caswell, AB said:  
I explained all my health problems diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol anxiety. I  
believe I told him how many meds I take to start my day. I can’t tell you the dates and times.  
AB said he told Caswell about these things more than once and he has no idea why  
Caswell is not being truthful.  
When asked if he told Chris Burgess about his depression and anxiety, AB said:  
Chris and I had many discussions, actually, because Chris was going through some tough times  
himself and I would go into his office and check on him and offer my help and advice.  
Doug  
Hesch is a material handler running SaskPower’s steel yard. He has been in that  
Hesch  
position for about seven years. Before that Hesch worked in Central Stores.  
Hesch reports to Central Stores every day. He picks up his coveralls and workload and  
his half ton and then drives out to the steel yard. He is usually not at Central Stores for  
more than half an hour. In 2016, Hesch’s supervisor was Ken Fink who reported to  
Mark Caswell.  
Hesch thinks Caswell came to SaskPower in 2014. Hesch found Caswell’s  
management style to be “heavy handed at first”. Hesch was directly involved in one  
incident and one he heard about through the warehouse. Until Caswell came Hesch  
had accumulated holidays. He had a lot of holidays stored up. One day Caswell called  
Hesch and told Hesch he had to use all the holidays by the end of March. Hesch told  
Caswell he would have to quit immediately and still would not have them used by the  
13  
end of March. This was in November of 2014. Hesch got the Union involved. They had  
a meeting with Caswell and Caswell agreed to let Hesch use the holidays over the  
period of one year.  
In cross-examination:  
Hesch agreed that Caswell’s request that he take his holidays didn’t “come out of  
the blue”, that they had discussions about it. Hesch acknowledged that Caswell told  
him the requirement the employees use their vacation came from the company.  
John  
Perfect  
John Perfect is retired and lives in Regina. He worked at SaskPower for 35 years. He  
retired in April 2016.  
Perfect was an in scope supervisor at Central Stores for the Receiving Department for  
somewhere around 25 or 28 years. Perfect was in scope of the Union, previously CEP  
and then IBEW.  
It was a little bit of a game the unions and management were playing. We were forced to that  
union.  
In performing his duties, Perfect was in the office maybe 60 percent of the time. Forty  
percent of the time he was out working with the guys on the forklifts or by hand or  
whatever. The work involved constantly lifting, climbing up and down stairs and in and  
out of forklifts. The office work involved keeping track on the computer, comparing  
material to purchase orders and making sure they had proper documents from  
suppliers to match to the purchase order. Perfect had to make sure he knew where  
stuff was stored in the warehouse.  
My basic manpower was two on my side maybe ten men among the three of us for the area  
and we sort of supervised all of them when needed. If I saw someone doing something they  
shouldn’t I would talk to them or they would come and talk to me. There were mainly two guys  
assigned to me.  
Perfect worked with the other supervisors.  
Yah there was times when we would help each other out – where Ken wouldn’t know what  
certain material was or his guys would bring it over to me. Same with shipping. If people didn’t  
know what they were dealing with – switches where they didn’t know what was what -- and they  
would come and talk to me. There was cooperation amongst all three of us.  
I usually split my men up, one mainly doing yard work and one mainly in the warehouse. This  
varied depending on the workload. If one person finished outside he would come in and if the  
man outside was swamped I sent the inside man outside to help with a load of materials.  
Sometimes I had to steal guys from Ken and Greg as well. They would sometimes send over  
help.  
The equipment in the yard was all propane forklifts sit down lifts with cabs that  
handled different ranges of weights. In the warehouse it was stand up lifts and pallet  
jacks and occasionally a power pallet jack.  
The volume of work in 2015 2016 was the busiest Perfect has ever seen. They were  
working at a capacity beyond what they were staffed for.  
From the time AB began working in Central Stores, Perfect worked with AB on and off  
depending on the rotation. Perfect supervised AB and observed AB’s work.  
We are supposed to do those [work observations] quarterly and we take an employee and we  
14  
consider their work habits and we ask them certain questions and also we instruct them on how  
they are doing anything wrong or remind them of safety things and also give positive feedback  
after the whole thing was done. Don’t walk away leaving an employee upset. …  
When he [AB] first started I wasn’t impressed with his work. He was rough on things. As time  
went by he slowly started to improve. For the last few years he was on the outside forklift and put  
with Greg at first. He started to improve. If I remember correctly, he started on the shipping side.  
Then he was assigned to me. I can’t remember how long he was with me must have been  
more than two years. He really started to take ownership of his job and become engaged and  
got skills on the forklift. He became a pretty good operator handled difficult jobs. We would  
have a meeting and he would go after it. …  
Over a long period of time, you know, he went through spells when he wasn’t doing well and  
then sometimes did a little bit better. He really took off when he came to my side. I give them  
instructions and give them leeway to use common sense. He took to that and really seemed to  
think it was important. He took ownership saw it as his job.  
He started caring about the condition of yard. He would rearrange it to make things easier to find  
and to make more space for incoming loads and things like that. I thought he was improving  
quite a bit in his job.  
He would come in and ask me, you know -- What do you think of me doing this? What about  
this? -- help us out and stuff like that. I noticed the yard was getting a little neater when he was  
trying to change things up.  
Over time Perfect had to give AB less and less direction and didn’t have to worry about  
him as much in the yard as previously. When Perfect last saw AB on the forklift he was  
doing well. AB was attacking some of the more difficult loads that came through the  
gate.  
One time he told me what was keeping him sane was that he could come to work and be on his  
forklift.  
In terms of frequency of contact with AB, Perfect said:  
Daily. Basically tailboard meetings in the morning and he would be in the yard and we would  
discuss loads throughout the day -- where we were going to store stuff, methods of taking off,  
whether or not he needed assistance. After he did a load he would bring paperwork in and talk  
about the count or any damage.  
Perfect gave AB instructions every day and AB followed the instructions. They got on  
fairly well and had the occasional small disagreement. Perfect tried to treat AB with  
respect and to give him the opportunity to make decisions on his own. When Perfect  
last worked with AB, AB was assigned to work with Perfect and Perfect assigned him to  
work in the outside forklift. He thinks they did that for about three years.  
When asked about AB’s personality, Perfect said:  
Well, he can be a little angry sometimes and sometimes he was down you know. He confided in  
me at one time he was having depression, and I could tell some days. He was the sole man in  
the yard and a lot of material was coming in.  
Perfect said AB’s voice was gruff and loud and that you certainly know he is in the  
room. AB is outspoken. He spoke up in meetings and voiced his opinion on things.  
Perfect never personally saw AB threaten anyone and he was not scared to work with  
AB.  
In February of 2016, the storekeepers reported to Perfect and Perfect reported to  
15  
Caswell who reported to Debruyne.  
Perfect did not know AB socially. Perfect made a point not to socialize with the staff. He  
wanted to avoid situations where he was thought to favor someone because of  
friendship.  
When asked about AB’s interactions with Caswell, Perfect said:  
[AB] was outspoken. …At a lot of our bench meetings, he wasn’t afraid to put an opinion forward.  
Most of times, it would turn into argument of the situation at those kinds of meetings plus there  
were other incidents in the past that just happened. He was outspoken and not afraid to voice his  
opinion on things.  
Perfect found Caswell to be a little stern and by the book and not very flexible follow  
the rules sort of thing.  
We would have bench meetings once a month or whatever when Mark would get together.  
Some people voiced displeasure with things and his response was that if you don’t like it you  
know where the door is. That was a statement totally against what SaskPower preaches. We try  
to get people engaged.  
…SaskPower was always trying to get engagement going. We had a real morale problem in the  
whole corporation and they were always trying to get employees engaged in the job and bring  
morale up. A lot had open door policies safe zones for safety orientation very open type of  
thing they were trying to put into place. People were to be free to voice opinions without threat of  
retaliation hanging over their head.  
I was at a bench meeting one time and Mark was bringing up concerns from the field about  
shipment of material that didn’t arrive in very good condition. He was more or less putting the  
blame on our men for loading it poorly and packing it poorly. I spoke up in defence of our people,  
and I said that material was notorious for arriving from the manufacturer in disarray. We had  
problems getting it off the truck ourselves. I brought this up that it wasn’t necessarily 100 per  
cent our guys’ fault. He got upset with me. I don’t know why and I got into an argument of some  
sort. It ended up with him asking me to leave the meeting.  
The meeting continued and after the meeting Caswell came over and apologized to  
Perfect and they made their peace. Caswell did not discipline Perfect for his behavior  
at that meeting and there was no further mention of it at all.  
When SaskPower hired Caswell, Perfect:  
…found it unusual he was brought in from outside. We had people qualified for the job. Some  
were disappointed when they didn’t get it. I said it was a little strange he was from outside the  
corporation. Talking with Mark, just the two of us, he said he was brought in to take care of some  
problems. I don’t remember the exact words. Basically that I knew we had some problems with  
staff and different things like that, but otherwise the warehouse was running extremely smoothly  
considering the circumstances of workload. I assumed he was talking about personnel.  
Caswell didn’t say what problems he needed to address or which people he needed to  
address. Perfect felt it was unnecessary to have someone come in to take care of  
problems within a department in SaskPower. It wasn’t the usual hiring practice that  
Perfect saw. Most positions were filled internally.  
Before Caswell came the morale was:  
Not very good. It was up and down more down than up. Nobody was really too happy working.  
A lot of people were very unhappy.  
16  
After Caswell came:  
…it hit rock bottom by the time I left. People who never mentioned it before were coming into the  
office and talking about how unhappy they were and how situations were handled and different  
things.  
Perfect found that when morale was low, it was difficult to get cooperation from the  
employees he had to supervise.  
My style I treated everyone the same – I didn’t favor anyone. I treated them with respect and  
gave them responsibility and kept tabs on them -- but I gave them responsibility so they felt they  
were contributing and I was willing to listen to their concerns.  
…I always ended work observations with the end of work – the end of a tough day, I would tell  
them they did a hell of a good job that day. I was always making sure they knew their efforts  
were appreciated.  
Perfect had nine different managers over the years he worked in Central Stores. The  
last four were Rick Harnish, Chris Burgess, Joel Flory and Mark Caswell.  
Joel and Chris were more along the lines of what SaskPower preached. They were open and  
asking for opinions and that kind of thing. They sort of left the day to day operations in the  
warehouse up to the three supervisors. They didn’t really interfere a heck of a lot.  
Harnish was very different – at times a micromanager and other times didn’t pay any attention to  
what was going on. You had to get used to his style because he said no to anything you asked  
for and so you had to know how to work around that to get what you wanted and make it seem  
like his idea. He was a procrastinator. He would put off problems thinking either it would go away  
on its own or solve themselves.  
At one time AB told Perfect that AB had been accused of using marijuana in the yard.  
Perfect was upset this hadn’t been brought to his attention immediately when it  
happened. If AB was smoking in the yard, Perfect should have been informed  
immediately to make sure there was no impaired operator out there. AB could have  
killed or hurt someone.  
It was apparently reported in the morning and I wasn’t told about it until late in day by the  
accused himself. If something had happened in that time, I would have been guy with his ass on  
the line.  
It seemed to me it should have been handled immediately. [AB] was not called in until late in the  
day and I understand during that time people had been called into a meeting with Mark and  
whoever he was meeting with.  
Perfect never smelled marijuana on AB. He didn’t think it was a breach of  
confidentiality for AB to tell him about the accusation because the accusation was  
about AB and he was saying he was falsely accused.  
In cross-examination:  
Perfect confirmed that when AB was terminated, Perfect had two guys in receiving,  
Valley and AB. Valley was efficient in everything in Perfect’s area. He was one of  
the best forklift operators.  
Perfect agreed 2015 2016 was a busy time. They were working overtime on  
Saturdays in shipping.  
Perfect said he got along fairly well with AB. When asked if he recalled telling  
17  
Burgess that sometimes it was easier to work around AB, Perfect said:  
I don’t recall telling him that. I know in the earlier days, it was easier. Everybody was the same  
way. It was easier to work around him, but not towards the end. I only had two guys, so I had to  
work with him in 2015/2016. I was not avoiding him at all. I didn’t avoid him. He worked in other  
areas other times. You had to handle things with kid gloves. He would get angry and upset. …It  
was mostly just argumentative. Nothing really – I don’t know how to put it. A little bit challenging.  
He respected me and I respected him. I don’t know how to put it. There was nothing that was  
interfering with getting the job done.  
Perfect confirmed that Valley began working in outside receiving soon after AB went  
on leave and that Perfect was aware Valley is still working in outside receiving  
today. Valley moved into the position and carried out his duties without complaint.  
Counsel asked Perfect when the meeting took place when Caswell said, “If you  
don’t like it, you know where the door is”, Perfect said:  
I don’t know. It could have been anytime in the last couple years. It wasn’t just one time. When I  
talked about morale being in the toilet, he said -- these guys know where the door is -- and it was  
a response several times.  
Perfect said an “us versus them” mentality existed and it got worse when Caswell  
arrived. The general thing in the whole corporation was to get employees engaged  
in the workplace, and Perfect thought they were going in the opposite direction.  
Counsel suggested to Perfect that at the meeting where Caswell asked Perfect to  
leave, they were discussing a shipment to Swift Current that fell off a truck. Perfect  
said:  
I don’t recall where the shipment was going. I don’t recall it fell off truck. The statement was  
made it was not properly loaded and in disarray when it got there.  
Perfect confirmed that when Caswell came, he started to manage performance and  
hold people accountable. Perfect didn’t think Caswell handled things properly.  
Counsel showed Perfect Chris Burgess’ October 23, 2012 email in which Burgess  
said next on his list was to start managing bad behaviour and work performance  
better. Perfect said:  
I don’t recall this at all. No, I can’t remember that.  
Perfect acknowledged he has no personal knowledge about the issue around  
marijuana. He only knows what AB communicated to him.  
August 22, 2014  
Mark  
Caswell  
Caswell encountered his first issue with AB on August 22 2014. About 10:30 a.m.,  
another manager reported that they thought they had smelled marijuana smoke from  
where AB was working. This was the first time Caswell had addressed a challenge like  
that. AB was possibly under the influence of marijuana in a safety sensitive  
environment.  
Caswell contacted Human Resources to figure out how to proceed, either to verify it  
was true or not. Caswell met with Blair Debruyne, Curtis Lizee from the Union and  
Sherry Francis from Human Resources. It was an investigation to determine the validity  
of the concern. Caswell did not accuse AB of smoking marijuana. They were trying to  
18  
determine if he had. AB said he had not. He was very adamant he had not. AB was  
never disciplined in connection with that incident.  
At the meeting AB was loud. AB kept saying, “I can’t believe you guys are doing this to  
me. Nobody has had these concerns before. You are picking on me and harassing me.  
What the hell is this for?” AB was extremely angry and agitated.  
AB was volatile and unpredictable. He would go from calm to a rage in the space of a  
second. In connection with the marijuana inquiry, he was angry. His voice was raised  
and he was shaking.  
After this incident, Caswell never raised that issue with AB again. AB himself raised it  
to Caswell in future events. He brought up that incident repeatedly to claim SaskPower  
was out to get him. He referred to that in subsequent incidents. He didn’t keep it  
confidential.  
In cross-examination:  
Caswell confirmed that because, after investigation, there were insufficient grounds  
to discipline AB for marijuana use, he did not discipline AB on that occasion.  
Because of confidentiality, he did not mention the incident to the supervisor, John  
Perfect.  
Later in September, 2014  
Mark  
Caswell  
There was an investigation with respect to some wildly inappropriate graffiti. It was a  
swim suit calendar in one of the other employee’s lockers. There was a little cartoon  
bubble in felt marker that said, “So I smell weed?” and there was a drawing of a penis  
in the model’s mouth. A little bit of shredded paper or cardboard had been taped to the  
pubic area of the model and it had the effect of looking like public hair. The model had  
more than a passing resemblance to the person who had initially raised the concern  
about smelling pot.  
Caswell interviewed the entire work group including every Storekeeper at Central  
Stores. AB displayed his volatility. He was angry, belligerent, profane and disrespectful.  
He felt he was being accused of putting up the calendar. He said it was unfair that he  
would be accused. He hadn’t been accused. The Employer was trying to determine  
what happened and who was responsible. AB was not disciplined in connection with  
the incident.  
Darren Kivisto came forward and admitted he had written on the calendar. The  
Employer gave Kivisto a five day Decision Making Leave (“DML”). [Later the witness  
confirmed that records show it was a one day DML], essentially a suspension, to give  
him time to consider whether he wanted to return to Sask Power under conditions  
which were to adhere to respectful workplace conduct and to conduct himself in a  
professional manner.  
There were some coaching conversations with some of the other staff. Don Valley had  
confessed to having taped the public hair on the calendar. He was remorseful and  
apologetic and received a formal coaching conversation.  
Barry Loveday also received formal coaching. The calendar was in his locker and it  
19  
was his calendar and he allowed it to continue to be displayed after it was altered.  
Caswell also had discussions with the entire group in early October where he laid out  
expectations of what is a respectful workplace.  
In cross-examination:  
Caswell confirmed that he did not discipline AB for his behaviour during the  
investigation of the calendar incident. He had an informal coaching discussion with  
AB about respectful communication. It was a coaching conversation about AB’s  
conduct and his temper. Coaching sessions are not disciplinary and do not need a  
Union rep present.  
Jillian  
Orb  
Shortly after Caswell came to SaskPower, there was an incident involving a calendar  
picture of woman in a bikini with a penis drawn pointing into the mouth and cardboard  
taped to the groin area. There was a word bubble with the words “Do I smell weed?” in  
it.  
Caswell brought this issue to Orb’s attention. It was her first experience with AB. Orb  
interviewed a total of about 16 people including employees from Unifor, IBEW and  
management.  
During the interview with AB, he was argumentative. He was confrontational in his body  
language, raising his voice. He was not happy they were even asking him about this.  
He claimed management was out to get him and asked why they can’t just leave him  
alone. He denied he knew who did it or what it was about.  
AB was not disciplined in this instance. Others were responsible for the graffiti. Each  
received some discipline. One of them received a coaching session. This is an informal  
coaching conversation without a shop steward or HR person and only if they do it again  
are they disciplined. The coaching session is intended to correct behaviour prior to  
escalation.  
Since then, Caswell and Orb have done several investigations together.  
In cross-examination:  
When counsel suggested AB was the first person, or at least the first in-scope  
person, of 16 people interviewed in the investigation of the calendar incident, Orb  
said she did not recall the order of the interviews.  
When counsel suggested to Orb that SaskPower threatened that criminal charges  
could result, Orb said, “We wouldn’t threaten anyone, ever.” She does not  
remember everything that was said at the meeting, but she does not recall anything  
about criminal charges and she doesn’t remember anything like that from her notes.  
Orb agreed she remembered that AB showed her a video on his phone and said he  
was being harassed because of the words, “I smoke weed” written on the calendar.  
AB didn’t deny knowledge of the calendar.  
September 18, 2014  
Curtis  
Lizee  
Lizee attended interviews with Union members about an incident involving doodles  
defacing a Sports Illustrated calendar. The calendar was on somebody’s locker and  
20  
people in Central Stores were prone to write on the calendar and make doodles on it.  
Lizee acted as shop steward when members were interviewed. He took notes. He  
believes management interviewed the entire work group.  
There was a meeting with a Union member, Sieng Lam, that began, according to  
Lizee’s notes, at 12:11 p.m.. Those in attendance included Lizee, Lam, Debruyne,  
Caswell and Orb. During that meeting, Debruyne said the calendar incident was a  
Code of Conduct and Respectful Workplace Policy violation. Debruyne said it was  
sexual harassment and a Criminal Code violation. He said if they didn’t get closure  
through their own investigation, they could go to a third party investigation that could  
involve the RCMP.  
Debruyne said Lam’s locker was close to the calendar locker and alleged that Lam  
likely had seen something and that Lam owns part of the responsibility for the calendar  
if he failed to report to management or take some action to have the harassing  
calendar dealt with. Management didn’t directly accuse Lam of drawing on the calendar  
but they suggested he was involved because he could have done something about the  
calendar and he didn’t take any action. Debruyne stressed this was a respectful  
workplace issue in the context that everybody was responsible for making a safe  
workplace.  
As far as Lizee was concerned, management interviewed Lam just like everybody else  
who was possibly part of the calendar issue. Lizee does not recall Lam saying he felt  
bullied or harassed by AB. There is nothing in Lizee’s notes of the meeting to suggest  
Lam said anything about being bullied. If Lam had said something, Lizee would have  
written it down because there would have been an onus on the company to investigate  
because of their workplace policy. The Union is obligated to make sure the company  
looks into allegations of respectful workplace violation. Lizee is not aware of  
SaskPower investigating any allegations by Lam. The notes say the meeting with Lam  
concluded at 12:24 pm.  
The first person management interviewed on September 18 was AB. Lizee’s notes say  
the meeting started at 9:09 am. The meeting started out “normal” and then the tone of  
management was “like talking to an eight year old”, talking down to AB.  
It felt like Law and Order. They thought they knew who had done it and they thought AB had  
information. They didn’t take into account that AB felt he was harassed by the calendar. At no  
point did they seem to entertain the idea that this was directed at AB. He was always viewed as  
a perpetrator and not a possible victim. AB said he has no idea why he is here.  
AB had a video on his phone which he had made to show his wife some of the ribbing  
he gets in the workplace. He took out the video to show those present at the meeting  
what he has to put up with at work. Management “rebuked” what AB said and tried to  
ascertain if AB had done it or if he knew who had done the writing on the calendar.  
Lizee felt quite a few of the overall interviews were conversational in tone and more  
pleasant. Certain interviews were more aggressive, more accusatory, alleging that the  
person knew some information about the calendar. Management was less aggressive,  
more conversational and made less of an accusation in the Lam interview than in AB’s  
interview. Lam’s interview was like a conversation you would have in the hallway. With  
AB, management demonstrated a level of hostility and maybe distrust.  
21  
The volume of AB’s voice was higher than regular conversation. At first, it was fairly  
calm, but once it escalated everybody had increased volume.  
AB admitted he knew about the calendar. One of the first things out of AB’s mouth was  
his claim that he was being harassed by what was written on the calendar.  
Lizee’s notes of the meeting say that at one point Orb said, “This can go to criminal  
charges.” Lizee remembers Orb saying this. The tone of the statement was like dealing  
with eight year old that:  
If you don’t give the information I need, this is the possible outcome. It was almost like bartering  
or a threatened barter. If you tell me what you know about the calendar this will be solved here  
and if you don’t we might take this to the RCMP.  
AB categorically denied writing the bubble on the calendar. Lizee’s notes say the  
meeting ended at 9:45 am.  
Lizee described AB in the meeting as being agitated.  
It turned out Darrin Kivisto was responsible for the calendar incident. Kivisto received a  
one day Decision Making Leave. The Employer did not discipline AB for anything to do  
with the calendar incident or with respect to AB’s conduct at the interview.  
In cross-examination:  
Lizee confirmed that he is familiar with the Employer’s Respectful Workplace Policy,  
and that he has an obligation to report incidents if he feels someone is being  
harassed. In the September 18 meeting with management, Lizee did not raise any  
issue with management to suggest management was harassing AB.  
Lizee acknowledged that during the meeting AB was agitated and loud and that AB  
used an accusing tone and was confrontational within the first five minutes. Lizee  
acknowledged that AB expressed his indignation several times during the meeting  
and that he made a gesture across the table at Orb.  
Lizee confirmed that when Orb said the situation could involve criminal charges, AB  
said he thought this meeting was pretty funny. He acknowledged that management  
brought up the notion of criminal charges in meetings with others.  
Lizee acknowledged that management did not do any actual bartering with AB.  
When asked if he recalled an interview with another employee, Ken Fink, where  
Fink said other employees are scared of AB, Lizee said he did not recall that off the  
top of his head.  
Lizee acknowledged that at the time the Decision Making Leave was the last step in  
SaskPower’s discipline process.  
October 17, 2014  
Mark  
Caswell  
Shortly after the calendar incident, someone reported to Debruyne that there was a  
picture inside AB’s locker that was “a kind of racial thing “ that was targeted at another  
member of the work group and that it was inappropriate.  
Caswell, Debruyne, Lizee and Jillian Orb from Human Resources met with AB and he  
confessed and admitted to the picture in his locker. AB claimed the Employer was out  
22  
to get him. “This was being done to him.” He didn’t accept responsibility even though  
he admitted the picture had been there. He minimized and failed to understand how  
serious it was. AB didn’t understand the importance of what was done or recognize the  
impact on co-workers.  
At the meeting, AB was loud and belligerent. He claimed everyone was out to get him.  
In deciding discipline, Caswell relies heavily on Human Resources to provide advice  
and he follows their advice. Caswell imposed a one day DML with respect to this  
incident.  
October 17, 2014  
Jillian  
Orb  
About a month after the calendar incident, maybe less, sometime in October, an  
employee confidentially took a picture of a picture that was in AB’s locker and  
submitted it to Blair Debruyne who felt the picture was inappropriate and racist and so  
he escalated it. Debruyne and Caswell reached out to Orb to investigate.  
Orb began with interviewing AB. She didn’t need to interview anyone else because AB  
acknowledged he did have the picture in his locker. In the interview, AB was  
argumentative and confrontational and used a lot of profanity. He used the “F” word  
continuously, saying things like, “I’m a fucking grown man.” “Why are you even talking  
to me about this? What’s the big deal?”  
The picture is a picture of an oriental man and there is a word bubble and it says  
something like, “Me don’t know” or “Me don’t do. Me know nothing.” In the background  
there was something blown up and on fire, a building remnant and then there was an  
arrow to a building. It said, “Greg’s office” as if it was depicting Greg Simpson’s office  
and an Asian employee. During the calendar investigation, an Asian employee had  
said he felt intimated, harassed and bullied by AB. That employee was aware the  
picture was in the locker.  
At that time SaskPower issued AB a Decision Making Leave (“DML”) which was the  
final step in SaskPower’s discipline policy at that time. The decision was made by Orb’s  
superior, Sherry Francis, along with Caswell, Debruyne and others. Orb advised the  
Director about the decision. Any other employee in the same circumstances would  
receive the same discipline.  
On October 17, 2015, Caswell advised AB he was receiving a DML. The DML was one  
day with pay. At the meeting they outlined the key things to which AB needed to  
commit to change his behaviour. The expected performance communicated makes it  
very clear what is expected. Orb and Caswell met with AB along with Curtis Lizee and  
Blair Debruyne. Caswell reviewed the desired performance with AB. He read through  
the items and made sure AB had no questions.  
They gave AB the form entitled Employee Information for Decision Making Leave. In  
the form given to AB, the Basic Issue/Overall Concern is stated to be:  
[AB] betrayed his employer’s trust, violating company policy, and acting in a disrespectful  
manner which is unacceptable.  
Under the heading Actual Performance it says:  
[AB] posted a disrespectful and inappropriate picture in his locker directed at an individual. [AB]  
23  
acknowledged that he committed this act when questioned about it.  
The Desired Performance is listed in the memo and it largely mirrors what appears in  
an October 22, 2015 letter Caswell delivered to AB when AB came back from the DML.  
The form goes on to include:  
Impact:  
a. Trust, professionalism and respect in the workplace or compromise when an employee  
chooses to violate SaskPower policies and procedures.  
Consequences:  
b. Failure to correct or unacceptable conduct and failure to meet the expectations discussed in  
this meeting may lead to your dismissal. [emphasis in original]  
The availability of EFAP has been discussed.  
You are required to meet with me on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7 am at Central Stores.  
At this meeting you will advise whether you are either:  
Resigning (as you have decided that SaskPower is not the place you want to work),  
or;  
Immediately correcting the problem outlined to you in making a total commitment to  
good performance in every aspect of the job including but not limited to adhering to  
company acts, policies, procedures and standards (See Desired Performance  
Section).  
We are providing you with a paid day off to consider your decision. We hope that you decide to  
stay with the corporation with the understanding that a subsequent problem in any of the three  
(3) categories that require disciplinary action (i.e. Conduct, Attendance and Performance) will  
result in the termination of your employment. [emphasis in original]  
The Decision Making Leave remains active for two (2) years following the date on the related  
letter.  
When an employee receives a DML, the employee decides if they can commit to  
displaying what is set out in the desired performance section. If they choose not to,  
then effectively they are choosing to leave SaskPower. The desired performance was  
communicated to AB at the time.  
AB was very negative, argumentative, and belligerent, using the “F” word a lot. AB was  
angry. He was tapping on the table, his face was red face, and he raised his voice. His  
behavior was intimidating. He was displaying all those same behaviors to his union rep.  
AB accused the Union rep of not doing anything, of not doing his job. AB said, “You  
suck,” and he told Lizee he was an embarrassment. The meeting took about 20  
minutes.  
October 22, 2014  
Mark  
Caswell  
Human Resources prepared a letter to AB. Caswell accepted it and signed it. The  
same group of people met and Caswell presented the letter. The letter reads:  
This memo confirms our discussion of October 17, 2014 regarding your unacceptable conduct  
that led to the decision to direct you to take a one (1) day Decision Making Leave from  
SaskPower on October 21, 2014.  
It is the responsibility and accountability of management to ensure their reporting employees are  
safely, competently and respectfully performing their duties. Where employees are not  
24  
performing safely, competently and respectfully, management is required to take corrective  
action.  
Your unacceptable conduct put into serious question the trust relationship that is required  
between an employee and employer to maintain employment. Your conduct is unacceptable.  
You must show an immediate and lasting correction to your conduct.  
The situation that you have created is of such a serious nature that you are placed on a one (1)  
day Decision Making Leave. The Decision Making Leave is the final step in SaskPower’s  
discipline procedure.  
In choosing to continue your employment with SaskPower we expect you to make the following  
improvements to your performance immediately:  
1. Competently perform all duties and responsibilities of the Storekeeper, Material Handler,  
2. Conduct yourself in a respectful manner when interacting with any SaskPower employee,  
customers and other parties in the conduct of your duties, modelling positive behaviour at all  
times and;  
3. Review the attached Code of Conduct Policy and the Respectful Workplace Policy in detail  
and raise any questions with me.  
4. Successfully complete the Respectful Workplace training module on or before November 15,  
2014.  
5. Successfully complete the Code of Conduct training module on or before November 15,  
2014.  
6. Adhere to SaskPower’s Policies and Standards of Conduct at all times while on SaskPower  
property and while performing work on behalf of SaskPower.  
7. Refrain from engaging in negative and disrespectful behaviours.  
8. Perform all assigned work in a safe and efficient manner at the direction of your supervisor.  
9. If you have any questions regarding your job or acts, policies, standards, procedures,  
processes etc., you are to ask me.  
You advised us upon return from your Decision Making Leave that you wish to remain an  
employee of SaskPower. As a result you indicated to us that you agree to comply with the  
expectations noted in this memo, including following all of Sask Power’s policies, rules and  
procedures and perform every aspect of your job in a professional and acceptable manner.  
We have reminded you of SaskPower’s Employee Family Assistance Plan (EFAP) in our  
previous discussion (and provided you with contact information) and again encourage you to  
access this program if you believe it will assist you in complying with the all the expectations  
outlined in this letter.  
I’m counting on you to solve this problem and perform effectively in every area of your job.  
Failure to meet the expectations discussed with you at our meeting of today, will lead to  
dismissal.  
In the discussion on October 22, Caswell tried to reinforce with AB what respectful  
workplace meant and the impact those activities have on other members. Caswell then  
explained to AB that the consequences of not following direction would be severe up to  
termination if he failed to follow through with what was in the letter. Caswell reviewed  
the conditions with AB. AB needed refresher training. Caswell walked through the letter  
step by step with AB.  
AB didn’t make any inquiries after the meeting. The Union filed a grievance with  
respect to this discipline, but it was withdrawn on November 18, 2015.  
25  
Jillian  
Orb  
On October 22, the same people met with AB. At that time Caswell presented AB with  
the letter confirming the DML. AB indicated his desire to remain at SaskPower. Caswell  
reviewed the letter with AB.  
The Union grieved the DML, but it withdrew the grievance at Step 3. The DML  
remained active on AB’s file for 24 months and was active at the time of his  
termination.  
In cross-examination:  
Orb confirmed that during the calendar investigation the Asian worker said he felt  
bullied by AB and that he was scared to say anything for fear of being ostracised.  
Curtis  
Lizee  
In cross-examination:  
Lizee acknowledged that at the time AB received the Decision Making Leave, the  
Decision Making Leave was still the last step in SaskPower’s discipline process.  
When asked if he recalled AB attacking him at the meeting when management  
imposed the Decision Making Leave, Lizee said:  
No, um, sure, yes, kind of.  
When asked if AB told him he didn’t want to hear from him and said “You suck”,  
Lizee said:  
He said I didn’t do my job very well. …I don’t recall those exact words.  
Mark  
When Debruyne told Caswell there were concerns with employees, Debruyne didn’t  
Caswell  
say who or how many, just that there were concerns.  
As time went on, Caswell identified performance concerns or behavioural concerns  
with a number of individuals. AB, Darren Kivisto, Dave Gaitens and Barry Loveday  
were among them, plus there were some minor performance concerns with others.  
Caswell tried to create consistency in the workplace. He tried to create clear  
expectations with respect to the company’s standard in workplace and to communicate  
it and model the standards and reinforce them when someone was not measuring up.  
Caswell disciplined other employees for performance, behavior and attitude issues  
including insubordination and disrespectful communications.  
Caswell set expectations with his work group that they needed to comply with the  
SaskPower Code of Conduct and communicated what the culture in SaskPower  
dictated for a respectful workplace. It was obvious in the work group in general that  
there had not been consistency in the past and they hadn’t been held accountable.  
Employees perceived Caswell’s approach as a change.  
The majority of the work group honoured the confidentiality of the discipline process.  
They didn’t talk about it with others. They maintained respectful communications when  
disciplinary discussions happened. Nobody lost their temper during conversations. AB  
was different than others. There was a clear difference in AB’s behaviour.  
Kivisto had a bit of a temper, was prone to negativity and stirred up negativity. Through  
the calendar investigation, Caswell noted that Kivisto and AB fed off each other.  
However, Caswell observed that while Kivisto was agitated to start with, he was not  
26  
nearly as aggressive as AB. Kivisto wasn’t impressed with idea of authority and being  
told he had to behave in a particular way. Since his DML, however, Kivisto is a  
changed individual. He is a model employee. The change was immediate and has  
been sustained. Kivisto is respectful in his communications. If something concerns  
Kivisto, he seeks help or feedback rather than fly off the handle. He approaches  
Caswell with problems. There has been a complete180 degree turn, and he hasn’t lost  
his temper once.  
Caswell worked at elevating the supervisors to a truly supervisory role. When Caswell  
first started, very little supervision was taking place. Caswell did some computer work  
in the work group in terms of tracking material movements. He dealt with lots of phone  
things. The supervisors weren’t monitoring to ensure tasks were complete and didn’t  
always know where employees were or what task they were on. Supervisors weren’t  
making sure people wore their hard hats.  
Caswell set out to improve that basic level of supervision. Initially there was resistance  
to it. Perfect was not necessarily interested in changing his approach. Things have  
come a long way and Caswell has a lot of confidence in his supervisor team. They are  
light years from where they started.  
Caswell had conversations with AB in the yard and with AB on the forklift. He doesn’t  
remember everything they stopped to talk about. Caswell remembers telling AB he was  
the next generation of supervisor and leader in the company and it was important AB’s  
behavior reflect that because he was influencing the other employees and his attitude  
had impact on others.  
Caswell remembers telling AB his behavior was not going to end well and it would  
reflect badly on him, and the only person who controls what you do is you. They had a  
good conversation and at the time Caswell felt AB understood it and in that moment  
that AB accepted what Caswell said. Caswell remembers AB saying, “Ya, I know boss,  
I know, but it’s just hard. I get carried away with these things.” The conversation was  
respectful.  
Caswell remembers another conversation on the shipping dock. Caswell approached  
AB, and tried to explain that changes that were being made were for the benefit  
everyone. Caswell said, “I’m not trying to be an asshole. These are changes that are  
required for everybody.”  
Anytime anything was the least bit contentious, AB didn’t take it well. He was always  
defensive displaying extreme anger and using profanity. “Why are you fucking doing  
this to me? This is fucking harassment.” Caswell heard statements like that come out of  
AB’s mouth numerous times. That needed to change and Caswell told AB it needed to  
change. Caswell does not recall the dates of these conversations but they occurred  
after the DML. Caswell had three or four conversations like that with AB.  
On one occasion, AB got into an argument with a truck driver. Caswell didn’t see the  
incident but the supervisor reported it to him. Tempers had flared. Caswell stepped in  
to address it with AB and told the specialist in the logistics dispatch team to address it  
with the contractor. Caswell spoke to AB of the need to be professional and tolerant.  
Caswell said this is not behaviour conducive to respectful workplace and for the next  
27  
leaders of company it isn’t appropriate and AB needed to change. At the time AB  
expressed that he understood it.  
In cross-examination:  
Caswell acknowledged that the Union withdrew the Grievance with respect to the  
DML on a “without prejudice and non-precedent setting basis”, and that the  
discipline stands.  
Caswell acknowledged that on occasion employees in Central Stores use swear  
words, including Caswell himself who agreed he has used the word “asshole” on  
occasion. When asked to agree there is a difference between being sworn at and  
someone swearing to express frustration or anger, Caswell said, “Not necessarily.”  
It would depend on the scenario and the context. Caswell agreed someone could  
swear in your presence without swearing at you.  
Caswell agreed his relationship with AB wasn’t all bad, that at times AB could even  
be charming. AB didn’t always use profanity and go into a rage.  
Caswell agreed that he sometimes becomes angry. He acknowledged an incident  
where he ordered John Perfect to leave a meeting. Perfect was trying to disrupt the  
meeting and Caswell needed him to leave. Caswell was angry but he didn’t “lose  
his cool” or raise his voice. After the incident he apologized to Perfect to try to re-  
engage him and get a professional level of communication. Caswell did not  
discipline Perfect for his behaviour at that meeting.  
In re-examination:  
Caswell confirmed that the incident involving Perfect occurred at a meeting around  
the time of the calendar incident when the workers were unsettled and they were  
discussing go-forward strategies to get the work group back on track.  
Uncharacteristically, Perfect became quite heated, raised his voice and wouldn’t let  
the meeting proceed. Perfect kept interjecting and because of this Caswell asked  
Perfect to leave the meeting. Caswell had a coaching session with Perfect after that  
and Caswell never saw that behaviour from Perfect again.  
February 3, 2015  
Chris  
Burgess  
After Mark Caswell came to Central Stores, Burgess started to sub in for Caswell if he  
was away on holidays or something like that. On February 3, 2015, while Burgess was  
subbing for Caswell, he sent an email to all employees telling them he had noticed  
lunch breaks and coffee breaks were extending beyond the allotted time. Coffee breaks  
were going to sometimes 30 to 40 minutes and the issue needed to be addressed.  
There were also some truancy issues where people would show up a little bit late or  
they would go for coffee early and leave a bit late.  
As manager, Burgess went around to the in scope supervisors to discuss the issue and  
let them know he was about to address it. They agreed it was time because breaks  
were extending too far. Burgess said if someone was truant, he would discuss it with  
them.  
Burgess went to each individual to let them know the coffee breaks were extending  
28  
beyond an acceptable time. Everybody responded positively. AB wasn’t there at that  
time.  
February 5, 2015  
Chris  
Cindy Knudsen, Manager at Inventory Control at the time, sent Burgess an email:  
Burgess  
Something has to be seriously done about [AB’s] behaviour. He just walked up the stairs talking  
very loudly and “oh we better not go to coffee too early or we will get policed back down. This is  
pathetic. Oh no Sieng came two minutes early. We’re going to get in trouble. Where is the code  
of conduct book; everyone should be held to the code of conduct not just us” When Lois walks in  
to the lunch room he says “good, You are here now we won’t get in trouble”. I am on the phone  
right now so cannot stop what I am doing, and quite frankly I still don’t feel comfortable  
approaching [AB] and all as he usually purveys very confrontational body language and given his  
size vs. mine I feel very threatened.  
Knudsen followed with a second email within a couple minutes:  
By the way, it is very obvious he is saying this like he is to ensure I hear.  
Burgess was in Building 2 and went over to Building 3. AB was making a ruckus  
outside Knudsen’s office. As soon a Burgess saw AB, he could see that AB was very  
agitated. AB was shaking and his face was red and he was very aggressive in his  
demeanor.  
Burgess asked AB to go to the conference room so they could discuss the issues. AB  
was very volatile and was swearing. He said things like fuck this what is this bullshit  
– you’re here for a week and you’re sending out fucking emails like this. AB was very  
aggressive, shaking and red. He made a forward aggressive stance at the table.  
Burgess found this to be very uncomfortable and very intimidating.  
This was not the first time Burgess had had an interaction with AB like this. Burgess  
had learned that a way that he could bring AB into a little bit of a calmer state was to  
remind AB that it was not good for his blood pressure to be this upset.  
AB was angry because Burgess had sent the email regarding the coffee breaks. He  
was angry because Burgess had copied Caswell on the email. He was worried and  
angry because he thought Caswell was going to start “micromanaging” the coffee  
breaks.  
AB is very smart. He had a lot of knowledge for being able to drive equipment and he  
had a lot of potential to be a leader at Central Stores if he could control his temper.  
Burgess tried to convey that to AB. AB got upset when Burgess said this and said he  
didn’t believe Burgess, that Trevor Blaine is the only one who gets opportunities. AB  
stormed out.  
When Caswell came back to work, Burgess briefed him on what had happened. The  
situation regarding breaks improved.  
When Burgess talked to Perfect about the coffee break issue, Perfect said sometimes it  
was easier to leave things alone or do the work yourself rather than deal with AB  
because he gets upset.  
In cross-examination:  
Burgess confirmed that he was not a witness to the ruckus Knudsen reported to him  
29  
in the email.  
Burgess confirmed that in 2015 he and Knudsen were in a personal, romantic  
relationship.  
Burgess confirmed that the encounter with AB on February 5, 2015 was as he  
described it in his email and that when AB left that meeting AB was calm and that  
AB was not disciplined for his behaviour on this occasion.  
October 19, 2015  
Chris  
Burgess had no interactions with AB between February and October 2015.  
Burgess  
On October 19, Burgess arrived to work. AB followed Burgess into the yard. It was 7:08  
a.m. on Burgess’s phone. Burgess texted Caswell to say AB was late.  
AB was arriving eight minutes late. This was more of the same problem between coffee  
breaks and being late, something Caswell was dealing with on an ongoing basis.  
Burgess didn’t see anyone else coming in late. If they had come in late, Burgess would  
have reported it.  
Burgess did not speak to AB at the time. Caswell was there and it was Caswell’s  
responsibility to deal with the issue.  
Around ten o’clock that morning, Burgess was in a meeting with Cindy Knudsen.  
Suddenly AB was outside Knudsen’s door speaking very loudly, passive aggressively,  
using his tone to convey a meaning that the words themselves didn’t convey. AB was  
displaying anger about the coffee breaks, using a facetious tone:  
Come on you guys - you have to come right now – don’t want to be late.  
Burgess thought AB was making a point to Burgess and Knudsen by letting them know  
Caswell had talked to AB about being late. Burgess found out later that Caswell hadn’t  
even talked to AB yet at this point. This was actually a separate incident. It was just  
part of AB’s ongoing behaviour.  
Burgess thought the comments were directed at him for calling AB out for being late. It  
felt intimidating and like bullying. Burgess felt it was to give a message of discontent to  
a manager for being held accountable. Burgess felt if someone is directly doing bad  
performance or attacking someone you can directly address that but when it is passive  
aggressive it is more difficult.  
Burgess set up a meeting with HR to ask for advice on how to deal with situations like  
AB where the employee is passive aggressive. Burgess wanted to get some help with  
how Burgess as a manager could address that. The meeting took place within a month  
or two. Those present included Louise Mallett, Jillian Orb, Cindy Knudsen and Burgess.  
They went over tactics to address that type of behaviour, including strategies using  
open ended questions, just calling out the behaviour and asking -- Why are you using  
that tone? Do you find that acceptable? Why are you using that kind of language?  
These questions are intended to make the person justify what it is what they are doing.  
That kind of conduct is workplace bullying and it is a form of inappropriate behavior.  
Central Stores had just gone through so much work to address bad behavior and this  
was another piece that needed to be dealt with. Darren Kivisto also had a bad temper.  
30  
Burgess didn’t treat AB any differently than he treated Kivisto.  
Burgess observed Caswell with employees in Central Stores including AB. Caswell  
attempted for a very long time to engage AB to be one of the leaders in the warehouse  
to the point Burgess had conversations with Caswell to say Caswell was giving AB too  
much leash and needed to deal with some of these behaviors. Caswell was always  
very fair with AB and did everything he could to engage him.  
In cross-examination:  
Burgess confirmed that he wasn’t sure of the exact date of the meeting with Mallett  
and the others, but he called the meeting to discuss how to deal with passive  
aggressive behaviour. Burgess wanted to understand how to take the first step to  
deal with someone like this to have a conversation.  
Jillian  
Orb  
At one point Chris Burgess and Cindy Knudsen reached out to Orb and asked her to  
give them some tools and support on how to confront AB’s unwanted behaviour.  
Specifically, there had been an incident where AB was outside Knudsen’s office loudly  
being facetious and passive aggressive. He said something about -- better not come in  
a minute late or you’ll get fired. Burgess contacted Orb for help.  
Orb met with Burgess and Knudsen and gave them some tools to help tell them the  
behavior is not wanted. She took them through different paths and emphasized that it is  
very important to bring these things up to feel safe in the workplace. She spoke to them  
about supporting employees with performance management.  
October 2015  
Mark  
AB had a back injury and was off on workers’ compensation for about three weeks. AB  
Caswell  
returned to the workplace somewhere around October 20 [actual date was October 19].  
Caswell got an email that morning from Chris Burgess advising that Burgess had  
observed AB report to work late that morning. Caswell didn’t do anything immediately  
but felt the duty to follow up because the report came from another manager. Burgess’  
email says:  
Tried to catch you but you were on a call when I came in. I just wanted to let you know  
something I experienced this morning with regards to [AB]. First, as you know he showed up late  
this morning and I let you know as soon as I could. I’m assuming you brought it up with him as  
my next encounter with him came at break time.  
I plan on talking to Jillian as soon as I can get back to get a perspective as to how I can properly  
deal with Respectful Workplace and Workplace bullying as well as what is within my ability to  
discipline/Coach other managers [sic] employees. These are all things that are fairly vague  
areas to me and I feel as though I missed an opportunity this morning because I wasn’t prepared  
for how to properly deal with it.  
Basically, after coffee [AB] made a big deal going outside Cindy’s door and yelled back at the  
coffee room that they have to get back to work ‘right now’ He called a few of the guys and said  
‘c’mon you have to come right now, you can’t be late!’ There was a sarcastic angry tone to his  
voice.  
Mark, the implications were clear that [AB] was angry for being reported showing up late and his  
intent was to show disdain, disrespect and even to yell outside Cindy’s office in an attempt to  
intimidate either her or me. When I asked her if she ever had that happen before she said ‘he  
31  
does it all the time now’  
Once I am better prepared with where boundaries are drawn when it comes to respectful  
workplace and bullying then I will welcome [AB] to challenge me like that again. In the meantime,  
I wanted you to know what I had encountered this morning.  
It really bothers me that the DML he received last year didn’t seem to teach him anything. He  
continues to show bullying behaviour whenever he is held accountable and there must be  
something that can be done about that.  
Would you like to be part of the meeting I have with Jillian when I set it up?  
Caswell responded:  
So, I haven’t had the chance to address his tardiness with him yet. I actually wanted to talk to  
you about before I did, because if I bring it up with him, you will be ‘outted’. I wanted to make  
sure that was ok with you first.  
His behaviour this morning could stem from the fact that I’ve been cracking the whip on coffee  
breaks in general lately. He was likely just brought up to speed on this today because he’s been  
away on WCB for the last 3 weeks. He certainly tends to be more reactionary than thoughtful  
when something irritates him, and this is compounded by his general lack of respect for  
authority.  
In any case, yes, I would like to be part of your meeting with Jillian.  
Burgess responded that he was fine with being “outted” and that he would set up the  
meeting.  
At coffee that same day Cindy Knudsen, manager of Inventory Control at the time, had  
made note of AB coming up stairs to the coffee room and while he was on his way up  
the stairs she noted he was making comments about being late.  
Coffee breaks had started to take a lot longer than the scheduled 15 minutes,  
sometimes 35 and 40 minutes. Caswell was trying to stop that and have the employees  
observe coffee breaks. He addressed it a few times and Chris Burgess addressed it by  
email when Caswell was away on vacation.  
Caswell and AB happened to walk out together at lunch. They were alone, so Caswell  
took the opportunity to say it had been reported that AB showed up late that morning.  
AB lost his temper immediately. AB said:  
Tell Chris Burgess to mind his own business and spy on his own fucking guys. I wasn’t even  
fucking late. I was here at 7:01. We’re grown fucking men here.  
Caswell agreed they were grown men and said that grown men arrive on time for shift.  
AB said, “You guys are out to fucking get me and the company is harassing me,” and  
he stormed away, got in his truck and spun his tires out of the parking lot. AB was  
angry and volatile. He was in a rage and shaking. His face was red and he was unable  
to contain his anger. He was yelling at Caswell.  
AB did not show up for work the next morning. Caswell tried to contact AB by texting  
and calling, but got no response to either.  
When Caswell came back from lunch, the admin staff at the front said AB had called in  
and said he would be off sick for the rest of the week, that he said, “I am out of here.”  
They also reported AB was angry and belligerent and rude. Caswell contacted Kathy  
Potts at the Return to Work office. He tried to find AB to direct him to report to work the  
32  
next morning which AB didn’t want to do. After this, AB was off work until February 17,  
2016.  
Kathy  
Potts  
SaskPower has a “P-148” form which is their standard medical form that includes date  
last seen, date of next appointment, nature of illness, when can the employee come  
back fulltime regular or when can they come back on modified duties including, then, a  
list of restrictions.  
Anyone away for more than five days has to provide this P-148, but if they have sick  
leave they can provide a doctor’s note as long as the doctor’s note has an end date  
and lists any restrictions.  
Potts’ office handles all the accommodations for SaskPower. Requests usually come  
from medical practitioners saying somebody has a restriction. The request may come  
from the employee, but SaskPower sends the employee back to the care provider to  
get information on restrictions. Accommodation is driven by medical information.  
SaskPower usually requires clearly described restrictions. They won’t accept “light  
duties”. They ask what does “light duties” mean. If someone said they had to be off  
phones, Potts would say what does “off phones” mean and for how long. SaskPower  
has temporary accommodations and permanent accommodations and they involve two  
very different processes.  
For temporary accommodations, Potts’ office goes to the business unit and tells them  
what the restrictions are and they find suitable alternate work and then they have to  
have an end date when the case is either reviewed again or there is updated medical.  
For permanent accommodation, the relevant union is usually involved because  
SaskPower has to look at long term solutions where they might have to remove  
someone from their job and put them into a different job. The unions are involved when  
SaskPower has to change the work.  
Potts came to know AB in September 2015 when AB was off on WCB for a back issue.  
AB came back from WCB in October and he went off again the next day because of  
mental health issues.  
The back injury was around September 27 or 28 and AB was cleared to return to work  
on October 19 fulltime with no restrictions.  
AB reported for work on October 19. AB left work that day and SaskPower requested  
medical because they needed to determine whether this was a new claim or part of  
WCB. Potts sent AB an email on October 19:  
I have been advised you left work this afternoon for medical reasons. Can you please have the  
attached form completed in full and return to the RTW Office today to provide medical to support  
your absence. We will need to determine if the absence is related to your WCB claim or your file  
needs to be adjudicated for a new Plan B request.  
Potts attached the benefits application. If the back injury relapsed then they had to go  
back to WCB and say they had a relapse of the previous claim. If it was not related to  
the WCB claim, AB had to apply for Plan B because he had no available sick leave.  
AB did not return to work on October 20. Potts received medical from Dr. O that day  
33  
taking AB off work at the time.  
After that Dr. O sent Potts’ office a series of medical documents, each extending AB’s  
sick leave for further periods of time. Potts normally has to request medical, but the  
psychiatrist was sending information on a monthly basis so she didn’t have to request  
information. Potts never spoke to the doctor.  
When Potts got the medical letter on October 20, she called AB to find out what was  
going on and asked if he would be willing to consider counselling. AB was really upset  
about stuff that happened at work and he was really angry. Potts talked to AB about  
trying to find a different way for him to manage his anger so he didn’t get so worked up  
about stuff happening at work.  
On October 19, AB had been late and there was some question as to how late he was.  
AB communicated that there was a difference in view on the time. AB felt he had only  
been a minute late. There was some discrepancy that it had been a greater period of  
time. Potts suggested to AB that it didn’t matter how late he was, that he needed to find  
a different way to respond when someone brought something up to him, that his first  
response shouldn’t be anger, that it would be better to have those discussions without  
getting angry.  
On the phone AB is loud. When he is upset, he talks loud and can come across as  
being very angry. He was mad. He resented being challenged and when he is  
challenged he gets mad.  
When Potts talked to AB in October, AB was unsure he wanted to go the formal  
counselling route. Potts gave him some time to think about it and called him in  
November after he had seen Dr. O again. Dr. O also recommended counselling, so  
Potts made the counselling available to AB at that time.  
Homewood Health is SaskPower’s EFAP provider. Potts sent a formal referral to ask  
them to work with AB on anger management and to help him better control himself at  
work and so not get into trouble. As a formal referral, AB goes for as long as everybody  
thinks he needs to go. Under the regular EFAP program, a person can call and the  
employer may never know they did because there are no reports. Usually the person  
gets only four to six sessions. Potts is not usually involved in that.  
The formal process involves mandatory counselling and monitoring of attendance and  
compliance. The employee has to attend and has to be making progress in treatment.  
Counselling will continue for as long as the parties agree it has to continue. There  
could be lots of sessions until everybody agrees counselling can conclude. It is  
essentially unlimited EFAP. Potts’ office gets reports on dates of appointment, whether  
the person attended and if they are making progress.  
In cross-examination:  
Potts confirmed that she does not run the EFAP program. She makes formal  
referrals to EFAP, but those are outside the actual program. Otherwise, she refers  
people to the website where they can sign up for an account and access the EFAP.  
Potts confirmed that to her knowledge AB voluntarily went to counselling in  
November. She used the mandatory process to allow AB to get counselling for as  
34  
long as he went. If AB had said no, that would not have happened.  
Potts confirmed that if AB’s behaviour continued it could lead to termination. She  
offered him the counselling to help him. If he chose not to participate and there  
were problems, the consequences would be his.  
Potts confirmed that she got reports of AB’s attendance at counselling. He went  
twice in November, three times in December, and three times in January. There  
was then one cancelled and then a no-show in January or February. Potts receives  
nothing on the results of the counselling, just information on attendance and if the  
person is non-compliant with treatment.  
Potts confirmed that for some reason AB didn’t get an email she sent him with the  
800 number to call to access the counselling, so she had to have the information re-  
sent.  
The  
The Formal Referral form shows the date referred to be November 13, 2015. The  
referral is for [AB]. It says the situation has been discussed with the employee and that  
the date of the last discussion was November 12, 2015. The form contains information  
about the Storekeeper position and indicates that it is a safety sensitive position and a  
Union position. In response to the question, “Is the employee currently off work on any  
form of disability?”, the box for “Yes” is marked with the notation, “Anxiety and  
Depression – history of mental health problems”. The areas checked for “Work related  
concerns”, include:  
Formal  
Referral  
Form  
Mental/Emotional Concerns  
Outbursts of anger  
Unpredictable behaviour  
Work Relationships  
Overreaction to real or imagined criticism  
Abrasiveness with superiors or co-workers  
The form also reflects that:  
o [AB] has a history of bad behaviour in the workplace, although he does not  
take ownership of his role or behaviour.  
o [AB] is in the final steps of the discipline policy. He was placed on a decision  
making leave a number of months ago and if he has one more incident  
where his behaviour is deemed culpable his employment will be terminated.  
o He has poor anger management skills and tends to react poorly in situations  
where he perceives he is being challenged or confronted.  
o The Employer expects better anger management skills and the ability to  
react to situations in a professional manner.  
o [AB] is aware he is to attend counselling sessions and if he chooses not to  
attend and as a result if his inappropriate responses/behaviour continues it  
could result in termination of employment.  
35  
October 2015 to January 2016  
AB  
AB was off work in 2015.  
At that time, AB communicated with Kathy Potts at the Return to Work Office by email.  
Kathy Potts’ email on October 19 says:  
I have been advised you left work this afternoon for medical reasons. Can you please have the  
attached form completed in full and return to the RTW Office today to provide medical to support  
your absence. We will need to determine if the absence is related to your WCB claim or your file  
needs to be adjudicated for a new Plan B request.  
AB replied on October 20:  
You should have received a P-148 from [Dr. O] first thing this morning.  
This has nothing to do with WCB.  
Do I need this form you have also sent me, also filled out?  
That afternoon at 15:36, Potts responded:  
Just checked and I don’t have anything yet. Can you please call their office and ask them to re-  
send it [fax number included].  
AB then wrote:  
Just called and she said she would sent it right away.  
Please keep me informed if you need anything from me please Kathy.  
Potts responded:  
I will let you know when it arrives.  
AB’s psychiatrist provided SaskPower’s Return to Work Office with a P-148 form on  
October 20, 2015, saying AB was examined on October 19 and that he would be off  
work starting October 20. Inexplicably, the form says the date of the last examination  
for this absence is November 6, 2015. The form is dated October 19. The nature of the  
illness is stated to be anxiety disorder and depression disorder. The accompanying  
letter from Dr. O says:  
This is to inform you that the above-named client of mine is presently unwell for the past few  
weeks. I have advised that he takes about 2 weeks sick leave. Please do contact me if you need  
further information about his care but be aware that the information can only be released with his  
consent.  
On October 30, AB saw Dr. O and Dr. O completed another P-148 form showing the  
nature of illness to be Anxiety/Depression Disorder. The accompanying letter from Dr.  
O says:  
This is to inform you that the above-named client of mine is presently unwell for the past few  
weeks. I have extended his sick leave to another four weeks. Please do contact me if you need  
further information about his care but be aware that the information can only be released with his  
consent.  
AB continued to stay off work.  
AB saw Dr. O again on November 30, 2015. The P-148 again reflects  
Anxiety/Depression Disorder.  
36  
The letter accompanying the November 30 P-148 from Dr. O says:  
This is to inform you that the above-named client of mine saw me at the clinic today. He has  
continued to struggle and he started his psychotherapy today. I do believe that he needs more  
time to help with the therapy and medication as I [sic] result, I have extended his sick leave to 5  
more weeks.  
AB continued off work and went to see Dr. O on January 6, 2016. Dr. O sent  
SaskPower a letter that day to say:  
This is to state that the above-named client of mine is currently attending my clinic. He has  
remained unstable. I would like to extend his sick leave by another four weeks. I will review him  
again at my clinic in one month.  
AB identified the EFAP brochure from Homewood Health. SaskPower did not require  
AB to go to counselling, but AB agreed to go to counselling. AB needed some  
counselling and he wanted to start as soon as possible. He discussed that with Dr. O,  
who felt it was a very good idea. AB thought when you go to the psychiatrist you lie  
down on the couch and tell your problems but it is not like that at all. He wanted to seek  
counselling to get steps in place to control depression, anxiety, and his anger. Then he  
approached Kathy Potts about this.  
Potts said it would be no problem but AB needed to come in and sign a form at head  
office, so AB went and signed it. AB denies checking any of the boxes or filling out any  
of the comments in the Formal Referral form. He claims Potts did not let him review the  
Formal Referral form before it went to Homewood. AB acknowledges he signed the  
Formal Referral form for the counselling request on November 12, 2015.  
The Formal Referral says under Employer Expectations:  
Better anger management skills and the ability to react to situations in a professional and  
appropriate manner.  
He is aware he is to attend counselling sessions, if he chooses not to attend and as a result his  
inappropriate responses/behavior continue it could result in termination of his employment.  
AB says:  
I wasn’t informed until my very first counselling session when the counselor informed me that if I  
miss any days I could be terminated, and then she showed me and then I said I didn’t agree to  
that and she showed me my signature on the first page.  
In the first session she told me I would be disciplined or terminated if I didn’t show up. I told her  
that wasn’t the case, that I was actively seeking counselling on my own. She said you signed  
that form and that was the end of that because that was my signature.  
When AB had not heard further by November 23, he emailed Potts to ask how long the  
process was to see someone because he hadn’t heard. Potts asked if AB had called  
the number she gave him to call. AB said he hadn’t received a number, so Potts had  
her colleague send the number to AB again. It turned out they may have been sending  
the information to AB’s work email. AB finally received the number to call on November  
25 and AB then called the number. Things were still not set up. There was more  
confusion and eventually AB began his counselling sessions around November 30.  
In cross-examination:  
AB agreed he was way from work from September 28 to October 19, 2015 on WCB  
37  
and that when he returned to work on October 19, he had a run-in with Carswell  
and was then off work until February 17.  
AB denied having a conversation around October 20 in which Potts spoke to him  
about being angry and suggested counselling. He said, “That is absolutely wrong.”  
He does not believe the suggestion came from Potts. He and his psychiatrist had  
that discussion.  
When counsel pointed out Dr. O’s record of October 30, 2015, which says “I  
suggested to him that he should accept the offer to see a counselor through work,”  
AB then said:  
I don’t remember Kathy Potts phoning me and saying I should take counselling. …I know I talked  
to the psychiatrist on my own about counselling.  
When counsel read him the following sentence which says, “He wasn’t initially  
happy with the offer, but I had clarified to him that he will need a behavioral  
management as well to deal with his anger and mood dysregulation,” AB still  
vehemently disagreed that the suggestion for counseling came from Kathy Potts.  
AB insisted Potts never reviewed the Formal Referral form with him on the phone  
as Potts had testified.  
AB agreed there is no information on page 1 of the Formal Referral form that is  
inaccurate.  
When asked what the referral was for, AB said it was that he needed to seek  
counselling and Potts could help him with that. The counselling was to be able to  
cope with his life at that time. AB insisted that the counselling wasn’t to do with  
anger even though the items checked on the Formal Referral form are Outbursts of  
anger and Unpredictable behaviour. AB says the boxes that should have been  
checked are: Fearful, anxious, suspicious; Difficulty in recalling instructions; Mood  
swings; Difficulty adjusting to changes; Outbursts of crying. AB said:  
Outbursts of anger and Unpredictable behaviour those are two I would not have checked.  
When he was questioned further, AB agreed he might have checked “anger”, but  
not “unpredictable behaviour”, because “I am a pretty predictable guy.”  
AB said that under Work Relationships, he would not agree that Overreaction to  
imagined criticism should be checked but he thinks Avoidance of supervisors and  
coworkers should have been. When asked if he would have checked Abrasiveness  
with supervisors or co-workers, AB said:  
Not Abrasive with supervisors. …or co-workers. I don’t like the word abrasive, so I wouldn’t have  
checked that.  
AB denies that he had a history of bad behaviour and didn’t take ownership of it. He  
agrees he was at the final stage of the discipline policy with the Decision Making  
Leave and that he could be terminated if there was one more incident.  
AB does not agree that he displayed poor anger management skills and acted  
poorly when he was challenged or confronted.  
38  
AB denied Potts discussed any of these matters with him including bad behaviour in  
the workplace and said:  
It was simple a procedure. She said I had to come to head office and sign a paper. She doesn’t  
remember me coming there, but I was there. …It was short and sweet.  
AB denies Potts telling him that the reason SaskPower was making the sessions  
mandatory was so that AB would not be limited in the number of sessions. He was  
under the assumption it was voluntary.  
AB said he was surprised when the counselor told him that if he didn’t attend the  
sessions he could possibly be terminated.  
I am a level 2 one strike from being fired. Why would I go into something I could be fired for?  
Counsel pointed out the form says if AB didn’t attend and his behavior continued,  
he would be terminated. Counsel asked if that was reasonable for the Employer to  
say. AB said:  
I would agree with that statement if I was forced to take counselling, but I needed to take the  
counselling on my own. This meant if I don’t make an appointment or cancel an appointment I  
could be fired.  
AB agreed that he did miss appointments and he wasn’t fired for that.  
February, 2016  
Mark  
Caswell  
In AB’s absence Caswell needed someone to fill AB’s role. Another employee, Don  
Valley, took over the duties AB had been performing. Valley primarily worked in the  
warehouse on the receiving side before that, but it was not out of the ordinary for him to  
spend time outside on the forklift. Valley was trained and capable. There was also  
another employee on medical leave and Caswell had to backfill that position with other  
new staff. There were four or five new employees on site by the time AB returned.  
Things were different when AB wasn’t there. The yard was in better shape, better  
stacked and better organized. The quality of work was excellent. It was what Caswell  
wanted to see. Valley said he was happy with the work and felt good about the job he  
was doing. He was a polite and engaged employee.  
Caswell was not aware of why AB was away, only that AB was on medical leave.  
Details of medical leave are between the employees and the Return to Work (“RTW”)  
office. If an employee brings something to Caswell, he passes it to RTW. Caswell did  
not receive anything in connection with AB’s absence and received no communication  
from AB while AB was away. Kathy Potts in RTW kept Caswell informed. If there were  
to be any special conditions or restrictions on AB’s RTW, then Potts would make  
Caswell aware of that.  
In cross-examination:  
Caswell confirmed that before AB went on sick leave, AB had worked  
predominantly outside in the yard on the forklift and that before AB came back,  
no change in work assignment had been communicated to him.  
Caswell confirmed that he was not privy to AB’s medical information. He was  
39  
only told AB would be returning to work with no restrictions.  
Caswell confirmed that before AB’s return to work, he did not invite the Union to  
discuss gradual return to work for AB.  
Jillian  
Orb  
If an employee is absent and the RTW office gets medical that says they can only work  
four hours a day or something, Orb works with the manager to see how the return will  
be handled. They may need to divide workload among other people or bid another  
position. They need to know if there is anything they need to do to accommodate any  
restrictions. Orb was aware AB had been off work, but there was no role for her on his  
return because RTW was advised there were no restrictions on AB’s return to work.  
In cross-examination:  
Orb confirmed she did not contact the Union before AB’s return to work.  
Kathy  
Potts  
As of February 15, 2016, AB was going to exhaust his Plan B benefits so he had to  
apply for LTD. To this point, based on the medical from Dr. O, SaskPower’s corporate  
physician had been approving AB for Plan B benefits.  
As of February 2, Dr. O said AB was able to return to work fulltime with no restrictions  
on February 15. Dr. O had been following AB for the last three months giving updates  
on AB’s mental health and providing recommendations on his work. Potts took Dr. O’s  
letter at face value that AB was able to return to work.  
Whenever AB was off work before, when AB came back from being off, Potts never  
received any requests for accommodations with respect to AB’s mental health. AB had  
been off before for brief periods of time and always came back to work with no  
restrictions and no request for accommodation from him, the Union or his doctor.  
Potts talked to AB. There were some emails back and forth about AB being on track to  
come back to work. Potts was getting ready to go out of town. AB said he was ready  
and he was coming back fulltime and they were good to go.  
AB  
On February 2, 2016, Dr. O sent a letter to SaskPower:  
[AB] is a patient under my care. He has been off work for about three months due to his ongoing  
mental-health problems.  
His is currently undergoing treatments and should be able to return to full-time work on the 15th  
of February 2016.  
AB acknowledges he knew Dr. O was sending this letter to SaskPower. Before he  
returned to work, he had a text message exchange with Meghan Jerkewitz who was  
the secretary at work. AB’s return to work day was changed to February 17 because  
February 15 was a holiday and February 16 was his scheduled day off. AB sent a text  
on February 16 to ask if he started at 7 on the 17th. Jerkewitz said that was correct as  
far as she knew. Then on the 16th AB received an email from Kathy Potts telling him to  
report to Mark Caswell at 8:00 a.m. on February 16, 2016.  
There were no plans about reintegrating AB into the workplace. Dr. O recommended  
gradual return to work. They had a lengthy discussion about that in one of their  
sessions. Dr. O recommended AB go back “to a gradual workforce”, a couple of hours  
40  
a week or a couple of hours a day, some sort of system to get AB back to work.  
AB decided to go back fulltime.  
I had been off for three and a half months. I had learned some techniques to do in certain  
situations. I had never been on this kind of leave before -- any kind of leave for mental health or  
couldn’t do my job. I’d never been on any kind of stress leave or whatever you want to call it. I  
felt it was time. Three and one half months had passed. I had adjusted to medication and  
learned some techniques and I didn’t want to go on LTD -- something else I have never been on.  
Financially it was very hard on us. I had the pressure of when we had bought our house two  
years earlier. My father-in-law co-signed for me the mortgage he was retired – he didn’t have  
to do that – and I didn’t want to do anything to [crying] to wreck his credit because he was retired  
now so I had that pressure. …  
I liked to go to work. I liked to do my job. I liked the fact that I wasn’t a compensation case for 22  
years. I wasn’t a stress leave type of guy. I am a proud German and my dad taught me. …I was  
taught values. I was taught what it means to work hard because when my father was 17 he  
jumped on a boat from Germany with no English, a suitcase and he came to Canada with  
nothing [crying].  
If you have a German father, they teach you values old country to be respectful and if I am  
healthy there is no reason why I can’t do a job. I don’t believe in unemployment unless you are  
sick, so I believe I learned from him well because I have had two jobs in my life and it means  
that much more because I lost my father he died at 52. I was 21.  
He was sitting there one day and that night he was gone and unfortunately in my family, we  
dwell on that. It was 1989 and we dwell on that. We celebrate my dad’s anniversary every year. I  
take her there every year. She never remarried.  
Work is a very important value. I haven’t really accomplished much in life, but I had 22 years with  
SaskPower almost half my life. That was one of my major accomplishments in life other than  
my son. I wasn’t good in school, but I was good at my job.  
Kathy Potts informed me that on 15th of February I would have to go on LTD. I know it was told  
to me. I’m not sure how. …  
The finances were not good. I was collecting 70 per cent of my wage. My wife she was a  
secretary and she worked 8 to five at five she would transfer her phone to a company to  
answer the phone and dispatch her plumbers. She informed her boss of our situation that I  
was unemployed and we weren’t making the money we did before. He asked if instead of  
transferring phones at five, she would do it for half the cost and keep the phone 24/7. My wife  
has worked 24/7 since this happened. And I am supposed to be looking after her because  
that’s my job. When I married her I promised I would give her everything and look after her and  
not her take care of me. My mom never worked a day in her life. Dad did everything. He was my  
mentor. …  
…Everything was falling behind. I was the breadwinner to nothing. I had no income. …and I  
believe LTD is even less – 65 maybe. I’m guessing.  
AB says his depression and anxiety were common knowledge at work. He is an open  
book and wears his emotions on his sleeve. If he has something on his mind, he does  
not hide it well.  
I told Mark about the anniversary of my father, but this year my dog died and I know that  
sounds childish but when you have a depression or whatever your case, you would be surprised  
what an animal could do for you and I had that animal for ten years. He could calm me down  
quicker than drugs. He died on the 12th of August, my dad’s anniversary was the 17th. It was a  
41  
real rough time.  
…I was telling him that story. He said when I am down, I have a special bottle at home. I have  
had it for a very long time -- sometimes one drink for the year. And I informed him that I have a  
bottle there to like that from my dad that is almost 65 years old that has never been opened, but I  
don’t drink so I will just go home. He was concerned about me. I was having a shitty day.  
February 17, 2016  
Mark  
Caswell  
Kathy Potts informed Caswell that AB would be returning to work on February 17. The  
other person on sick leave most commonly picked orders on the shipping side. There  
were other new employees in shipping with little experience, so Caswell was faced with  
a fairly inexperienced workforce at the busiest time ever. Another employee who had  
primarily worked in shipping had retired. That employee would also occasionally work  
in receiving or move where he was needed.  
February 2016 was an extraordinarily busy period of time in the warehouse. The end of  
winter was approaching and a lot of work in environmentally sensitive areas takes  
place when the ground is frozen. The winter had been mild and there was a lot of work  
to be done now that the ground was frozen. That lined up with rural municipalities’  
weight restrictions on roads. SaskPower was desperate to get things done before the  
thaw and they needed material shipped before the road bans. There was also a lot of  
work in general. It was the busiest time they have seen.  
Caswell’s plan on AB’s return to work was to have AB help in shipping to help to  
manage that workload. AB was experienced and could do all aspects of the job. This  
would increase output in shipping. Kathy Potts informed Caswell there were no  
restrictions on AB’s return to work so that meant AB was capable of doing the full  
duties of Storekeeper.  
The changes Caswell intended were not intended to be permanent. They had a  
problem in the warehouse where the demands were greater than the capacity and  
Caswell was working with the supervisor to deal with it. Caswell was looking forward to  
AB coming back because he thought they would have someone experienced to help  
them out.  
Caswell normally meets with an employee on their return to work after an absence.  
Other than Kathy Potts’ advice that AB was returning with no restrictions, Caswell had  
no communications from anyone about AB’s return to work. Neither AB nor the Union  
had contacted him.  
On the morning of February 17, Caswell met AB at the receiving bench (a desk where  
they do paperwork) on the east side of the warehouse. This is in Building 3.The admin  
area and offices are in front and the warehouse, shipping and receiving, are part of the  
building. Salvage is in a different building. The warehouse building is about 100 feet by  
about 270 feet.  
When Caswell came into the warehouse toward receiving bench he saw Don Valley  
and Lawney Donaldson. They were getting ready for shift. Caswell approached AB,  
welcomed him back and asked him to come with Caswell to discuss what his return to  
work would look like and what his duties would be. AB followed Caswell.  
Caswell was going to take AB to the conference room behind Caswell’s desk. As they  
42  
started walking, they were alone so Caswell started the discussion before they reached  
Caswell’s office. Caswell asked how AB had been doing, nothing heavy, just small talk.  
Caswell told AB he wanted AB to work on the shipping side with Greg Simpson.  
Caswell said, “I need to you help him because we are so busy.”  
I think that was the last thing AB heard because he interrupted. AB lost his temper immediately.  
He said, “I can’t fucking believe you guys would do this to me.”  
[At this point in the hearing, AB left the hearing room and appeared to be quite angry. I  
called for a break and when AB returned after the break, he said he was sorry.]  
Caswell continued his testimony about February 17:  
He [AB] erupted. I made a couple of attempts to explain the reason for my decision. He wasn’t  
stopping with his outbursts for long enough to listen. “You guys are fucking harassing me and I  
can’t believe you would fucking do this.”  
AB made a comment about -- You’re out to get me and why would you put me in the  
warehouse and you know I can’t work in the warehouse.  
AB was clearly wound up and Caswell didn’t know what AB was going to do next.  
Caswell tried to explain that while AB was gone they had to make adjustments to cover  
his work and that was going well.  
We were slammed in shipping, Greg needed his help. I really don’t think he was listening. He  
didn’t stop with the outburst long enough for me to explain. “This place is a fucking joke. I can’t  
believe you are fucking doing this. This is fucking harassment.”  
AB was anything but calm. At this point AB turned and started to walk back into the  
warehouse towards the shipping area. It was constantly the same diatribe.  
It was an endless loop at a volume of ten and constant profanity. I was kind of beside him and  
behind him when this initially starting happening. I started following him. I didn’t know what he  
was going to do and I wasn’t prepared to have him go back into the warehouse unsupervised at  
that point. I wasn’t speaking to him. He was speaking constantly. I told him to calm down and  
this wasn’t going to work well for him, but it was mostly him with the string of yelled profanity.  
At some point I walked away from him. I remember Doug Hesch, another employee …he was  
probably changing into boots and coveralls for the day. …he said he thought he could get AB  
calmed down. I thought that was a good idea and was willing to let him do that.  
AB and Caswell had already talked about having a Union rep and Caswell had said AB  
didn’t need a Union rep because they were just talking about return to work. AB said, “If  
we are going to continue this conversation, I need my fucking Union rep.” Initially  
Caswell didn’t think a Union rep was required. This was not discipline. It was work  
assignment. When AB continued to yell, Caswell said “Yes, you need to get a Union  
rep.”  
Caswell said he would contact Curtis Lizee and Hesch said to let AB make the contact.  
Caswell agreed to this.  
When Caswell followed AB in the warehouse, he was very concerned about what AB  
was going to do. AB was unpredictable and had reached fever pitch and Caswell was  
concerned AB wasn’t in control of himself.  
After Hesch said he would step in, Caswell left the warehouse for a few minutes to  
43  
allow Hesch to talk with AB. Caswell went to his office for a few minutes. He started  
making notes about what happened. He was there for maybe 15 minutes, long enough,  
he thought, to hopefully allow things to diffuse and cooler heads to prevail.  
Caswell went back to the warehouse to discuss the situation with AB. Caswell needed  
to know if AB was going to have a Union rep present for the conversation. He wanted  
to know what time they would meet so he could re-arrange his schedule to  
accommodate that.  
AB was not there when Caswell went into the back. One of the fellows told Caswell that  
AB had gone over to the salvage building, so Caswell went over there. There was no  
operational reason for AB to be in the salvage building at that time. When Caswell got  
there, AB was there talking to Darren Kivisto, Doug Hesch and Ken Fink. Fink was the  
supervisor in salvage at that time. Fink has since passed away.  
Caswell approached AB and asked if AB he had information for when a Union rep  
would be available. AB didn’t have anything at that point but he said he would settle  
down and accept the assignment he had been given. At that point Caswell thanked AB  
and told AB if he needed a few minutes that was fine. No one else said anything.  
Caswell did not observe AB to be crying but he was extremely emotionally agitated. AB  
was red faced and shaking.  
Caswell went back to the warehouse to talk to Greg Simpson to come up with a plan to  
bring AB back into the work group and get things started.  
AB had never previously expressed concern to Caswell about working indoors. AB said  
something about that earlier that morning.  
Caswell and Simpson went into the conference room behind Caswell’s desk. Five to  
ten minutes had passed since Caswell left salvage.  
We started talking about pairing him with someone to get him back to work Don Dressler. We  
settled on Don because he was a little more mature and would have been able to handle AB’s  
bigger personality better than a more junior guy.  
He’d been away for almost five months. Lots had changed. There were a number of new people  
at this point. It seemed like that would be the appropriate thing to do. I would do that for anyone  
after that period of time.  
While Caswell and Simpson were talking, AB burst into the room and interrupted the  
conversation. It was like he had gotten angry all over again at this point. Simpson left  
and allowed AB and Caswell to have a conversation. Caswell invited AB to sit down so  
they could talk.  
I had to remind him to keep it respectful. He was saying things like --- this is completely fucking  
ridiculous – why don’t you put me back on the forklift – you know that’s where I belong. His voice  
was he was shouting at me I was pretty rattled at this point – I thought I had seen AB’s anger  
but he had reached new heights he was in a fit of rage. I stayed calm if I had responded in  
any anger, I don’t know where it would have gone. I tried to use a calm voice to try to get him to  
calm down. I was mapping out the room trying to figure out how I was going to get out of there if  
he attacked me. I was afraid I was going to be attacked.  
The discussion was not long. It probably happened faster than it seemed at the time. He was so  
angry. I was quite rattled. I have no clear sense of how long. I was afraid.  
He was saying horrible things – if I fucking died, I don’t want any of you fuckers at my funeral –  
44  
this is fucking ridiculous the company is a fucking joke. He said something about the rules of  
the CBA and he said what does this company know about following the fucking rules.  
AB said he wanted to take a week of vacation. This happened somewhere about the  
middle of the discussion. Caswell said he didn’t know whether AB had a week  
available. Caswell suggested AB take the day and come back the next day and that is  
where it was left. Caswell approves vacation requests for his work crew. He bases the  
decision on whether vacation is available and whether there would be hardship for the  
rest of the work group.  
When AB left, Caswell saw him speed out of the parking lot. When reviewing it all in his  
mind, Caswell did not have a sense that AB had any idea he had to report for work the  
next day. Caswell texted AB to say he still expected AB to return to work the next day.  
AB did not respond to the text. Caswell also sent AB an email because AB had been  
gone for five months and Caswell didn’t know whether the phone number he had was a  
current number anymore. They had texted in the past and AB had always responded  
before and had sent texts before. AB didn’t reply to the email. Without a response  
Caswell had no idea if that was a current email address.  
Caswell worked with the RTW office to prepare a letter to send to AB by courier. They  
didn’t know whether AB had received the text or the email and at that point they were  
“going down a formal route” and it needed to be a letter. The letter reads:  
Further to my e-mail and text message sent to you on Wednesday February 17, 2016, I have  
approved vacation for Wednesday February 17, 2016 only. You are hereby directed to report to  
work at 7:00 am on Thursday February 18, 2016 as per your regular work schedule.  
You were medically cleared to return to work with no restrictions as of February 17, 2016 and  
SaskPower’s expectation is you will perform the duties of your job as per my work direction.  
Failure to report to work as outlined in this letter will result in discipline up to and including  
dismissal.  
Burgess signed the letter because Caswell was in Swift Current at that point dealing  
with other scheduled things.  
Several other people in Building 3 had heard AB’s outburst that morning. Caswell  
observed peoples’ behaviour. There was nervousness and short quiet conversation.  
People were not sure what to expect next. There was laughing to try to make light of  
the incident, but it was nervousness. Nobody was thinking it was funny.  
At that point, Caswell had not decided to terminate AB. He made arrangements with  
Jillian Orb to discuss and investigate the following day. Orb was Caswell’s Human  
Resources Business Partner at the time.  
On the morning of February 17, 2016, Caswell made notes of his encounters with [AB]:  
7:00 I approached [AB] @ Receiving bench. Welcomed him back and asked him to come  
with me to discuss his return & his duties. Made some small talk as we walked. I  
explained that I needed [AB] to work with Greg in receiving. He immediately became  
angry, accusing me of being a bully and being “out to get” him. I attempted to explain  
that these were changes already done & in progress and he was needed in shipping. I  
attempted to explain that others were affected by changes as well. I don’t believe he  
heard any of this. He said we would need to have this conversation with his union rep  
present. I told him that this wasn’t disciplinary, so union representation wasn’t a  
requirement; he continued to get angries [sic], again accused me of bullying him,  
45  
picking on him, swearing frequently. I remind him to be respectful and then agreed that  
we would need a union rep to continue the conversation. I left the warehouse.  
7:10 Doug Hesch approached, said he thought he could calm [AB] down a bit and help him  
to make arrangements for a union rep. I told Doug I could call Curtis Lizee, but Doug  
said to let [AB] do it. I agreed and thanked Doug.  
7:30 I went back into the warehouse to see if [AB] had spoken to Curtis and find what time  
the meeting would be held. [AB] was not in the warehouse. I was told he had left the  
warehouse (where he was assigned to work) and went to Salvage. I walked over to  
Salvage and [AB] was sitting there. Also present were Darren, Doug H and Ken F. I  
asked [AB] if he had spoken to the IBEW yet, as I needed to know timing of any  
meetings to be able to rearrange my schedule. He indicated he would be on the floor  
and doing what had been requested of him soon. He still appeared very agitated. I  
thanked him and returned to the warehouse to speak to Greg about getting [AB] to  
work.  
7:45 Speaking to Greg in his office, but constant phone & staff interruptions made a  
conversation difficult. After attempting for a few minutes to get things sorted out, I  
asked Greg to give the phone to Jaret and come up to the office, so we can talk without  
interruption. As we were leaving Greg’s office I observed [AB] at the very back of the  
warehouse on the phone with his back to us.  
8:00 Greg and I were talking in the conference room about pairing [AB] with someone to get  
him re-oriented after his absence. This was a subject of some depth because Greg  
recognizes the difficulty in dealing with [AB]. We settled on Don Dressler because Don  
is a little older, more mature, and would be able to handle [AB’s] personality.  
8:15 [AB] interrupted Greg and I in the conference room. Greg left to go back to warehouse  
and I invited [AB] to have a seat. It was at this point that [AB] became extremely  
agitated and verbally abusive. He made comments such as I was “stabbing him in the  
back”, and asking “why the fuck would you put me on the inside of the warehouse?” He  
also said something like “Everyone is out to get me – you, the union, no one will stand  
up for me.” He further accused me of being a bully and asked “why the fuck would you  
do this to me?”  
I very calmly explained that he was pushing his luck (or something to that effect) and to  
keep his tone and his language respectful. I tried again to explain that there were lots of  
changes since he had gone on leave and tell him what the changes were, but he kept  
interrupting me with comments like “this is a fucking joke” and “you need to put me  
back on the fucking forklift.”  
I said again that there was a lot to be done in shipping and that is where I needed his  
help.  
He said “I can’t fucking be here right now, I need to use a week of vacation.” I told him  
that I didn’t know if he even had any vacation and that leaving wasn’t going to resolve  
anything. He said something about “losing my fucking mind” and “need to get the fuck  
away”. I told him to take the day and revisit this tomorrow. He left angry and I observed  
him speeding out of the parking lot, spinning his tires a couple of moments later.  
Other comments I recall him making but can’t exactly recall where the course of the  
discussion he said them:  
-
I said something about the rules as per the CBA and he said “Like this fucking  
company knows how to follow the rules”  
-
-
“Why the fuck are you guys doing this to me?”  
Anger & intimidating body language on display throughout the entire episode.  
46  
In cross-examination:  
Caswell confirmed that he came to work early on February 17 so he would be there  
to meet with AB when AB returned to work.  
Caswell confirmed he told AB that he needed AB in shipping, and that he needed to  
cross-train employees so he could send them to work where they were needed.  
Caswell attempted to explain the changes, but AB kept interrupting with his  
outbursts. Caswell said he does remember AB saying something about Kryptonite,  
but he had never heard AB say anything like that in the past.  
Caswell agreed that he may have asked AB to listen to him.  
Caswell does not recall AB saying anything about a counselor telling him to walk  
away from situations and collect himself. Caswell was not aware AB was seeing a  
counsellor. Caswell does not recall AB asking Caswell to please leave him alone.  
Caswell does not recall AB asking Hesch to make Caswell leave him alone. Hesch  
approached and said he thought he could calm AB down. AB was in the building at  
that point, but he and Caswell were not side by side.  
Caswell confirmed he did not observe AB crying at any point during the first  
encounter that morning.  
Caswell confirmed he felt AB was swearing at him during this encounter.  
When someone is [points aggressively] pointing at you and saying -- why are you fucking doing  
this to me, it’s pretty hard to take it any other way. ...This was a direct challenge of authority. He  
was saying – you have no right to do this to me. …I was being sworn at. He was angry and  
angry with me, and he let it be known very clearly that he was angry with me.  
Caswell confirmed that during the meeting in the conference room AB was agitated  
and angry. He agreed that when he tried to explain the changes, AB said he was  
the only change. AB never did allow Caswell to explain the changes. Caswell  
agreed that AB may have teared up later in this meeting. Caswell doesn’t think AB  
was sad. AB had so much rage in him he couldn’t contain it.  
Caswell agreed AB sat down when Caswell asked him to sit down. AB stood up at  
times during the meeting and leaned across the table. Caswell agreed AB didn’t  
leave until Caswell told him he could leave.  
Caswell said he experienced intense anger from AB and that he felt pretty  
threatened during that meeting. He agreed he did not call in a third party to assist.  
When AB made the comment about if AB died tomorrow, Caswell was quite scared  
for his wellbeing and was trying to figure out how to get out of there if AB came after  
him.  
Caswell said he was rattled, but he was not angry. Caswell confirmed AB didn’t  
make any verbal threats to anyone else in the building.  
Chris  
Burgess  
On the morning of February 17, 2016 around 8 am, Burgess was at his desk right  
beside the conference room. The conference room door was closed, but the  
conference room is not soundproof. Right by Burgess’ cubicle there is a hole that goes  
into the conference room. Burgess could hear pretty well especially when the situation  
47  
escalated.  
Burgess could hear AB and Caswell talking. He didn’t pay attention at first, but he  
started paying attention when he started hearing AB screaming. AB made comments  
like those Burgess listed in an email to Jillian Orb which he sent to her that afternoon.  
AB made many other comments, but the ones lists are the ones Burgess highlighted at  
the time.  
Caswell was calm through the whole thing. Caswell kept trying to bring AB down to a  
calm state. AB was very loud. When he is angry he has a very loud and booming voice.  
I was scared, actually, terrified for Mark. I turned my chair at one point thinking him and I were  
going to have to wrestle AB. I was scared because of the aggressive angry behavior and  
because of comments he was making that he was going to take a gun and blow his fuckin brains  
out, how everyone was out to get him, and how he hated Central Stores.  
AB’s comments were directed at hating people and with the comment about the gun,  
Burgess was scared.  
Burgess didn’t see AB leave. He didn’t talk to Caswell immediately. Because of his  
concerns about the blow-up, Burgess went out and locked the gate to make sure AB  
couldn’t come back in. Burgess had gone around and talked to the five staff in the  
office. They were upset from AB being so loud. AB’s voice had carried through the  
entire office and employees could very much hear what was going on.  
Burgess also asked the others to pass on their concerns to Jillian Orb. They were  
concerned and upset and he told them to send Orb an email of what they heard and  
what they felt. They kept the gate locked for a few weeks after this incident.  
Staff had raised concerns about AB. He had been escalating for a long time. There had  
been this growing tension between AB and the warehouse for a long time. There was  
genuine concern that it created a toxic environment within warehouse. It was unstable  
and people did not feel comfortable.  
Later that day Burgess signed a letter for Caswell ordering AB back to work. Given  
AB’s volatility and instability, Burgess was scared when he signed the letter.  
Burgess sent an email to Orb with a copy to Caswell at 3:45 that afternoon;  
I was witness to some disturbing behaviour this morning at Central Stores caused by [AB].  
At around 8:15 or so, I suddenly heard shouting coming from our conference room. I quickly  
realized that [AB] was yelling at Mark and swearing at Mark repeatedly. Things like I heard from  
[AB] were:  
“Why the fuck would you put me inside working – you know I fucking hate working inside”  
“Jesus Christ this is fucking ridiculous I want to be working in the forklift”  
This is a fucking joke everyone is against me, you – the Union, nobody is on my fucking side”  
“I get accused of smoking pot on the job, I get accused of drawing fucking pictures, I get told I’m  
late – Mark, it was fucking 7:01 when I drove into the yard not fucking 7:08”  
“I can’t stand this place – I need to fucking go, I’m out of here”  
To Mark’s credit he was able to stay very calm. He stated to [AB] that the guys in receiving have  
been working well and that he didn’t want to interfere with that. He told [AB] that his decision to  
put [AB] on the floor was because we are so backlogged in shipping and Greg needs the extra  
48  
set of hands there.  
Jillian, I must say. Once [AB] started screaming I turned my chair to face the conference room as  
I was afraid things were going to escalate further. I actually started thinking that I was going to  
have to interfere for Mark safety because [AB] was displaying such anger. Much to Mark’s credit  
he let [AB] leave to keep things calm in the workplace and I believe that was a very smart  
decision as I was worried, my back was up, and I was getting ready for anything. The minute  
someone is yelling so angrily at someone else it can quickly escalate to physical violence and I  
was worried for Mark.  
I understand that people can get upset at work but there is no excuse for an employee to be  
speaking to another employee in the manner that [AB] was speaking to Mark. Further, [AB]  
shouting profanities also upset the rest of the office as everyone else could hear that [AB] was  
yelling at Mark.  
Thanks for your attention to this matter.  
In cross-examination:  
Burgess confirmed the gap between his cubicle and the conference room is almost  
large enough to stick your arm through. He did not see what Caswell or AB looked  
like during their exchange, but he heard it. He could not see if AB was crying. AB  
used lots of profanity, including the “F” word.  
Burgess agreed he did not record that AB called Caswell names and he can’t recall  
whether AB called Caswell names.  
Burgess confirmed that he was ready to intervene, but he didn’t have to because  
AB left.  
Burgess agreed that if he thought threats of violence were serious enough, he  
would call his boss and if it was serious enough, he would call the police. He did not  
call the police about the February 17 incident. He does not know if anyone else did.  
He believes he spoke to Jillian Orb earlier in the day and sent her the email at 3:45  
p.m.. Orb did not ask for the report. Burgess initiated it. Orb is the person Burgess  
goes to when he has concerns.  
Burgess agreed that if AB’s behaviour was particularly dangerous and violent, the  
Employer might have asked him to stay home pending investigation instead of  
sending him a letter to tell him to come to work.  
Jillian  
Orb  
Caswell contacted Orb because there was an altercation when he was talking to AB  
about the changes in Central Stores. Chris Burgess also contacted Orb because he  
overheard the confrontation. Orb told Burgess to get more information. Burgess found  
out numerous people overheard the confrontation and they were concerned. Orb asked  
Burgess to go back and get statements. They needed to investigate the facts and find  
out what happened and try to correct the behavior, issue appropriate discipline and  
hold people accountable.  
Caswell contacted Orb initially because AB had left and said -- I can’t take this  
anymore -- I’m out of here -- and left the building and requested vacation for the rest of  
week. Orb advised Caswell not to approve the week of vacation because they needed  
to address AB’s behavior. She suggested Caswell approve the rest of day off for  
vacation and arrange for AB to come in the next day and have a discussion involving  
49  
Orb, Caswell, AB and a Shop Steward.  
The intent was to talk to AB and get him to understand why the changes in Central  
Stores had occurred and go forward to address the fact AB had a heated argument  
with Caswell in the workplace and he was engaging in insubordinate behavior. At that  
point, they had not made any decision about the outcome.  
In cross-examination:  
Orb confirmed that when she asked Burgess to get statements, she told him emails  
would be fine. She told Burgess to get statements from everyone who heard the  
confrontation. Some people sent emails to Orb. Orb did not interview these people.  
After speaking with Caswell and Burgess and reading the emails, Orb was satisfied  
there was enough information to warrant a conversation with AB.  
When asked if she had a statement from Perfect, Orb said she was not sure. When  
asked if she had a statement from Hesch, Orb said she did not talk to him or get a  
statement. Caswell spoke to both Hesch and Perfect. Orb did not do any in-person  
interviews.  
Orb said she was not sure whether she called Burgess or emailed him first when  
she got his email on February 17. She knows she followed up with Burgess.  
Orb agreed that there was nothing in Burgess’ email to suggest AB was verbally  
threatening Caswell or any other staff.  
Kathy  
Potts  
Caswell called Potts during the late morning or early afternoon of the day AB returned  
to work. Caswell said AB had had an outburst and had gone home. Caswell said AB  
had asked for a week off and Caswell had only given him the day. Potts told Caswell  
he needed to make sure AB understood he had to be at work the next day.  
The normal practice where an employee is medically cleared to return to work is that if  
they don’t show or don’t stay at work, SaskPower sends the employee a letter directing  
them to report to work.  
Caswell had sent a text and an email to AB and got no response. Potts recommended  
Caswell send a letter to get some indication AB was receiving the information that he  
had to be at work the next day.  
Potts would do this same thing with any other employee. SaskPower wants to be sure  
the employee has every opportunity to understand they need to return to work and  
SaskPower takes all steps to make sure they get that information. If SaskPower sent  
the letter and AB didn’t sign for it, the next step would be a process server. SaskPower  
does all they can to make sure the employee gets the letter.  
In cross-examination:  
When counsel suggested to Potts that there had been prior accommodations for  
AB, Potts said AB had prior absences, not accommodations. No one had ever  
asked for any accommodations for AB. SaskPower had never been advised of any  
work restrictions for AB.  
Potts confirmed she called AB in January to let him know his Plan B benefits were  
50  
going to run out and to tell him he needed to get his LTD application in.  
Potts confirmed that she sent AB an email on February 3, 2016 to confirm he was to  
report to Caswell at 8:00 a.m. on February 16. The date was later changed to  
February 17 because Monday that week was Family day and with AB’s BDO, his  
start date was moved to the 17th.  
Potts confirmed there were no meetings about AB gradually returning to work. Potts  
said SaskPower does not meet with people who are returning to work to fulltime  
regular duties. Her office would not have had any reason to contact the Union.  
AB  
AB arrived at work just before 7:00 a.m.. He put his coveralls on and walked over to the  
receiving bench. There were three others there -- Lawnie Donaldson, Ken Fink and  
Don Bell. Bell was really happy that AB was back because Bell had been filling in for  
AB.  
Caswell showed up about 7:15 a.m.. Caswell asked if he could speak with AB.  
I said sure. We started to head towards the main door to his offices. We got to the door and he  
stopped. He said -- I think we can chat here. There’s nobody around. He proceeded to tell me he  
needed me to pick inside – work for Greg and pick inside. I asked him why. I wasn’t angry. I  
asked why that was. He said things were going great over at receiving and basically he didn’t  
want to disrupt that.  
I was a little frustrated with that answer cause I was just talking to the boys and everything  
wasn’t great in receiving. He proceeded to tell me there was changes since I have been gone  
and that I was needed in shipping to pick. I asked why. We had talked earlier before about me  
picking inside would be my Kryptonite. I asked him what were the changes. He said it didn’t  
matter that I was going to pick inside. That’s where I was needed. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t  
yelling. I was more nervous because I could feel myself getting frustrated.  
I told Mark, You’re the boss. I’ll pick inside -- and I started to walk away. He just continued to tell  
me I was needed there. I reminded him of what he told me that he would not do that -- that he is  
not that type of guy. I was walking away. He asked me to stop and listen to him. I told him I need  
to step away and get out of this situation. My counsellor and psychiatrist told me I need to get  
myself out of that situation for a couple minutes to compose five minutes whatever and all I  
can hear is his voice. I said -- please stop, next time could you be with a shop steward? He said  
didn’t need shop steward. We were just having a conversation.  
I started to tear up cause when I am frustrated I am a bit of a baby. I told him the conversation  
was way past a conversation and I needed a shop steward and to leave me alone.  
We got to the shipping bench. He continues on why I should be picking inside. My co-worker  
Doug Hesch was there. I was tearing up pretty good. I asked Doug if he would get Mark to stop –  
Please Doug make him stop. Doug came in between Mark and I. I turned to walk away and go to  
the back of warehouse. Him and Doug went another direction. I’m not sure.  
Doug came to the back of warehouse a couple of minutes later. He asked if I wanted him to get  
the Union number for me. I said no I could do that. I went to the shipping bench to log into the  
computer to get Curtis’ number and unfortunately I had been gone for three and a half months  
and I needed to re-set my password. This was still pretty early like 730 or so. The Help Desk  
was not there.  
I walked over to salvage cause I knew Darren had had Curtis’ number, so I walked over there.  
Darren was at his locker. I explained what happened, but all of a sudden Mark walked into  
salvage. I just said to Mark -- I am getting the number from Darren for the Union. I can’t get into  
the computer. Mark said that is fine and he left.  
AB got the Union number from Darren, walked back to shipping and called the Union  
51  
office from the back of the shipping area. The woman who answered the phone  
transferred the call to a man. AB is not sure who that was. AB was pretty emotional on  
the phone, crying.  
His response to me was does my mom still cook me breakfast in the morning. … suck it up and  
go do your job.  
That comment stung. AB felt helpless.  
My boss was poking me. My union just told me to suck it up. I felt myself starting to lose control  
emotionally and now this is closer to eight so there is a lot more employees there. So a lot of  
embarrassment, a lot of shame started to sink in. Guys could see that I was visibly upset. I  
wasn’t yelling or running around. I had been crying. I gathered my composure and walked to the  
office at the front. Meghan said Mark was in a meeting with Greg. I could probably just knock. I  
walked to back. Mark’s office was empty.  
AB does not remember talking with John Perfect that morning.  
AB went back and knocked on the door and opened it. Simpson and Caswell were  
sitting. AB, standing at the door asked Caswell if he could have a week’s holidays.  
Caswell said he wasn’t sure of AB’s holiday status. AB said as of January he got a full  
holiday, so he had five weeks holidays coming.  
At that point Greg got up and left. Mark told me to come in and shut door. I come in and shut the  
door. He proceeds to tell me about the changes that are going on and that he needs me to be in  
shipping. I was frustrated with his answers because first it was everything is great. Then there  
was changes and then I asked -- What are the changes, Mark? He informs me of the new staff  
we got three or maybe four some new employees so I mentioned the seven fellow  
employees that were not changing. Nobody was changing their duties. Everybody doing  
everything the same as when I left except three new staff at salvage and picking inside so that  
was frustrating to me.  
I lose my composure. It wasn’t anger. I was – I needed to – why I wanted a week’s holiday – I  
needed to just leave. I didn’t want confrontation. I wanted to get out of the situation is why I  
wanted to get the days off. I broke down shaking, crying, sweating, panic setting in.  
Mark informs me that -- well let’s just do one day holiday and come back tomorrow and we’ll try  
again. All I said was -- Great Mark, thanks and I left. And I went home.  
AB said he asked to speak to the Union that morning because he wanted to see if there  
was anything they could do. AB felt Caswell was harassing him. He felt as though in  
the meeting in the warehouse in front of everyone Caswell was trying to get a reaction  
out of him.  
AB says he asked for space because he needed to get out of the situation. From his  
counsellor he has learned that it is a fight or flight situation. AB is not a fighter, so he  
needed to get out of there. He needed to run and get out of the situation.  
I am a guy with a letter too on my file. The last thing I need to do is be disrespectful to him.  
AB agreed he did use swear words that day.  
At no point did I swear at Mark like F you or F off. At no point did I call him a name like an A-  
hole or P. My vulgarity was in a sentence -- Fuck, Mark, I told you that in confidence man, why  
would you do that to me?  
It wasn’t like his ears would be falling off with the language. I have heard Mark use the same  
language. The door was closed. I didn’t even think of the office staff – just a lot of F words but  
not directed at him towards him at any time.  
52  
During the first exchange in the warehouse, AB’s mood was frustration. It was his first  
day back and he was hoping to slide back in and do his job.  
I never said I would not pick inside. At one point I said -- Mark I will pick inside. You’re the boss. I  
said I would do the job and that is when he continued to follow me and informed me that I didn’t  
need a shop steward because we were just having a conversation.  
When asked about the volume of his voice in the second meeting, AB said:  
I don’t know what to say about that. Picture a 260 pound man crying his eyes out bawling his  
face off having a meltdown shameful I was embarrassed my union embarrassed me I  
embarrassed myself.  
When asked if he was loud, AB said:  
I am a loud person. ..Yes.  
AB says he was sweating profusely, shaking, and trembling. If he had looked at a  
garbage can, he probably would have vomited.  
This all happens to me, not when I am angry, but when I am having a panic attack anxiety  
attack. When I am angry, I am just loud. There is no sweating and crying.  
When asked if he said he was going to get a gun and blow his brains out, AB said:  
That one hurts, Heather, I will tell you that. I never said that. I would never say that. I would  
never say anything like that. At some point Chris and I had a relationship and so that is hurtful.  
He is the only one that said it. I never said that Heather.  
At the end of the second meeting with Caswell, Caswell agreed AB should take one  
day and they would start over the next day. Caswell also sent AB a text message at  
10:44 a.m. on February 17. It says:  
[AB], your vacation is approved for today only. You are directed to report to work tomorrow  
morning at 7:00 a.m.  
AB did not respond to Caswell’s text.  
AB denies verbally threatening Caswell or other SaskPower staff on February 17. He  
was not physically violent towards anyone. There was no pushing or shoving. AB  
agrees that he was loud and used profanity. He did not call anyone any names.  
When AB left work on February 17, he went home to his three dogs. His wife was not  
home. AB wasn’t feeling very good. He took a Clonazepam sedative to calm himself  
down and tried to get some sleep. He was exhausted.  
AB did not receive any email from Caswell that day. AB thinks Caswell may have sent  
the email to AB’s work email address, and AB didn’t have access to his work email. AB  
had just fallen asleep when the doorbell rang. A courier came to AB’s residence just  
before lunch and AB had to sign for a letter from SaskPower. When AB saw the letter,  
he actually thought he was being fired.  
AB’s emotions just started again. When he realized he wasn’t fired, he just couldn’t  
understand why this letter was couriered to him. He had been on holidays before and  
he had never received text messages and emails and couriered letters to make sure he  
came back to work the next day.  
You just nicely get yourself get calmed back down and this was just like another poke. I didn’t  
53  
get it. I didn’t understand it. We verbally agreed I would be back to work tomorrow at 7 am.  
AB prepared notes of what occurred on February 17:  
700 - At work sitting at Receiving bench with Lawney Donnie Ken.  
7:15 - Mark comes to the receiving bench asks me if he could talk with me. We started for the  
office. He stopped at the warehouse door and said “we can talk here I think.” Which I replied OK.  
Mark informs me that he would like me to work on shipping picking orders inside. I calmly reply  
why. He responds with things are “going great” over at receiving and he doesn’t want to change  
that. I feel agetated [sic] with the remark considering my co workers were happy I was back and  
able to continue my work outside forklift work. Donnie was happy I was back.  
When I told Mark that didn’t even make sense considering what I was just told by my fellow  
worker who was doing my job, he then replied with “Things are changing [AB]”. When I asked  
him what that meant he replied with I need guys to be able to do other jobs. I replied with what’s  
changing. His response it doesn’t matter and I need to pick inside on shipping because that’s  
where I’m needed. I felt my frustration level rising. I told Mark that fine I will go do my job but I  
can’t believe you would do this to me. I told you that in confidence that if I ever pissed you off to  
please don’t make me pick inside because that’s my kryptonite. … Which at the time you replied  
with a chuckle that you would never be like that and do to [sic] good a job outside, but fine I’ll do  
what u tell me.  
I started to walk away. Now you start explaining why you need me inside, I reply with fine Mark  
whatever you say your [sic] the boss. My voice is raised and I can feel my frustration growing all  
this while walking to the shipping bench. Mark tells me to stop and listen. I tell Mark that my  
councellor [sic] told me to walk away from a situation and collect myself. Now all I hear is his  
voice continuing to follow me to the bench. I told Mark he needs to leave me alone. Please Mark  
please leave me alone, my frustration is starting to make me actually start to cry. I tell Mark the  
[illegible] we talk I need my shop steward. His response was I don’t need a shop steward to have  
a conversation. I reply that this has gone way past a conversation. Now we are at the bench.  
Mark continues to talk at this point I ask Doug Hesch please make him stop and leave me alone.  
Now I start walking to the back of the warehouse.  
Doug comes to the back of the warehouse to tell me Mark has backed off and he should call the  
union. I tell him I will call. I try to get into the computer at the bench but I’ve been way and I need  
help logging in. I walk over to the Salvage to see Darren and get Curtis # from the union. Darren  
Ken and mysel [sic] are talking at Salvage when Mark walks in. I calmly tell him why I was at  
Salvage and I’ll be back at Shipping. I think he said that’s fine or something like that.  
I go back to the Shipping warehouse and call the Union. I believe the lady on the phone could  
tell I was upset and put me on hold while she got someone to talk with me. I talked to [illegible]? I  
explained to him what’s going on. At one point he asks me if my mom still makes me breakfast in  
the morning and to man up and go do your job. Now I feel completely off the rails and have no  
idea what to do. I gather myself and to go ask Mark for a week’s holidays. I interrupt a meeting  
he is having in the conference room with Greg. I ask him I could have a week’s holidays. He  
replies with he’s not sure what my holiday status is. I inform him I have 5 weeks holidays. He  
replies with how about I take the rest of the day off and come back tomorrow.  
Greg leaves Mark tells me to sit down I close the door. Mark tells me there are changes going on  
back in the warehouse and Shipping is where I needed. I’m frustrated excited and animated. I  
tell him the only changes going on is that I’m picking inside. He tells me about the new  
employees that started as change. I name off Donnie, Jarrot, [illegible], Darren, Doug, Lawney,  
Kevin as not changing their position and at that point I lose my composure and start to ask him  
why he’s doing this to me.  
I did use profanity and I did raise my voice but it was pure frustration. In the moment trying to be  
heard. The meeting ended with Mark telling me I have the day off and come back tomorrow. I  
replied with “Thanks Mark and left.  
54  
In cross-examination:  
When asked why he only gave his notes about the February 17, 2016 meeting to  
his counsel on May 2, 2017, AB said he had some notes he thought his lawyer  
should have, so he gave them to her. AB insisted he made the notes at the time  
and not later.  
AB agreed that he wanted to return to work February 17 with no restrictions. AB  
was not looking for a softer approach.  
When counsel suggested that AB was belligerent within two hours of returning to  
work, AB said:  
No, that’s not correct. Can you tell me what belligerent means?  
When counsel pointed out that AB himself used the word belligerent when he was  
describing his own behaviour of February 17 to his psychiatrist, AB said:  
I was probably using the words that I was fired for being belligerent and threatening. I honestly  
don’t know what belligerent means. I probably picked up the word from being fired.  
AB acknowledged that whatever it was that happened, it happened within two hours  
of when he returned to work on February 17.  
Counsel suggested Caswell did not