Date: 20210107  
File: 466-SC-411  
Citation: 2021 FPSLREB 2  
Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations and  
Before a panel of the  
Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations and  
Employment Board  
Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and  
Staff Relations Act  
BETWEEN  
DARSHAN SINGH  
Grievor  
and  
SENATE OF CANADA  
Respondent  
Indexed as  
Singh v. Senate of Canada  
In the matter of a grievance referred to adjudication under section 63 of the  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Before:  
Linda Gobeil, a panel of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and  
Employment Board  
For the Grievor:  
Paul Champ and Bijon Roy, counsel  
For the Respondent:  
George G. Vuicic and Jason Mercier, counsel  
Heard at Ottawa, Ontario,  
February 3 to 7, 10 to 12, and 14 and March 2, 4, and 5, 2020.  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 1 of 150  
REASONS FOR DECISION  
I. Individual grievance referred to adjudication  
Darshan Singh is a member of a visible minority group. In 2015, he was an  
executive in his position as the director of the Senate of Canada’s (“the Senate”)  
Human Resources Directorate. On December 3, 2015, the Senate informed him that his  
employment had been terminated. He alleged that the Senate acted unfairly and that it  
discriminated against him on the basis of his race. The letter of termination reads  
as follows:  
December 2, 2015  
Mr. Darshan Singh  
Edifice Chambers, 13th floor  
BY HAND  
Darshan,  
I regret to inform you that the Senate of Canada has decided to  
terminate your employment, effective today.  
The reason for this decision is the breakdown in the confidence  
and trust which are essential to the viability of your employment  
relationship. The Senates loss of your confidence and trust in you  
are primarily the result of your attitude and behavior towards the  
Chief Corporate Services Officer, to whom you have reported since  
January 2015.  
Among other actions, you have made serious allegations of  
misconduct by your superior, including that she mislead Senators.  
You have accused the CCSO of acting towards you based on  
improper motives, and of micro-managingyour performance.  
You have even gone as far as to attack the CCSOs competence in  
matters under her authority, in the presence of the CCSO and  
other members of the Executive Committee.  
The Senate considers that you attitude and behavior reflect and  
inability or unwillingness to accept the supervisory authority of the  
CCSO. Although the problem has been highlighted recently by  
your initiative in seeking to have the HR Directorate removed from  
the CCSOs authority, the Senates review has revealed that the  
issues relating to your attitude and behavior have been long-  
standing. Indeed, it appears that the problems began around the  
time the CCSOinvestigation into the establishment of your terms  
and conditions of employment with the Senate, which ultimately  
led to discipline being imposed upon you.  
In the face of your attitude and behavior towards you superior, the  
Senate simply cannot maintain trust and confidence in you, and  
can no longer continue your employment.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 2 of 150  
In anticipation of the possibility that you may believe or claim that  
the termination of your employment was in response to concerns  
of discrimination that you recently expressed regarding the CCSO,  
I assure you that it is not the case. The Senates decision is the  
result of an assessment of the entire history of your behavior and  
attitude since the spring of 2015, and of the cumulative effect of  
your actions.  
While the Senates decision is based on the above reasons, the  
Senate has decided not to rely on these reasons as cause for the  
termination of your employment. Consequently, in consideration of  
the termination of your employment without cause, the Senate is  
prepared to provide you with the following termination benefits,  
subject to signature of mutually agreeable minutes of settlement  
and release:  
. pay in lieu of notice of termination, equivalent to 3 months’  
salary, less deduction required by law;  
. Outplacement counselling services, for a period of 3 months; and  
. a letter of reference, to assist you in finding alternate  
employment.  
Please obtain whatever professional advice you believe necessary,  
and advise me by December 16, 2015 whether you accept the  
Senates offer, by returning to my attention a copy of this letter  
duly signed below. I regret that this decision has become necessary,  
and wish you the best in your future endeavours.  
Charles Robert  
Clerk of the Senate and the Parliaments.  
[Sic throughout]  
On December 17, 2015, pursuant to s. 62 of the Parliamentary Employment and  
Staff Relations Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 33 (2nd Supp.); PESRA) Mr. Singh filed a grievance  
with the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (as it was then known)  
against the Senates decision to terminate his employment. The grievance reads as  
follows (Exhibit G-1, tab 5):  
I grieve the without-cause termination of my employment on  
December 2, 2015 as well as other actions leading to my dismissal,  
as being unlawful as well as discriminatory, contrary to sections 7,  
10 and 14 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Specifically I raised  
my exclusion of meetings, certain staffing actions, and being  
subjected to heightened or additional scrutiny as adverse  
differential treatment on the grounds of race, colour, national or  
ethnic origin, as I was the only director to be treated in this  
manner and the first visible minority senior executive in the  
Senate. The employer failed to investigate my allegations of  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 3 of 150  
discrimination, and instead terminated my employment shortly  
thereafter.  
In his grievance, Mr. Singh asked for the following as the remedy:  
1) that he be reinstated in his position, retroactive to the termination date;  
2) that he be made whole;  
3) that he receive compensation of $40 000 under s. 53 of the Canadian Human  
Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6; CHRA); and  
4) that he receive interest on being made whole and on the compensation under  
the CHRA.  
Later, Mr. Singh also argued that after the termination of his employment, the  
Senate disclosed information or did not take the necessary steps to correct false  
information and rumours about him. Therefore, he seeks additional damages for loss  
of reputation, mental distress, and harm to his dignity, which will be detailed later in  
this decision.  
On June 19, 2017, An Act to amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the  
Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and other Acts and to  
provide for certain other measures (S.C. 2017, c. 9), received Royal Assent, changing the  
name of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board and the title of the  
Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act (S.C. 2013, c. 40, s. 365) to,  
respectively, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (“the  
Board”) and the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act.  
Originally, this matter was scheduled for a hearing in 2017 before the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (“the Board”). The  
original hearing ended in December 2017. Sadly, the Board member assigned to the  
case passed away in May 2019, before a decision was issued. In July 2019, with the  
partiesagreement, a de novo hearing was scheduled for the two first weeks of  
February and the first week of March 2020.  
The hearing took 12 days. The parties agreed that Mr. Singh would give evidence  
first. Witnesses were excluded.  
Mr. Singh testified at length. So did the Senates first witness, Nicole Proulx, who  
as of the termination of Mr. Singh’s employment was the Senates chief corporate  
services officer and Mr. Singhs immediate supervisor. Jules Pleau; Michel Patrice,  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 4 of 150  
Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel; and Senator Leo Housakos also testified for the  
Senate. All witnesses were rigorously cross-examined.  
Since the alleged unfair treatment and discrimination of Mr. Singh took place  
in different situations, I tried to cover all of them extensively, as reported by the  
witnesses, keeping in mind that while each situation might not prove discrimination on  
its own, the accumulation of questionable behaviours certainly could demonstrate a  
pattern of discriminatory practices. I also reported the facts in the order in which the  
witnesses presented them, which is not necessarily the chronological order.  
II. Opening statements  
For Mr. Singh  
Mr. Singh is a member of a visible minority group. As of the termination of his  
employment, he occupied a position classified SEG-02 under the Senate’s classification  
system, which is equivalent to the EX-02 classification in the public service.  
In December 2015, the Senate decided to terminate Mr. Singh’s employment  
only one week after he raised concerns to Ms. Proulx about her actions. Mr. Singh  
maintained that in that decision, the Senate acted in bad faith and discriminated  
against him, contrary to ss. 7, 10, and 14 of the CHRA. Sections 7, 10, and 14.1 of the  
CHRA read as follows:  
7 It is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly,  
(a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or  
(b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in  
relation to an employee,  
on a prohibited ground of discrimination.  
10 It is a discriminatory practice for an employer, employee  
organization or employer organization  
(a) to establish or pursue a policy or practice, or  
(b) to enter into an agreement affecting recruitment, referral,  
hiring, promotion, training, apprenticeship, transfer or any  
other matter relating to employment or prospective  
employment,  
that deprives or tends to deprive an individual or class of  
individuals of any employment opportunities on a prohibited  
ground of discrimination.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 5 of 150  
14.1 It is a discriminatory practice for a person against whom a  
complaint has been filed under Part III, or any person acting on  
their behalf, to retaliate or threaten retaliation against the  
individual who filed the complaint or the alleged victim.  
Mr. Singh also pointed out that after the termination of his employment, by  
its behaviour, the Senate contributed to many unfounded rumours and speculation  
being raised in the media about him, which seriously harmed his personal and  
professional reputations.  
Mr. Singh insisted that he was the Senate’s first hire of a member of a visible  
minority group at the executive level and that as of the hearing, he remained the  
only one.  
Mr. Singh stated that the evidence would show that he was a rising star  
who reached the executive cadre before age 40. Unfortunately, the unfair and  
discriminatory actions of the Senates representatives put an end to his aspirations  
after he complained about his supervisors discriminatory behaviour and was told that  
the matter would be investigated. He indicated that no real investigation took place  
and that instead, the Senate arbitrarily decided to terminate his employment.  
Mr. Singh also stated that he was no longer disputing the employer’s right to  
terminate employment without cause but nevertheless maintained that its decision was  
plainly wrong and discriminatory and that it infringed ss. 7, 10, and 14 of the CHRA.  
For the Senate  
The Senate alleged that basically, this case is about an employee who did  
not accept his supervisor’s authority. It stated that employees must respect their  
supervisors. Mr. Singh had to accept Ms. Proulx’s authority and could not accuse her of  
wrongdoing when she had not committed any. The Senate indicated that Mr. Singh’s  
employment was terminated because he refused to recognize Ms. Proulxs authority  
and because he made unfounded accusations against her.  
The Senate stated that Mr. Singh joined the Senate at the end of October 2013  
as part of an Interchange Canada assignment. He reported to the Senate clerk,  
Gary OBrien. At that time, Mr. OBriens organization was very flat. He had 12 direct  
reports, including Charles Robert, Mr. Patrice, and Ms. Proulx, Chief Financial Officer  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 6 of 150  
and Director of Finance and Procurement at that time, as well as Mr. Singh, Director of  
Human Resources (Exhibit E-1, tab1).  
At the end of 2014, the situation changed with the announcement of  
Mr. OBriens retirement. In 2015, the clerk’s role was assumed by an Executive  
Committee comprising the chiefs of each of three sectors. Mr. Robert became Clerk of  
the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments (Chief Legislative Services Officer), Mr. Patrice  
became Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, and Ms. Proulx became Chief Corporate  
Services Officer. Those three formed the Executive Committee. As a result, as of  
February 2015, the Human Resources Directorate, with Mr. Singh as its director,  
reported to Ms. Proulx (Exhibit E-1, tabs 1 and 2).  
The Senate suggested that initially, Mr. Singh and Ms. Proulx had a fine  
relationship. But it started to deteriorate after he was appointed Director of Human  
Resources for the Senate at the end of his Interchange Canada assignment.  
The Senate indicated that an employee filed a grievance after a notice of intent  
to appoint Mr. Singh as the director of human resources was filed and that Ms. Proulx  
had to investigate the matter. While gathering the facts with respect to that grievance,  
she found out that Mr. Singh had prepared his letter of offer as the director of human  
resources and as such had breached the Senate’s rules and standards of conduct. He  
was then disciplined for it via a letter of reprimand.  
According to the Senate, while Ms. Proulx was prepared to give Mr. Singh  
another chance, their relationship became more difficult. It maintained that Mr. Singh  
started to undermine her. He disputed her authority on human-resources matters and  
accused her of micromanaging him, even though she was simply exercising her  
authority as the chief corporate services officer.  
The Senate indicated that the evidence would show that Mr. OBrien and  
Ms. Proulx had different management styles in that Mr. OBrien’s was more hands-off.  
According to the Senate, Ms. Proulx wanted to be more involved than her  
predecessor, which Mr. Singh simply did not accept. Ultimately, he emailed her on  
November 24, 2015 (“the November 24 email”). In it, he claimed that he had suffered  
racial discrimination because he was no longer invited to meetings of the Standing  
Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (“the Standing  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 7 of 150  
Committee) and to those of its Steering Committee (“the Steering Committee”).  
Among other things, he also claimed that Ms. Proulx had withheld information from  
senators. The Senate insisted that those allegations were simply baseless, and that  
Ms. Proulx had not even made some of the decisions at issue in the email.  
The Senate stated that following the November 24 email, Mr. Robert and  
Mr. Patrice met with Mr. Singh. The decision to terminate his employment was made  
shortly after that by the three senators who formed the Steering Committee. Ms. Proulx  
was not involved in that decision.  
The Senate denied any discrimination and maintained that claims of it are not  
enough. It also stated that this case is about not statistics but the Senates authority to  
terminate Mr. Singh’s employment for his actions.  
III. Summary of the evidence  
A. For Mr. Singh  
In his testimony, Mr. Singh referred to specific occasions on which he alleged  
that Ms. Proulx acted unfairly and in a discriminatory manner toward him because of  
his ethnic background. It is important to note from the outset that in the November 24  
email, he singled her out for the alleged discriminatory acts and stated that he did not  
feel that the other two Executive Committee members had treated him differently  
(Exhibit G-1, tab 1, page 2).  
Mr. Singhs employment background and arrival at the Senate  
Mr. Singh started his testimony by reviewing his professional accomplishments  
before joining the Senate (Exhibit G-2, tab 1).  
He explained that he fell in love with human resources after first being a  
human-resources advisor with the Canada Revenue Agency and later as a staffing  
advisor classified PE-05 with the Public Service Commission. Mr. Singh pointed out that  
he had been involved in probably 300 staffing processes for executives. Later on, while  
classified PE-06 with the former Canada Public Service Agency, he advised on the  
staffing of assistant-deputy-minister positions classified EX-04 and EX-05. The client  
was the deputy minister of a department, with whom he worked closely.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 8 of 150  
In October 2009, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness  
approached him to become Manager of Resourcing Operations, still at the PE-06 group  
and level. Mr. Singh pointed out that he was very pleased with that assignment since it  
gave him more responsibilities, like in compensation and classification. He explained  
that he was ambitious and that he wanted to build on [his] CV.  
In 2011, Mr. Singh joined the Canada School of Public Service (the School),  
where he became Director of Human Resources Strategies and Corporate Resourcing,  
classified at the EX-01 group and level. He testified that he left the School after it went  
through a major workforce adjustment exercise. He indicated that he then had to let  
250 employees go and dealt directly with the School’s president. Mr. Singh testified  
that at that point, he decided that it was time to leave.  
In July 2013, he applied for an assignment at the Senate (Exhibit G-2, tab 1). He  
pointed out that at that time, he thought that working for an employer outside the  
public service’s core public administration, like the Senate, would be a good addition to  
his CV. He added that when he joined the Senate, he held two degrees from the  
University of Ottawa and had extensive human-resources experience.  
Mr. Singh testified that he interviewed for the position of Director of Human  
Resources at the Senate. The selection board comprised Marc Audcent, Law Clerk and  
Parliamentary Counsel at that time; Ms. Proulx, Director of Finance for the Senate at  
that time; and Jane Hardy, a consultant. Mr. Singh also had to undergo a day-long  
competency-profile test that was administered by the André Filion and Associates  
group (Exhibit G-2, tab 2). The conclusions of the assessment in the Filion group report  
(“the Filion report”) of August 2013 were positive.  
In September 2013, the selection board decided that Mr. Singh had the  
necessary competencies to become Director of Human Resources at the Senate and  
recommended as a next step that he meet with the clerk of the Senate, at that time  
Mr. OBrien, who reported to the then-Speaker of the Senate, Senator Pierre-Claude  
Nolin. Mr. Singh’s references checks were also positive. However, I note that in his  
comments, Mr. Singhs former supervisor, Mr. Dorion, pointed out that Mr. Singh  
should not be micromanaged; rather, management should trust him and empower  
him(Exhibit G-2, tab 4).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 9 of 150  
Mr. Singh explained that since he was employed in the public service, he came to  
the Senate through an Interchange Canada assignment. It meant that even though he  
was working at the Senate, he remained employed by the School. He started a one-year  
term with the Senate on October 31, 2013, in a position classified SEG-02 (Exhibit G-2,  
tab 6).  
Mr. Singh explained that the unique classification system at the Senate goes  
from SEG-01 to SEG-10 and that an SEG-02 is equivalent to an EX-02 in the public  
service, in terms of duties and responsibilities. However, during his Senate assignment,  
the School continued to pay his salary, performance pay, and benefits at the EX-01  
rate. The School was reimbursed at the EX-01 group and level per the terms of the  
Interchange Canada assignment (Exhibit G-2, tab 5).  
Mr. Singh mentioned that as the Senate’s director of human resources, he was  
responsible for the entire spectrum of human-resources functions. He had 20 to 25  
employees reporting to him, including 3 direct managers: 1 for human-resources  
corporate matters; 1 for human-resources operations, official languages, and diversity,  
headed by one of his former clients, Angela Vanikiotis; and 1 for services to senators.  
Mr. Singh said that when he joined the Senate, he reported to Clerk of the Senate  
Mr. OBrien, with whom he had an excellent relationship. Mr. Singh explained that  
Mr. OBrien, who had created a very flat organization, had very little involvement with  
Mr. Singh’s work. According to him, Mr. OBrien entrusted him and told him at the  
beginning to manage and to involve him only when an issue arose that could concern  
or affect the senators.  
Speaking about Ms. Proulx, who was Director of Finance and Procurement and  
Chief Financial Officer when he arrived, Mr. Singh indicated that she was a colleague in  
charge of the Finance and Procurement Directorate and that she was classified SEG-03,  
compared to his SEG-02 classification.  
He explained that then, Mr. O’Brien assigned Ms. Proulx as his mentor. She  
carried out that role for just a few months because according to Mr. Singh, she was  
busy. Mr. Singh stated that there was a lot of heatin her sector.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 10 of 150  
Mr. Singh explained that he and Ms. Proulx attended many meetings together  
often, if not daily, because the Human Resources and Finance and Procurement  
Directorates had to work together. He testified that they got along very well.  
Mr. Singh explained that part of his and Ms. Proulxs work was to attend  
Standing Committee meetings. The Standing Committee was chaired by Speaker of the  
Senate Senator Nolin, and included 15 senators as members. It met every Thursday  
when the Senate was in session. When Mr. OBrien was still the clerk of the Senate, all  
directors were invited to sit in the room during those meetings.  
The Steering Committee was composed of three senators. It met every Tuesday  
night. Its role was to make routine administrative transactions and to prepare for the  
Standing Committee meeting on the coming Thursday. Contrary to the Standing  
Committee, not all directors were invited to attend its meetings. They could attend  
only on invitation from the senators, except for the directors of human resources and  
finance and the law clerk, who were expected to attend all meetings.  
Mr. Singh explained that his first year at the Senate went very well. He received  
his performance appraisal in July 2014 for the period covering fiscal year 2013-2014  
(Exhibit G-2, tab 7).  
In August 2014, Mr. OBrien offered to extend by six months the Interchange  
Canada assignment that was to end in October 2014 (Exhibit E-1, tab 3). Mr. Singh  
explained that it was done to allow Mr. OBrien time to run an indeterminate staffing  
process for the position of Director of Human Resources.  
Mr. Singh explained that the staffing process for that position never took place.  
In November 2014, Mr. OBrien announced his retirement, which meant that no staffing  
process was launched. Moreover, from December 2014 to February 2015, when he  
retired, Mr. OBrien was almost never in his office.  
Mr. Singh testified that in January 2015, he was called to the office of Speaker of  
the Senate Senator Nolin, who told him that with Mr. OBriens retirement, he wanted to  
make changes to the Senate’s administrative structure. Among other things, he wanted  
someone to head the legislative side and someone to be responsible for corporate  
matters and security. Mr. Singh indicated that since the Speaker asked him to keep  
things confidential, he researched an appropriate model by himself.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 11 of 150  
Mr. Singh stated that in January 2015, he was called to the office of Mr. Pleau,  
Chief of Staff for the Speaker. According to Mr. Singh, Mr. Pleau clearly spoke on behalf  
of Speaker Nolin and told him that they had decided to go with the new structure of  
the Executive Committee and its three sectors chiefs: the chief legislative services  
officer, the law clerk and parliamentary counsel, and the chief corporate  
services officer.  
According to Mr. Singh, the positions of Chief Legislative Services Officer and  
Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel were already classified equivalent to EX-05, and  
Mr. Pleau insisted that the position of Chief Corporate Services Officer be at the same  
level, even though the Hay classification norm called for an EX-04 equivalent. In  
February 2015, the three chief positions were classified at an EX-05 equivalent.  
Mr. Singhs letter of offer  
Mr. Singh testified that shortly after his January 2015 meeting with Mr. Pleau, he  
was again called to Mr. Pleau’s office. Mr. Singh indicated that Mr. Pleau had found out  
that he was still on an Interchange Canada assignment and not a permanent Senate  
employee. According to Mr. Singh, Mr. Pleau was not happy about it since he thought it  
was not right for someone who was not a permanent Senate employee to work on high-  
level files.  
Mr. Singh indicated that Mr. Pleau asked him if he wanted the position of  
Director of Human Resources. After replying that he was interested and that he was  
being paid only at the EX-01 group and level, while the position was more at the EX-02  
group and level, Mr. Singh testified that Mr. Pleau directed him to draft a letter of offer  
confirming him as the director of human resources and to bring it to Mr. Pleau before  
the end of the day. It was to be kept confidential.  
According to Mr. Singh, Mr. Pleau told him to put in the letter, Whatever the f---  
you want.In his testimony, Mr. Singh admitted that he was familiar with of the  
Senate’s Values and Ethics Statement, Code of Conduct, and Conflict of Interest Code for  
Persons Employed by the Senate. He also admitted that he was expected to comply with  
those policies (Exhibit E-1, tabs 6, 7, and 8).  
Mr. Singh testified that he then went to his office and asked for a template for  
the letter of offer. As a model, he used one that had been used to appoint a Senate  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 12 of 150  
colleague to the House of Commons and entered the salary that he thought was fair,  
given that he had been carrying out SEG-02 functions for a while but was being paid  
and was receiving performance pay based on an EX-01 salary. For the signing  
authorities, he added the names of Speaker Nolin and Clerk OBrien and then sent it to  
Mr. Pleau, who had no questions about it (Exhibit G-2, tab 9). All parties signed it on  
January 19, 2015. As will be detailed later in this decision, the letter’s drafting and its  
contents later became an issue with the Executive Committee, for which Mr. Singh  
was disciplined.  
At a luncheon on January 22, 2015, Speaker Nolin announced the Senates  
new structure headed by the Executive Committee and managed by its three chiefs.  
Mr. Robert became Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the Parliaments. Mr. Patrice,  
already Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, in addition became responsible for  
Parliamentary Precinct Services. Finally, Ms. Proulx was appointed Chief Corporate  
Services Officer and became responsible for among other things, human resources  
(Exhibit G-2, tab 13). At the same event, the Speaker also announced Mr. Singh’s  
appointment to the position of Director of Human Resources. Mr. Singh reported to  
Ms. Proulx.  
Mr. Singh agreed that at the time, he was pleased with the new Senate  
structure, and that in January and February 2015, he still had a positive relationship  
with Ms. Proulx (Exhibit E-1, tabs 14 and 15). However, he pointed out that her  
management style differed from that of Mr. OBrien in that she was more hands-on; he  
felt micromanaged.  
Mr. Singh indicated that he received congratulations for his appointment.  
Mr. Robert hugged him, and Mr. Patrice was happy for him. However, Ms. Proulxs  
reaction was not as pleasant. Mr. Singh said that she questioned how the appointment  
had been done. According to him, she also said that the Senate could not make an  
appointment that way. She never made a positive statement about his appointment,  
and her reaction hurt him.  
Since he had been appointed the director of human resources on  
January 19, 2015, Mr. Singh wrote to the School’s president on January 22, 2015, to let  
her know that he was resigning from the public service (Exhibit G-2, tabs 11 and 19).  
He said that at that point, he had accumulated a considerable amount of vacation leave  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 13 of 150  
in the public service, which he had never had the chance to take because of his  
heavy workload.  
Notices of intent to appoint  
In January 2015, Ms. Vanikiotis was the manager of human-resources  
operations and official languages and diversity in the Human Resources Directorate.  
She specifically looked after executive-level appointments. Mr. Singh testified that she  
told him that Mr. Patrice had said that a notice of intent to appoint him as the director  
of human resources had to be issued.  
Mr. Singh said that he was not pleased about the notice. His view was that there  
was no requirement for the notice since his appointment had been effected via an  
external non-advertised process, which is not subject to recourse (Exhibit G-1, tab 14,  
pages 14 and 15). He was worried that his appointment might be grieved and that were  
the grievance upheld, he would be in trouble, because he had just resigned from the  
public service. Thus, he could end up out of a job.  
Mr. Singh spoke with Mr. Patrice about the notice, showed him the related  
policy, and told him that the Senate needed to withdraw the notice. Mr. Patrice refused  
and said that anyway, nobody would grieve it. Mr. Singh told Mr. Patrice that he was  
not following the policy (Exhibit G-2, tab 12).  
Mr. Singh pointed out that while the notice was issued for his appointment,  
none was issued for that of Ms. Proulx, which in his view went against the relevant  
Senate policy. He again visited Mr. Patrice about it and was told that Mr. Patrice had  
decided not to issue a notice for Ms. Proulx’s appointment since he thought that one  
specific person might grieve it. In his testimony, Mr. Patrice categorically denied  
stating that.  
After reviewing the related emails (Exhibit G-2, tab 10), Mr. Singh  
maintained that Ms. Proulx had requested the notice of intent to appoint him; she  
had been involved.  
As will be demonstrated later in this decision, effectively, one of his employees  
grieved Mr. Singhs appointment.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 14 of 150  
Changes to the Senates administrative structure  
Mr. Singh testified that when the new Executive Committee was brought in, a  
string of changes was announced. As a result, some people were moved. He  
complained that even though he was the director of human resources, he was not  
involved in those decisions and found out about them only afterward. He said that he  
met with the three members of the Executive Committee and that he raised the fact  
that some human-resources issues had not been addressed, such as classification.  
According to Mr. Singh, the three members of the Executive Committee acted  
like they were in the private sector. He indicated that the discussions were  
confrontational and that he was not happy that processes were not followed when they  
made their decisions. He testified that employees assumed that he was involved in the  
human-resources decisions. He said that he could have embarrassed Ms. Proulx but  
instead that he decided to tell the employees that he had not been involved and to  
refer them to Ms. Proulx.  
Attending Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings  
Mr. Singh testified that on February 4, 2015, all the directors at the Senate were  
informed by email that they would attend Standing Committee and Steering Committee  
meetings only if their respective chiefs asked them to (Exhibit G-2, tab 14). Mr. Singh  
explained that this was a departure from the past practice, in which all the directors  
were in the room for Standing Committee meetings and on invitation to those of the  
Steering Committee. He pointed out that he had always attended Steering Committee  
meetings as a standing member, without an invitation.  
Mr. Singh indicated that he met with Ms. Proulx about it and that he was told  
that it was the senators’ decision and that it applied to him. He indicated that all the  
decisions that those committees make are about human and financial resources, so he  
questioned who would address those issues if he were not present at their meetings.  
He said that she responded that she would handle it.  
Mr. Singh asked to see the minutes showing that decision. Ms. Proulx refused,  
which shocked him. He said that before February 4, 2015, he prepared briefing notes  
for those committees, which he spoke to. He gave as examples three standing reports  
(on official languages, training, and employment equity) that he prepared and  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 15 of 150  
presented every year to the committees. He did not know if they were presented after  
February 2015.  
In cross-examination, Mr. Singh indicated that he brought this matter to the  
Executive Committee, which did not explain the senators’ decision. He stated that he  
did not recall Ms. Proulx providing the reasons for the decision, despite what is in her  
notes (Exhibit G-2, tab 29, page 2).  
As a result of that decision, Mr. Singh mentioned that from February to  
July 2015, he probably attended four or five Standing Committee meetings and that he  
was asked to attend four to six Steering Committee meetings. After that, he did not  
attend any more.  
Mr. Singh testified that as a result of the decision, he did not know the  
human-resources issues that were discussed and stated that Ms. Proulx did not share  
what transpired at those meetings. He said that after February 4, 2015, he still wrote  
some briefing notes, for instance at Mr. Pleaus request, but he did not know if they  
were even discussed. He also found out that his staff prepared briefing notes without  
him being made aware of it. Mr. Singh testified that when he attended executive  
meetings chaired by Ms. Proulx in her sector, he realized that other directors continued  
to attend the meetings, on invitation, but not him. Despite that, he said that he did not  
think that it was all racially motivated.  
In cross-examination, Mr. Singh maintained that twice, Ms. Proulx brought one  
of his employees to a Standing Committee meeting without informing him. He stated  
that Gilles Duguay, who was Director General of Parliamentary Precinct Services and  
who reported to Mr. Patrice, attended more often than he did. However, he admitted  
that the precinct was a hot topic at the Senate during the summer of 2015 because of  
the shooting that happened in the fall of 2014 on Parliament Hill but insisted that the  
work being done on the precinct file involved human-resources issues.  
He also agreed that during that summer of 2015, no Standing Committee  
meeting was held, and that the Steering Committee met only two or three times.  
Furthermore, since there was a federal election in the fall of 2015, the House of  
Commons and the Senate returned to sitting only in December 2015. Therefore, from  
June to December 2015, no regular Standing Committee meeting was held, and the  
Steering Committee met only two or three times.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 16 of 150  
Mr. Singh also said that every two weeks, he held a meeting with Ms. Proulx,  
which was different from Mr. OBrien’s methods, who met with him only rarely and  
only if there was an issue. Mr. OBrien never went to Mr. Singh’s employees directly.  
However, in his testimony, Mr. Singh admitted to holding bilateral meetings with  
his staff.  
The Senates compensation study  
In his testimony, Mr. Singh spoke about the Senates compensation study. It  
dealt with a long-standing issue of examining and comparing the compensation of  
senators’ office staff. Mr. Singh indicated that in April 2015, the Human Resources  
Directorate was ready to issue its report, but that Ms. Proulx became increasingly  
involved in the related minutia. According to him, she reread every letter that was to  
be issued to senatorsstaff and redid each calculation. Originally, she had wanted to  
sign the letters but changed her mind, so he had to sign them. According to Mr. Singh,  
this frustrated his staff significantly, and in the end, it was a waste of time.  
When he was asked if he was aware that Ms. Proulx had been involved in a  
similar process a few years before, Mr. Singh said that he was aware of that and that it  
had not been successful. When he was asked if she really went through the 300 letters,  
Mr. Singh maintained that she was involved in all the calculations but agreed that as  
the chief corporate services officer, she had the prerogative to become involved.  
The chief financial officer development program  
Mr. Singh testified that once Ms. Proulx was appointed Chief Corporate Services  
Officer, the need arose to fill the position of Director of Finance and Procurement and  
Chief Financial Officer. He gave her the names of some potential candidates and  
suggested to her establishing a chief financial officer development program for future  
recruitment. The program’s goal would be to develop people over time with the view to  
eventually appointing a new director. He stated that the program’s purpose would also  
be to help recruit members of visible minority groups. Ms. Proulx thought it was good  
idea, and the program was announced in April 2015 (Exhibit G-2, tab 18).  
Mr. Singh testified that after the program was launched, he did not expect  
Ms. Proulx to be involved. He pointed out that it was a development program that  
involved people who were not at the executive level; therefore, he did not see the need  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 17 of 150  
for someone classified EX-05 to be involved. Moreover, he did not appreciate her telling  
him who in his directorate should be assigned to the project.  
In his testimony, Mr. Singh qualified Ms. Proulxs intervention as insane. In  
addition, he disagreed with the fact that she designated Hélène Bouchard, Director of  
Information Services, to replace her on the selection board for the program. He  
testified that he viewed Ms. Proulx’s intervention as meaning that he was outand as  
another expression of her bias toward favouring French Canadians (Exhibit G-2,  
tab 19).  
Mr. Singh stated that he was not consulted as to the composition of the  
selection board for that program. Nor was he part of it, despite his considerable  
advisory experience. He maintained that he would have done things differently had he  
been involved. The selection board included Ms. Bouchard; Bonnie Marga, Director of  
Finance and Procurement and Chief Financial Officer on an acting basis; and a  
consultant, Hugues St. Pierre.  
Mr. Singh indicated that the selection board did not qualify any of the internal  
candidates, which was very disconcerting, since it basically sent the message that the  
Senate was not prepared to invest in its people.  
While the selection board included a member with a disability, Mr. Singh  
insisted that despite the fact that two of the four applicants were members of visible  
minority groups, the board did not include a member of such a group, which was  
contrary to best practices to eliminate bias. He referred to the Senate’s staffing and  
recruitment strategy, which guides managers to ensure a diverse and representative  
workforce (Exhibit G-1, tab 13, pages 3, 5, and 9). He also referred to the Senate’s  
employment equity policy, in which the Senate recognizes the need to increase  
representation in the designated groups of women, aboriginal people, persons with  
disabilities, and members of visible minority groups (Exhibit G-1, tab 15).  
On that note, Mr. Singh complained that the Senate had very few strategies to  
improve the representation of visible minorities. He insisted that while the Senate’s  
visible-minority employees might have increased, nevertheless, out of 30 managers,  
only 4 were from a visible minority group, and they left shortly after he did (Exhibit  
G-1, tab 8, page 12).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 18 of 150  
In cross-examination, Mr. Singh agreed that at the relevant time, he never raised  
the issue that the selection board had no visible-minority member, nor did he offer to  
Ms. Proulx that he could sit on the selection board. He also agreed that she had no  
involvement with the boards work. As to why he signed the boards recommendation,  
he said that the extent of his role was only to verify whether the staffing file  
was complete.  
Mr. Singhs disciplinary hearing and the letter of reprimand  
As mentioned earlier in this decision, the notice of intent to appoint Mr. Singh  
to the position of Director of Human Resources was grieved. He testified that on  
April 2, 2015, at a meeting, Ms. Proulx told him that as the final level of the grievance  
process, she had dismissed the grievance (Exhibit G-5). However, she also told him that  
during the investigation of the grievance, some questions were raised about his letter  
of offer. She took notes at the meeting. Michel Bédard, the Senate’s counsel, also  
attended (Exhibit G-2, tab 16).  
On May 5, 2015, Ms. Proulx wrote to Mr. Singh and invited him to attend a  
disciplinary meeting to determine whether he had breached the standards of conduct  
when he prepared his letter of offer in which he established his salary, waived the  
probation period, and transferred some 300 hours of vacation leave.  
On that same day, in a telephone discussion with Ms. Proulx about the interview,  
Mr. Singh said that he told her that he did not understand why there was an issue since  
Mr. OBrien and Speaker Nolin had signed the letter. In cross-examination, he denied  
telling her that it was bullshitand that he completely disrespected Mr. Patrice  
(Exhibit E-1, tab 11 over).  
The disciplinary meeting was originally set for May 7 but effectively took place  
on May 15, 2015. The three members of the Executive Committee were present; so was  
Mr. Bédard. Mr. Singh was accompanied by Denis Desharnais, for whom he had worked  
at the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.  
In addition to the fact that as the director of human resources, Mr. Singh  
prepared his letter of offer, the following three things in it were at issue at  
that meeting:  
he had set his salary;  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 19 of 150  
he had waived his probation period; and  
he had transferred his 300 hours of leave from the public service to the Senate.  
The letter of offer indicated that the salary was to be $132 500. Mr. Singh told  
the Executive Committee that on January 12, 2015, Mr. Pleau had told him that since  
he had been performing work at an SEG-02 or EX-02 level, he should receive that  
salary. The EX-02 maximum salary was $139 300. In January 2015, since he was still  
being paid as an EX-01, Mr. Singh was earning around $125 000 (Exhibit E-2, tab 7). He  
explained that he made the adjustment and that he considered that his performance  
pay was limited per the terms of the Interchange Canada assignment. As a result, he  
came up with a salary of $132 500, which was still less than the maximum of $139 300  
for an EX-02 or SEG-02 equivalent (Exhibits G-2, tab 5, G-6, and G-8).  
Mr. Singh admitted that he did not verify with anyone, including Ms. Vanikiotis,  
who would normally prepare these letters, whether the Senate accepted the new salary,  
the waiving of the probation period, and the leave transfer. Also, in January 2015, he  
did not tell Mr. Pleau that the new salary would not be at the lower end of the EX-02  
salary scale because Mr. Pleau had told him to put whatever he wanted in the letter. He  
assumed that Mr. Pleau and Speaker Nolin had read it. They certainly signed it and said  
nothing. As for Mr. OBrien, Mr. Singh indicated that he had been at the Senate for over  
30 years and that he read everything.  
As for not including a probationary period, Mr. Singh explained to the Executive  
Committee that he had been in the position for over 18 months, which was beyond the  
12-month probation period; therefore, he waived it.  
With respect to the leave transfer, Mr. Singh told the Executive Committee that  
as a template for the letter of offer, he chose one that had been used to transfer a  
Senate employee to the House of Commons, including vacation leave. He said that at a  
meeting, Mr. Bédard showed him the policy on terms and conditions of employment,  
which states that such a transfer cannot be done. Mr. Singh then admitted not knowing  
about those terms and conditions and apologized for the mistake. He indicated that  
he did not check the Senate’s leave-transfer policy and stated that he was remorseful  
and embarrassed.  
On June 1, 2015, Mr. Singh met again with the Executive Committee and  
Mr. Bédard. He was informed that the vacation leave would be cashed out. As for the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 20 of 150  
salary and the probation period issues, they said that they did not agree with him but  
that they were prepared to move on. According to Mr. Singh, at the end of the meeting,  
the committee was fine with the two issues.  
On June 12, 2015, the Executive Committee imposed a letter of reprimand on  
him for his actions (Exhibit G-2, tab 22). Mr. Singh indicated that he did not agree with  
the letter, but since he did not want to rehash the matter, he did not grieve it.  
In cross-examination, Mr. Singh admitted that the Executive Committee could  
have been harsher, in terms of discipline. He also explained that a couple of weeks  
after the disciplinary meeting, he and Ms. Proulx talked about being more polite, so  
he was more polite in his email to her on June 25, 2015 (Exhibit E-1, tab 18), which  
reads as follows:  
Nicole, thank you for including me on this email. I do not want to  
destroy what I consider a developing friendship.  
I promise, that as a first step, I will be more polite in my written  
communication with you and hope we ca [sic] resolve any  
difference we may have.  
Have a good evening,  
Darshan  
Later in his testimony, Mr. Singh talked about a situation in which a  
harassment complaint was made against one of Mr. Patrices directors general. After an  
investigation was carried out, Mr. Singh said that some allegations were founded but  
that the Executive Committee decided not to impose discipline, despite Mr. Singh and  
Diane Blaisrecommendation. He stated that the person who made the complaint was  
fired, against his recommendation.  
Ms. Vanikiotiss Interchange Canada assignment and sick-leave requests  
Mr. Singh testified that around May 5, 2015, when he was informed that he  
would be called to a disciplinary meeting, one of his direct report, Ms. Vanikiotis,  
spoke to him about an assignment opportunity for her. He indicated that although she  
reported to him and that he had the delegated authority to agree to an Interchange  
Canada assignment, he told Ms. Proulx about it. She had reservations about it. She  
raised it with Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert and spoke privately with Ms. Vanikiotis  
(Exhibit G-2, tab 20).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 21 of 150  
Mr. Singh said that he was not pleased with this. He raised it at a meeting in  
May 2015 with Ms. Proulx and Mr. Patrice. Mr. Singh said that he prepared notes in  
anticipation of the meeting (Exhibit G-2, tab 21).  
Mr. Singh said that at the meeting, he told Ms. Proulx that she was  
micromanaging him and that she should not directly access his people. He also told  
her that he believed that she would not behave that way toward Ms. Bouchard. He  
indicated that he did not raise all the points he had placed in his pre-meeting notes but  
that certainly, he told Ms. Proulx to stop micromanaging him, and he raised the issue  
of trust.  
In cross-examination, Mr. Singh denied that there was tension between him and  
Ms. Vanikiotis and said that she was good at and professional in her job. He was also  
asked to explain why he refused granting her sick-leave request in February 2015. He  
responded that he had only followed the instructions on granting leave, which he  
disagreed with, and that Ms. Proulx had provided the day before Ms. Vanikiotiss leave  
request. He maintained that had Ms. Proulx not been involved, there would have been  
no issue (Exhibit G-2, tab 15).  
Leadership development program for procedural and legislative clerks  
Mr. Singh testified that on June 12, 2015, Mr. Robert announced a Leadership  
Development Program for Procedural and Legislative Clerksin his sector. Mr. Singh  
testified that he had not been informed of it and that Ms. Vanikiotis told him about it  
on that day. According to him, Mr. Robert went behind his back and dealt directly with  
his staff to put that program together, and Ms. Proulx was aware of it but did not tell  
him about it (Exhibit G-2, tab 23).  
Proposed changes to the Human Resources Directorate  
Mr. Singh testified that still in June 2015, Peter Nunan, Senior Labour Relations  
Advisor, was offered a secondment of six to nine months outside the Human  
Resources Directorate, which thus required some changes. On June 17, Mr. Singh  
emailed Ms. Proulx, asking for her comments if, in his words, she neededto express  
them. Still on this issue, he emailed her again on June 19, asking for her comments but  
with the caveat that she should let the managers manage. On June 21, she forwarded  
Mr. Singhs email to Mr. Patrice, adding only, Grrr(Exhibit G-7). Mr. Singh’s emails  
read as follows (Exhibits G-2, tab 24, and G-7):  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 22 of 150  
[The June 17 email:]  
Bonjour Nicole,  
As discussed yesterday, this is what we are proposing for changes  
in HR. Please note that all the managers are on the same page and  
in agreement. I have not copied them so you have an opportunity  
to respond to me directly if you need to  
[The June 19 email:]  
Bonjour Nicole,  
Here are the proposed changes and the draft org. chart for your  
comments.  
Also, according to the delegation of authoritiesmatrix, these  
proposed changes are within my authority as there are no  
indeterminate appointments or assignments greater than 6  
months, no reclassifications, etc. Though I share them with you out  
of respect, I fully expect to be able to follow the words of the  
Speaker which are let managers manage.  
Merci  
Darshan  
Still on June 21, 2015, at 09:03, Ms. Proulx indicated that she was not  
comfortable with the proposed changes. A few minutes later, at 09:22, she emailed  
again, still questioning the reorganizations proposals and pointing out that “… HR has  
to be purer than pure …” (Exhibit G-2, tab 25). She stated: Bonjour Darshan As you  
know, HR has to be purer than pure in its HR activities and I find that the proposal has  
some areas of concern …” (Exhibit G-2, tab 25).  
Mr. Singh responded that this was an example of micromanaging and that  
he would bring it to another level. Ms. Proulx indicated that the matter would be  
discussed at the executive level, to which he responded on June 23, 2015 (Exhibit G-2,  
tabs 24 and 25), with: Nicole, You are, of course, free to do as you wish and given how  
rarely HR is invited to the Executive Committee, it will be a novelty. For clarity  
purposes, however, and for the record, you are wrong on the next level."  
Mr. Singh admitted that his email response to Ms. Proulx was sarcastic but  
nevertheless maintained that he stated a fact in it. He also admitted that some of the  
proposed changes were at the managerial level, which would require Ms. Proulxs  
involvement, and that her approval was needed for requests for additional staffing  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 23 of 150  
actions, such as the creation of a shadow position for business system (Exhibit G-1,  
tab 17, pages 2 and 3).  
Mr. Singh also agreed that a supervisor has the right to question and raise  
concerns even when staffing authority has been delegated to a subordinate.  
Nevertheless, he expressed that in this case, he was subject to extra scrutiny, to which  
the other director, Ms. Bouchard, was not. He also stated that it was crazyin the  
sense that Ms. Proulx intervened in matters in which she did not have to be involved.  
Mr. Singh testified that their relationship involved the clash of what he wanted  
versus what she wanted. In his view, she questioned his ethics. She became involved in  
matters that did not require her involvement, which made him feel like he had done  
something wrong. He said that he wanted to talk to Senator Housakos or to  
Deputy Chair, Senator George Furey, about it. If that could not happen, he would raise  
it with the Steering Committee. He indicated that Ms. Proulxs micromanagement was  
harassment, as defined in the Senates related policy (Exhibit G-1, tab 16, page 12).  
Two Executive Committee meetings and conference attendance  
Mr. Singh testified that after sending his June 23, 2015, email to Ms. Proulx, he  
attended a meeting with the Executive Committee. He had prepared some notes in  
anticipation (Exhibit G-2, tab 26). Going over them, he said that he brought up the  
subject of his race at the meeting, along with the fact that he felt ostracized and  
isolated and that Ms. Proulx treated him differently because he was not  
French Canadian, unlike anybody else reporting to her.  
Mr. Singh testified that he also raised the fact that his attendance at the  
Canadian Association of Parliamentary Administration conference had still not been  
approved but that Ms. Bouchard’s attendance had been. He said that Ms. Proulx took  
notes but that she but did not really address his concern.  
Mr. Singh later testified that he found out only two weeks before the Canadian  
Association of Parliamentary Administration conference that he was to attend, while  
Ms. Bouchard had known four months in advance. Ms. Proulx also attended. Mr. Singh  
said that he had never heard of a Senate directive limiting the number of participants  
at an external conference to two employees (Exhibit G-9). Mr. Singh testified that the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 24 of 150  
three of them finally went to the conference and that they had a good time; they even  
danced together!  
When he was asked about Point 4 of his pre-meeting note, stating, When you  
are always defending, a strategy that can be used is to attack! I cant wait for the mgt  
[sic] retreat, Mr. Singh could not explain what it was directed to and indicated that he  
never said it at the Executive Committee meeting (Exhibit G-2, tab 26).  
Mr. Singh indicated that also raised at that Executive Committee meeting was  
the question of who would handle a complaint made against an Executive Committee  
member. He said that Mr. Patrice answered that it would be one of the two other chiefs.  
Mr. Singh said that he told Mr. Patrice that that was not appropriate and that it did not  
match the relevant policy.  
As to the comments Mr. Singh would have made about Ms. Proulxs human-  
resources qualifications, which are part of her notes, stating, Nicole is not an expert in  
HR not qualified to make decisions on HR(Exhibit G-2, tab 29, page 2), Mr. Singh  
said that he told Mr. Patrice that Ms. Proulx was not qualified to speak to senators  
about human-resources matters. He indicated that the three members of the Executive  
Committee were agitated at the meeting and that so was he, probably (Exhibit G-2,  
tab 29 -Ms. Proulxs note).  
Mr. Singh indicated that the discussion was pursued later that afternoon with  
Mr. Patrice, who asked him what was the matter. Mr. Singh replied, It used to be the  
three of you and me. Now it is the three of you without me.He said that he used to be  
consulted and that it happened no longer. He did not know where they got their  
opinions from, and he felt excluded.  
Mr. Singh said that at that point, Mr. Patrice asked him if he was happy in his  
position. Mr. Singh answered that he was but that he was not happy about how things  
were going.  
Mr. Singh testified about a second meeting with the Executive Committee, likely  
in August 2015, at which, among other things, he again raised the issue of being  
excluded from the Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings, and he  
again asked to see the record of the decision to the effect that directors at the Senate  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 25 of 150  
would attend those meetings only if their respective chiefs asked them to. He said that  
his request was denied (Exhibit G-2, tab 29, page 2 of Ms. Proulxs notes).  
Proposed changes to the Human Resources Directorate (continued)  
Once more on the issue of the changes to the Human Resources Directorate and  
Mr. Nunan’s secondment, Mr. Singh testified that after his June discussion with  
Ms. Proulx on the subject, in July or August 2015, he prepared a document on the  
proposed changes to the Human Resources Directorate and gave it to her in late  
August or early September 2015 for her consideration (Exhibit G-2, tab 28).  
On September 10, 2015, Mr. Singh had a meeting with Ms. Proulx. They again  
discussed changes to the Human Resources Directorate. The issue of employees’  
assignments was still an ongoing disagreement. Specifically, they discussed who would  
replace Mr. Nunan during his secondment. According to Mr. Singh, Ms. Proulx did not  
accept or deny the proposal about that issue. He maintained that she wanted to  
appoint Ms. Blais as a replacement for Mr. Nunan, and he was of the view that  
Ms. Maria-Chantal Eynoux was the better choice, especially since Ms. Blais had been  
away from the Senate for few years; she returned in 2014. He also indicated that  
Ms. Eynoux is black.  
Ms. Proulxs notes of that meeting were filed as an exhibit (Exhibit G-2, tab 30).  
Mr. Singh testified that on September 16, 2015, he received, in a sealed envelope, a  
letter from Ms. Proulx about the September 10 discussion (Exhibit G-2, tab 31). He  
stated that she still insisted on replacing Mr. Nunan with Ms. Blais. Mr. Singh testified  
that while Ms. Proulxs letter was not a letter of reprimand, it was very formal. He  
interpreted it as a threat with consequences if he did not do what she wanted.  
Therefore, he did not challenge her letter.  
However, he did email her September 28, 2015, about a revised staffing strategy.  
He pointed out that he did not have to do it but that he respected her requirements.  
She replied on October 13, 2015, and he responded on October 14 (Exhibit G-2, tab 32).  
Mr. Singh said that he had bilateral meetings with his employees every two  
weeks. At one such meeting with Ms. Blais, he found out that Ms. Proulx had offered  
her the chance to replace Mr. Nunan during his secondment. Mr. Singh said that  
Ms. Blais and Ms. Proulx used to work together and that they were friends. Later on, he  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 26 of 150  
nuanced that affirmation; he stated that he did not know if Ms. Proulx and Ms. Blais  
were friends outside work and that Ms. Proulx had a lot of friends. Finally, he  
indicated that he had had no choice and that he assigned Ms. Blais to replace  
Mr. Nunan (Exhibit G-2, tab 33).  
Human Resources Directorate functional review  
Mr. Singh testified that in June 2015, Ms. Proulx informed him that the Human  
Resources Directorate was to go through a functional review exercise. He indicated that  
the Senates Communications Directorate had just gone through one after an Auditor  
General audit, and the senators wanted it followed up. An external firm had been hired  
to review the functions in the Communications Directorate, the way the work was  
being done, etc. As a result, according to Mr. Singh, the entire Communications  
Directorate was annihilated; every job was lost.  
Mr. Singh testified that he questioned the need for a functional review of the  
Human Resources Directorate and asked who had decided that one was needed. At  
some point, he was told that the senators had made the decision. He said that he  
wanted to know why he was not involved in the related discussion with the senators.  
In Mr. Singhs view, at that time, the Human Resources Directorate was  
functioning much better and was receiving considerable praise for its work, including  
from the Executive Committee. In his opinion, the Finance and Procurement  
Directorate should have been obvious choices for such a review. They had never had  
one. Mr. Singh testified that some consultants began the Human Resources Directorate  
functional review in October or November 2015, which was about the time that  
Ms. Proulx lost her father and was involved, as a witness, in the trial of Senator  
Mike Duffy (“the Duffy trial”).  
Legislative sector retreat  
Mr. Singh testified that in November 2015, Mr. Robert asked him to attend a  
legislative sector retreat and to present to the employees of that sector. Mr. Singh said  
that the presentation went well but that during the plenary, a young black man asked  
him why the Senate did not have any person of colour in a senior position. Mr. Singh  
said that he was at the podium when the question was asked and that he did not really  
have an answer but that he tried to make light of the question while not embarrassing  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 27 of 150  
anyone. He told the young man that it was a serious issue, that the Executive  
Committee was very committed to diversity, and that more training was needed.  
The Senate’s main estimates  
Mr. Singh explained that the Senate has a main-estimates process, in which in  
the early summer, the directorates identify their financial needs for the next fiscal  
year. Their requests then go the Standing Committee’s Subcommittee on the Senate  
Estimates for approval roughly in November. Mr. Singh indicated that it is a good  
opportunity for the directors to explain their programs to that subcommittee.  
Mr. Singh went through the exercise in 2014, but since he was new and wanted a  
better feel for his directorate’s needs, he did not ask for additional resources at that  
point. Such requests are made through capsules, which are a kind of template or  
briefing note presented to the subcommittee in which the need for additional  
resources is explained, along with the cost.  
However, in 2015, he intended to ask for funding for a shadow person for his  
data employee. And he wanted funds for the training of senators’ staff that they had  
asked for.  
Mr. Singh testified that he told Ms. Proulx about his plan at a meeting in  
August 2015 and stated that she was supportive. He talked to her again about it a  
month later and stated that she did not say no. In early October, he prepared his  
two capsules.  
Mr. Singh said that on Monday, November 16, 2015, Pascale Legault, newly  
appointed Director of Finance and Procurement and Chief Financial Officer, and  
Ms. Proulx, who had returned to work after two weeks following her fathers death,  
came to his office. They danced and held hands in his office and began to attack him  
verbally. Ms. Proulx asked him why the two capsules he had prepared were still there,  
while Ms. Legault told him to pull them. He said that he was under the impression that  
he would have a chance to discuss his capsules at Ms. Proulxs management meeting.  
Mr. Singh said that he felt humiliated and that he wondered how Ms. Legault,  
who just started to work for the Senate, could tell him what had to be done. In his  
view, she and Ms. Proulx were good friends, and it was obvious that they had been  
talking behind his back (Exhibit G-2, tab 34). In his testimony, he maintained that  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 28 of 150  
Ms. Proulx never told him that she wanted the Human Resources Directorate to absorb  
the cost of a shadow position or that with respect to training senatorsstaff, she  
wanted to wait for the Human Resources Directorate review exercise. She told him not  
to go ahead with the two capsules.  
In cross-examination, when he was asked about the November 16 meeting,  
Mr. Singh nuanced his reply and indicated that there had been no dancing, that  
nevertheless, Ms. Proulx had not been solemn, and that both Ms. Proulx and  
Ms. Legault had been happy.  
The November 24 email  
Mr. Singh testified that the week following the November 16, 2015, meeting with  
Ms. Proulx and Ms. Legault had been difficult. He could not talk about it and decided to  
put his thoughts on paper. He wanted to tell Ms. Proulx how he felt. He was angry,  
humiliated, and upset. He was at a breaking point; he did not sleep well.  
Mr. Singh felt that he no longer had any responsibilities. The last time he had  
seen a senator had been in June, and the Executive Committee had no time for him.  
Ms. Proulx went directly to his staff. He decided to send her the November 24 email. He  
pointed out that as of then, it was not a formal complaint, and that he wanted to write  
to her out of emotion, to make her aware of his concerns. He also wanted to address  
the senatorsconcerns about receiving human-resources information. According to  
him, the senators felt that the former boss, Mr. OBrien, had been running the show,  
not them. Mr. Singh thought they needed to be informed about things. He pointed out  
that never before had he made such a complaint.  
Since in the hearing, the content of the November 24 email was referred to  
often, and since it was an important part of the decision to terminate Mr. Singhs  
employment, I think it is important to reproduce it in its entirety, as follows (Exhibit  
G-1, tab 1):  
From: Singh, Darshan  
To: Proulx, Nicole  
Nicole,  
I am writing this response to you today as I did not want you to  
think that I was writing out of emotion. I am also cognizant of the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 29 of 150  
fact that you have been going through a lot recently (Duffy trial  
and your fathers passing). Please know that I have given this  
much thought and am writing because I believe that I need to put  
these words on paper to protect myself and to protect the HR  
Directorate.  
I am deeply concerned with the current decision making process in  
the Senate Administration and the way that HR information is  
being presented to Senators. I am deeply loyal to this organization  
and have serious concerns relating to:  
1) Senators not receiving accurate information;  
2) Options not being presented to the Senators for their decision  
making;  
3) Only selected pieces of information being provided to  
Senators.  
The main issue I have is that I believe you are proceeding contrary  
to what is in the definition of our roles. We are to provide all  
information to Senators, whether they wish to receive it or not,  
that is required in order for them to make decisions. We do not get  
to make decisions for them. When you choose to present only one  
option, you are basically telling them that the decision is made by  
Senate Administration. You are not presenting Senators with  
complete information so that they can carry out their role  
effectively. You are making decisions for them.  
I do not want this to appear to be related to training only. This is  
an issue that has been ongoing for quite some time under the new  
leadership. I now have several different instances where you have  
chosen to provide only specific information to the Senators and not  
provide complete information.  
You are correct in your email when you say that you are the  
person ultimately responsible for Corporate Services. You were  
also correct in the letter that you presented to me on September  
16, 2015 where you stated that the position which I occupy, reports  
to the Chief Corporate Services Officer, not the Executive  
Committee. However, as per my job description:  
As the senior human resources executive of the Senate, the  
Director is accountable for developing, recommending and  
implementing the total rage of policies and programs affecting  
human resources management requirements in support of  
operations, highly sensitive issues of the Senate and Senators’  
offices, and for providing leadership with respect to implementing  
the Senates role as employer under the Parliamentary  
Employment and Staff Relations Act (PESRA).”  
As I have not been at any Steering Committee or Internal Economy  
meeting, I am not aware of what recommendations relating to HR  
are being given. Therefore, I request, that when you present  
information relating to HR, that you clearly state it as your own  
opinion and not the opinion or information provided to you by HR.  
This becomes difficult for me to defend as was evidenced by the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 30 of 150  
information you providedto Senator Wells regarding compensation  
rules which simply do not exist.  
I also want to touch on another matter which has been bothering  
me for quite some time. In my role, at all times, I am required to  
present the Senate as a modern employer that encompasses the  
beliefs of a healthy and respectful workplace. Last week, during  
the Legislative Sector retreat, I had to comment on a question from  
an employee wondering why we do not have a representative  
amount of persons of colour in management positions. I told the  
employee that we are working to fix this issue and that I have  
never felt lesser in front of any of my colleagues. I want to tell you  
today that this is untrue. I have not felt like I am treated differently  
with the other members of the Executive Committee or Dr. OBrien  
(the former Clerk). I have however, repeatedly felt it with you. You  
may ignore this claim but it is real and a source of stress and  
discomfort for me. Similarly to how women are able to tell if a  
man is looking at them in an inappropriate manner, persons of  
colour can also sense this. I also want you to know that I have  
heard this from other employees that fall under the purview of the  
CCSO. I also noted this when I presented Maria-Chantals (SEN-10)  
name as a possible replacement for Peter Nunan. Despite the fact  
that you had seen her cv and has received positive feedback from  
clients which you yourself told me about, you an (EX-05) stepped in  
and put forward the name of an old friend and colleague who you  
felt more comfortable with (a SEN-09). You relayed this name to  
me on at least 3 occasions an even went as far as speak to the  
employee directly without notifying me.  
To put it simply, I do not feel like I am being treated equally and  
fear that it is racially driven rather than based on my  
performance.  
All of your direct reports are white and all of your direct reports  
are French Canadian. All of your direct reports have been present  
in Steering Committee meetings or Internal Economy Committee  
meeting, except for me. This is more than just coincidence. I would  
like for this unfair treatment to stop immediately. I am being  
singled out, and it is for more than just me giving my opinion. My  
opinion, by the way, is the reason I am in this position. If you  
wanted someone to simply say yes to your every request, then  
Senator Nolin did not select the right person for the position.  
I also want to note that all 4 applicants in the CFO Professional  
Development Program were Anglophones and that 2 of the 4 were  
visible minorities. Yet, you did not qualify any of them. One of the  
4 was already in an EX position, and 2 others have since qualified  
in EX pools.  
Some other matters of concern:  
Whenever I have raised my concerns with you, you often have said  
that there is not enough time to complete a task or that it is not the  
right time. I do not feel any support from you and unfortunately I  
believe that it will never be the right time and that you will never  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 31 of 150  
have enough time to complete HR related responsibilities. The  
following excerpt from your job description clearly identifies your  
overall responsibility towards HR and does not discuss working on  
specific files:  
In this innovative executive structure, all three share in the  
direction and planning of the Administration in order to provide  
effective and efficient support to the Senate generally and to the  
Speaker of the Senate and the CIBA specifically.”  
As I have expressed on numerous occasions, thought you are  
ultimately responsible for HR, you also hold the notion that you are  
responsible for my specific tasks. This is not accurate. Your job  
description is very specific in regards to HR responsibility as is  
mine. I would ask that you respect your responsibilities and allow  
me to do my job. I will not comment on your job, but I will  
comment on mine by saying that I am the most qualified person in  
the Senate Administration to be leading HR and am unfortunately  
being left out of all HR decisions. I would ask that you allow me to  
do my job and that you stop micro-managing my duties. This  
again, is unfair treatment and I am left to wonder why.  
I also want it to be noted that on many matters relating to HR, I  
am not consulted by the Executive Committee prior to a decision  
being made. When you and the committee speak to management,  
and tell them that you are about to make a change, it implies that  
I have been consulted. I would ask that you clearly state to those in  
attendance that this is a decision of the Executive Committee and  
that neither I nor my team were involved. This has happened on  
numerous occasions such as when the new leadership structure  
was presented or the IIA posted was issued.  
I also want it to be noted that my opinion or advice is not usually  
followed when dealing with disciplinary matters. This was the case  
for the recent harassment and workplace assessment case that  
took place within the Administration.  
I would also like to note for the record that many, if not all, of my  
colleagues have expressed major concerns with the leadership  
currently being shown. I admit that I have been the most vocal in  
my opinions, but that my colleagues will not speak up as they are  
in fear. I only speak up as I would like to remain true to one of my  
core values. If you do not speak up when you see wrong being  
done, than you are as guilty as the person(s) committing the  
wrong.”  
I would like it to be noted that I still have not been provided with  
any legitimate reason as to why the HR Directorate is undergoing  
a review. Logic would dictate that given the year and a half that  
the Finance and Procurement Directorate has undergone,  
including the results of the audit, the fact that 15 Senators are  
under investigation by the RCMP and the complaints of Senators  
related to Finance and Procurement rules, that this would be the  
place to start. Yet, for some reason, unbeknownst to anyone, you  
have chosen to have a review of HR done. There are only two  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 32 of 150  
reasonable assumptions that can be made favouritism for your  
former Directorate or discriminatory practices  
Your appointment was also a non-advertised appointment, yet the  
rules were apparently different for your appointment and one of  
your colleagues appointments than they were for mine. There is  
only one reasonable assumption that can be made discriminatory  
practices.  
I also want to note that the leave rules upon hiring for the new  
CFO were able to be amended with no challenges from you, but for  
me were cause for a disciplinary hearing, despite the Clerks and  
Executive Committees approval of my hire. Again, why?  
Though I could go on, on many matters related to our time  
together, I want to formally request the following:  
1) I would like to request that the HR Directorate be temporarily  
moved under the leadership of one of the other Chiefs;  
2) In the event that you do not meet request number 1, I would  
like to request that all information that is provided to  
Senators, the Executive Committee, or to any client, should be  
assumed to not be coming from HR unless I have put in  
writing that HR agrees to what is being presented;  
3) I ask that the Executive committee, or any of its members,  
that speak to changes, decisions, or initiatives, ensure that it  
is communicated that HR was not consulted;  
4) That a vision or mission statement for the Administration be  
communicated in writing to all employees;  
5) That the behaviour of treating me differently than my  
colleagues stop immediately;  
I know that this email will cause you some discomfort. I do not  
need to discuss it any further as I have put my concerns in writing.  
I do not require a response. Simple decisions on my requests are all  
that I require.  
My primary concern remains a commitment to serving Senators. I  
believe that all information should be shared with them and that  
the appropriate persons be there to provide them with counsel.  
Thank you,  
Darshan  
[Sic throughout]  
During his testimony, Mr. Singh reviewed the email and commented on it. Some  
of the issues in it have already been covered in the retelling of his testimony.  
For instance, Mr. Singh returned to the fact that he felt that Ms. Proulx was  
treating him differently because of his race. He said that if he was told that he is  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 33 of 150  
competent, by those including Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert, the only explanation for  
Ms. Proulxs behaviour was that it was based on his race. He pointed out that some of  
her other employees felt the same as he did. He also noted that she wanted to assign  
Ms. Blais, who in his view was her old friend, instead of Ms. Eynoux, who is black, to  
replace Mr. Nunan.  
Mr. Singh insisted that at that point, he had not been provided with the reason  
for the Human Resources Directorate functional review. In his view, it was because  
Ms. Proulx did not want senators to review the Finance and Procurement Directorate  
since she had been specifically responsible for it before becoming the chief corporate  
services officer.  
Returning to the fact that his appointment was subject to a notice of intent to  
appoint, which was not issued for Ms. Proulxs appointment, Mr. Singh maintained that  
the Executive Committee contravened the Senate administration staffing and  
appointment policy and its appendix. In his words, Why make it more difficult for the  
brown Anglo [sic] man and not for the white woman?”  
Mr. Singh also testified about two separate incidents not covered in his  
November 24 email. He stated that in 2013, one of his senior advisors told him that  
there was a problem with a senator who was not Caucasian. Mr. OBrien called  
Mr. Singh and Ms. Proulx to a meeting. Mr. OBrien asked Ms. Proulx for her views  
about the issue. According to Mr. Singh, she replied, These people are like that.”  
Mr. Singh also referred to another incident in which another senator who  
was not Caucasian was the subject of very serious sexual impropriety allegations.  
Mr. OBrien again invited Ms. Proulx to a meeting to obtain her views. Mr. Singh  
indicated that again, she would have said, These people are like that.He testified that  
he asked her what she meant by that. She replied, “You know, those senators all have  
big egos.”  
Mr. Singh insisted that the request in the November 24 email to have the  
Human Resources Directorate report to another chief was not strong but rather was  
reasonable.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 34 of 150  
Events after the November 24 email  
Mr. Singh testified that the day after he sent the email to Ms. Proulx, he was  
called to a meeting in Mr. Roberts office. Mr. Patrice was already there. Mr. Patrice did  
the talking and said that the email would be treated under the Senate Policy on the  
Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace (“the harassment policy)  
and that an outside firm would investigate it (Exhibit G-1, tab 16).  
Mr. Singh was also told that he and the Human Resources Directorate would  
report to Mr. Robert until the investigation was completed and that Mr. Robert and  
Mr. Patrice would inform the senators. Mr. Singh understood that the allegations to be  
investigated were those about the harassment and racial discrimination against him.  
He pointed out that it was not what [he] wanted, but it is what it is.  
The day after that meeting, Mr. Singh emailed both Mr. Robert and Mr. Patrice  
(Exhibit G-1, tab 2). Mr. Singh testified that he wanted to signal that he was open to  
other means of resolution. He stated that with his experience, he wanted to resolve  
things amicably with Ms. Proulx. For instance, a mediator could have been involved.  
Neither Mr. Robert nor Mr. Patrice responded.  
The following Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Mr. Singh attended the Standing  
Committee’s Subcommittee on the Senate Estimates meeting despite the fact that his  
two capsules had been withdrawn. His colleague directors made their requests for  
additional funding. When his turn came, he was sitting next to Mr. Patrice. He told the  
subcommittee that the Human Resource Directorate had no requests. A senator asked  
him about the request for training the senators’ staff.  
Mr. Singh said that Ms. Proulx and Ms. Legault then interrupted. He said that he  
was then asked for his thoughts about it. According to him, at that point, Mr. Patrice  
grabbed his arm and told the senators that Ms. Proulx would answer, which she did.  
After that, Mr. Singh said that he felt like he was done and that he was ready to hurt  
himself. He had been humiliated in front of the subcommittee. He had never seen  
someone not answer one of their questions.  
The termination of Mr. Singh’s employment  
On December 3, 2015, Mr. Singh was called to Mr. Patrices office. Mr. Robert  
was also present, and he stepped out for a moment. When he returned, he was holding  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 35 of 150  
a letter. Mr. Patrice told Mr. Singh that they had spoken with the senators and that his  
employment was terminated as of that day. Mr. Patrice gave him the letter of  
termination dated December 2, 2015. Mr. Singh read it and left without saying  
anything. He walked down the hall with Mr. Patrice, who told him to gather his  
personal items and to return his Senate pass and BlackBerry.  
Mr. Singh testified that he left the building. He was not well. He went to the  
House of Commons to see Pierre Parent, who was the head of Human Resources there.  
Mr. Singh showed him a copy of the letter. Mr. Parent reacted in disbelief.  
Mr. Singh drove home around noon that day. He broke down and cried. He  
called his father. He then went to his room, where he stayed for three to five days. He  
wife was worried, especially since he is diabetic. He did not want to tell his three boys  
about it, especially since it was just before Christmas.  
Mr. Singh said that it was hard on him. He was then 43 years old and a member  
of a visible minority group in an EX-02 position that was about to be reclassified EX-03.  
He testified that in the federal public sector, no one matched his profile. He insisted  
that he always did everything correctly and that he never received a personal favour  
from anyone. He indicated that at the time, his ambition was to become a senior  
assistant deputy minister if not a deputy minister. Mr. Singh maintained that  
everything was taken from him. And all he had done was follow the employer’s  
relevant policy.  
Mr. Singh testified that two weeks after the termination of his employment,  
Senator Furey was newly appointed as Speaker of the Senate. Since Mr. Singh did not  
know whether the Standing Committee had been made aware of his situation and the  
termination of his employment, on December 14, 2015, Mr. Singh sent a letter to  
Speaker Furey about the situation and sent copies of it to the 15 other members of the  
Standing Committee (Exhibit G-1, tab 4). No one responded.  
Grievance and media coverage  
On December 17, 2015, Mr. Singh grieved the Senates decision to terminate  
his employment.  
The Hill Times and the Canadian Press contacted Mr. Singh about the  
termination of his employment on the first Monday in January 2016. He said that he  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 36 of 150  
did not know how they had obtained his phone number. He testified that they told him  
that the Senate had said that he had been terminated for harassment, even for sexual  
harassment. He denied the allegations and referred them to his counsel (Exhibit G-3,  
tab 2).  
On January 6, 2016, the Canadian Press published a story on Mr. Singh (Exhibit  
G-3, tab 1). He indicated the he did not want to have his name in public, so he wrote  
to the Senate, asked that it respect his privacy, and raised that many senators did  
not receive the December 14, 2015, letter. He testified that he had been told that  
Mr. Patrice had intercepted the copies of that letter before they reached the  
15 senators.  
On January 11, 2016, The Hill Times also published an article on the termination  
of Mr. Singhs employment. He pointed out that Jacqui Delaney, who was interviewed,  
worked for Senator Housakos and that he did not know Senator Mobina Jaffer, who  
was also mentioned in the article (Exhibit G-3, tab 3). The same day, Mr. Singh asked  
for a public statement from the Senate to the effect that Mr. Singh had been terminated  
without cause. Mr. Singh indicated that no such statement was issued (Exhibit G-3,  
tab 4).  
The Hill Times published another article on January 18, 2016, still on the subject  
of the termination of Mr. Singh’s employment. Among other things, it quoted a  
statement emailed by Senator Housakos (Exhibit G-3, tab 5).  
As to whether at that time Mr. Singh had received pay in lieu of notice of  
termination, as referred to in the January 21, 2016, letter written by the Senate,  
Mr. Singh indicated that he received it only on July 21, 2016 (Exhibit G-3, tabs 6 and 7).  
Mr. Singhs efforts to find employment after the termination  
Mr. Singh testified that he did not work for all of 2016, despite his efforts.  
With his counsel’s help, he prepared for this hearing a table of his job searches for  
2016 and 2017 (Exhibit G-3, tab 15). In his testimony, Mr. Singh went over the list of  
applications he made and pointed out that he was even prepared to take a position in  
Calgary, Alberta, but it did not materialize. He also applied for positions above and  
below the EX-02 classification level, such as at the AS-07 and PE-03 groups and levels.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 37 of 150  
In February 2017, Mr. Singh landed a contract with the Altis firm as a  
consultant. While still looking for employment, he then decided to incorporate and  
landed several short contracts in March, April, May, June, and July 2017 (Exhibit G-3,  
tabs 15 and 16).  
In September 2017, he was hired as a casual with Service Canada for a period of  
less than four months at the AS-07 group and level (Exhibit G-3, tab 21).  
On February 1, 2018, he was hired on an indeterminate basis with the Canadian  
Coast Guard at the AS-07 group and level and still occupies that position. His salary is  
at the maximum of the scale since he was hired from outside the public service.  
Mr. Singh stated that when he accepted the job, he was desperate. He needed money,  
especially with four dependents at home. His credit cards were maxed out. He also  
needed it because of the medical insurance that came with it and his need for insulin.  
He pointed out that up to February 2018, he did not have medical insurance but  
nevertheless had medical bills to pay (Exhibit G-3, tab 13).  
Mr. Singh testified that after taking the Coast Guard employment, he continued  
to look for other positions.  
Mr. Singh pointed out an application he made with the Canadian Food  
Inspection Agency. He said that after being asked about his time at the Senate and  
informing it that he had been fired because he had made a complaint, the agency  
decided not to offer him the position. He stated that he decided not to apply to public-  
service positions for the time being. He feels that he is overqualified for most positions  
and that we would not be appointed. So, he wants his Senate job back. He could then  
apply to other positions should he wish to leave the Senate.  
Mr. Singh concluded his testimony by expressing what he views as the lack of  
progress the Senate has made in its hiring of visible minorities. He pointed out the  
employment equity report that was published when he joined the Senate in 2013 and  
the results when he left in 2015. He stressed that only four or five members of visible  
minority groups occupied middle-management positions there in 2015-2016 (Exhibit  
G-1, tab 11, page 4, and tab 12, page 3).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 38 of 150  
B. For the Senate  
Ms. Proulx  
Ms. Proulx’s employment background, and Mr. Singh’s arrival at the Senate  
Ms. Proulx was the Senate’s first witness. She retired on January 30, 2018. She  
was the clerk of the Senate and of the Parliaments from July 2017 until she retired.  
Before that, she was the Senates chief corporate services officer, which meant that she  
was responsible for the Finance and Procurement Directorate, the Human Resources  
Directorate, the Communications Directorate, the Information Services Directorate,  
and the Internal Audit and Strategic Planning Office (Exhibit G-2, tab 13). As of  
her retirement, she had about 38.5 years of experience, including 9 years in  
federal-public-service management positions.  
In her résumé, Ms. Proulx noted her human-resources experience, notably in  
staffing, classification, and organizational design.  
Ms. Proulx received a masters degree in public administration from the  
University of Ottawa in 2005, for which her topic was the Senates classification  
conversion project. She indicated that her time at the Department of Fisheries and  
Oceans, where she worked on classification and the potential impact of the Universal  
Classification System standard, had inspired her to among other things realign Senate  
administrative positions and replace specific job descriptions with generic ones.  
She submitted that she worked on hundreds of job classification files throughout  
her career.  
With respect to Mr. Singhs arrival at the Senate in fall 2013 as part of his  
Interchange Canada assignment, Ms. Proulx indicated that at that time, she was the  
director of finance and procurement and chief financial officer, and she was involved  
only in interviewing him.  
On his arrival, Mr. Singh and Ms. Proulx were colleagues; they often worked  
together and got along very well. According to her, initially, she and Mr. Patrice tried to  
help Mr. Singh. Everything was very positive.  
Ms. Proulx indicated that she was not involved in any way in the process  
of Mr. Singhs appointment to the position of Director of Human Resources in  
January 2015 (Exhibit G-2, tab 9). She could not remember congratulating him in  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 39 of 150  
writing or asking him inappropriate questions about his appointment but affirmed  
that she told him, Good for you.”  
In cross-examination, she insisted that she had not been involved in his  
appointment process, so she could not comment on the reasons that motivated  
Speaker Nolin to appoint Mr. Singh. She admitted that Speaker Nolin and Mr. Pleau had  
indicated that Mr. Singh was penalized in terms of his salary due to restrictions in the  
Interchange Canada assignment (Exhibit G-2, tab 10, page 1).  
Notices of intent to appoint  
Ms. Proulx testified that in consultation with Legal Services, Ms. Vanikiotis  
recommended issuing a notice of intent to appoint Mr. Singh to the position of  
Director of Human Resources and that she had agreed with that recommendation  
(Exhibit G-2, tabs 10 to 12). According to Ms. Proulx, the notice should have been  
issued before Speaker Nolin signed the letter of offer, but since it had already been  
signed, she did not think that the letter should be redone.  
As for being appointed Chief Corporate Services Officer, Ms. Proulx testified  
that although it was announced on January 27, 2015, she received her letter of offer  
only on April 27, 2015, retroactive to February 16, 2015. Therefore, she was in  
the position on an acting basis but received the delegations needed for it on  
February 16, 2015. She indicated that her letter of offer stated that she was to be on  
probation for one year, until February 2016. She explained that when she returned  
from vacation on January 13, 2015, Mr. Pleau approached her and asked if the position  
of Chief Corporate Services Officer interested her. She said that she was interested  
even though she did not know the classification or salary. She said that she was not  
involved in the discussions that led to an SEG-05 classification, which is equivalent to  
EX-05 in the public service.  
When she was asked about the notice of intent to appoint Mr. Singh to the  
position of Director of Human Resources, Ms. Proulx stated that she had simply agreed  
with the proposal of Mr. Patrice and Ms. Vanikiotis but that she had not consulted the  
staffing policy (Exhibit G-2, tab 10, and Exhibit G-1, tabs 13 and 14). After reviewing  
the staffing guidelines, she maintained that she still agreed with Ms. Vanikiotiss and  
Mr. Patrices recommendation that issuing the notice was in fact appropriate (Exhibit  
G-1, tab 14, pages 14 and 15).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 40 of 150  
She explained that to her knowledge, a notice of intent to appoint her to the  
position of Chief Corporate Services Officer was not issued but that she did not  
know at the time, because the person considered for appointment is not copied on  
the notice.  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx agreed that in her case, a notice of intent to  
appoint should also have been issued, according to the staffing policy, and that  
therefore, it was up to Mr. Singh to explain why it was not done, particularly given that  
the topic was relevant at the time because such a notice had just been issued for him.  
As for the allegation in the November 24 email that she had received  
preferential treatment as her appointment had not been subject to a notice of intent to  
appoint, Ms. Proulx insisted that on one hand, the lack of such a notice in her case was  
not something positive, and that on the other hand, it had been up to Mr. Singh, as the  
director of human resources, to issue one. If she received preferential treatment, it was  
at his hands (Exhibit G-1, tab 1, page 3).  
As for the probationary period, Ms. Proulx agreed that in her case, had she not  
been appointed Chief Corporate Services Officer, she could have returned to her  
former position, which had not been filled, but that Mr. Singh would have had a  
priority right only because he had resigned from the public service.  
Changes to the Senates administrative structure  
Ms. Proulx testified that in January 2015, Speaker of the Senate Senator Nolin  
announced the new administrative structure, overseen by the Executive Committee  
composed of the three sector chiefs, Mr. Robert, Mr. Patrice, and her. She agreed that  
Mr. Singh worked with Mr. Pleau designing that new structure (Exhibit G-2, tab 13).  
She noted that at first in the new context, her relationship with Mr. Singh was  
positive. She stated that he had told her and had written down that he was lucky to  
have the best of the three members of the Executive Committee as his supervisor  
(Exhibit E-1, tab 14). He even went so far as telling her to take things in a relaxed way,  
which she found nice (Exhibit E-1, tab 15).  
Ms. Proulx testified that in February 2015, the Executive Committee decided to  
follow up on a request from senators who had expressed a need for change to the way  
things were being administered. However, according to her, the Steering Committee’s  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 41 of 150  
instructions were not specific. Rather, the Executive Committee was told to put a  
functional and well-organized structure in place.  
Ms. Proulx indicated that she and her two colleagues then agreed to a structure  
model. She stated that she asked Mr. Singh what needed to be done in terms of  
classifying positions, to enable the new structure. When she was questioned as to why  
he had not been involved from the outset, she replied that she and her two colleagues  
knew the Senate very well, as they had worked there for several years, and that they  
wanted to be aligned before deciding on the specifics of the new structure.  
In cross-examination, she replied that once the Executive Committee was  
satisfied with the new structure, she asked Mr. Singh for the next steps. The committee  
then reviewed his proposals. She denied that the affected individuals had been  
informed before Mr. Singh of the committee’s decisions and that he was presented  
with fait-accompli situations.  
As to whether Speaker Nolin asked the three members of the Executive  
Committee to consult Mr. Singh on the reorganization issues, Ms. Proulx replied that  
Speaker Nolin had just appointed them to the assistant-deputy-minister level and  
therefore did not tell them whom to consult. She insisted that the Executive Committee  
first required an idea of the desired structure before consulting Mr. Singh.  
Issues at the Senate in 2015  
In her testimony, Ms. Proulx returned to some issues that the Senate dealt with  
in 2015. For example, she emphasized that Mr. OBrien had not been present as of  
January, that the new structure was put in place with the Executive Committee, and  
that the high-profile Duffy trial had begun in about March 2015. On that point, she  
noted that she had been identified as a witness at that trial because of her past duties  
as the director of finance and procurement, which had required significant preparation  
from her. In fact, she was called initially as a witness in April 2015 for six consecutive  
days. During that period, Speaker Nolin passed away. She was also recalled to the  
Duffy trial later, in November 2015.  
Ms. Proulx testified that in June 2015, the Senate received the findings of the  
Auditor Generals report on its expenses. That report imposed a workload on some  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 42 of 150  
Senate committees, for which she was responsible as the person in charge of internal  
governance for them.  
Federal elections were held in October 2015. In May 2015, Senator Housakos  
became Speaker of the Senate and Chair of the Standing Committee. On  
November 3, 2015, Ms. Proulxs father passed away. She returned to work on  
November 16, 2015. She had to testify again at the Duffy trial on November 20, 2015.  
A new Speech from the Throne was delivered on December 3, 2015, after which  
Senator Furey became the new Senate Speaker.  
Attending Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings  
Ms. Proulx explained that when the new governance structure was put in place,  
the senators spoke with the Executive Committee about the presence of roughly 10  
directors at Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings.  
At Standing Committee meetings, all the directors attended and sat along a wall.  
At Steering Committee meetings, Mr. Robert, Mr. Patrice, Mr. Singh, Gérald Lafrenière  
director of internal audit and strategic planning, and Ms. Proulx attended, while the  
other directors waited in the antechamber to be called, which did not happen often.  
Ms. Marga was the Finance and Procurement Directorate’s director on an acting  
basis, and according to Ms. Proulx, she never attended a Standing Committee or  
Steering Committee meeting. Ms. Proulx stated that the senators found that the three  
members of the Executive Committee were experienced and that therefore, there was  
no need for the directors to come to the meetings. She stated that the senators were  
also concerned about potential leaks of discussions at committee meetings after the  
Auditor Generals report was leaked.  
According to Ms. Proulx, the new rules were that as of February 2015, only the  
member senators and the three members of the Executive Committee would attend  
Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings, except for those specifically  
invited. For Standing Committee meetings, the chair had to agree to any invitations.  
According to her, if a member of the Executive Committee did not know an answer at a  
meeting, he or she could be accompanied the following week by a director or manager  
(Exhibit G-2, tab 14).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 43 of 150  
Ms. Proulx explained that all the directors were affected and disappointed by  
the new directive. Being present at the meetings was also often a way to socialize.  
Ms. Proulx acknowledged that as had the three members of the Executive  
Committee, Mr. Singh had previously attended all the Steering Committee meetings,  
which made the decision harder for him. According to her, he often brought it up. She  
testified that she often explained to him the reasons for the senatorsdecision. She  
admitted that she did not circulate a copy of it because it was sensitive. However, she  
maintained that she explained it. She stated that despite the decision to admit  
directors only by invitation, she met regularly with her team members, to keep  
them informed of discussions that took place at Standing Committee or Steering  
Committee meetings.  
Ms. Proulx recalled that she attended all Standing Committee and Steering  
Committee meetings as part of her duties. She insisted that Mr. Singh was the director  
from her sector who, following the February 4, 2015, directive, was invited most often  
to those meetings. However, she noted that other directors in her sector, namely,  
Ms. Marga and the director of communications, never went to the meetings. As for  
Director of Information Services Ms. Bouchard, given the technical nature of the  
subject, Ms. Proulx preferred to have her present when necessary.  
Ms. Proulx indicated that she presented human-resources briefing notes to the  
Standing Committee and Steering Committee, which was done using templates that the  
senators had approved in advance. As applicable, a secretariat within Ms. Proulxs team  
requested a briefing note from the director of the sector in question. Ms. Proulx  
indicated that although the briefing notes were not signed, she assumed that the  
directors in question had reviewed them. Thus, briefing notes were prepared in  
advance, and their contents were discussed internally before they were sent to, for  
example, the Steering Committee.  
Ms. Proulx stated that she never invited an employee of the Human Resources  
Directorate to attend any of the meetings without Mr. Singh being informed in advance.  
She also maintained that she never asked any of his employees to prepare a briefing  
note without his knowledge.  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx stated that not only did the senators fear that  
their discussions would be leaked if too many directors were present but also, they  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 44 of 150  
wondered if the directors had better things to do. According to her, this issue was an  
irritant for the senators. She indicated that the senators had communicated the  
directive to the Executive Committee behind closed doors and that it was included in  
minutes that could not be disclosed.  
She also explained that with respect to Steering Committee meetings, two or  
three directors often waited in the antechamber and were often noisy, which was  
an irritant.  
According to Ms. Proulx, the senators had advised the Executive Committee that  
were one of the three members of the Executive Committee absent from the Standing  
Committee or the Steering Committee, he or she could not be replaced. Consequently,  
as the clerk of both committees, she was not replaced when she was absent.  
According to her, the Executive Committee simply wanted to carry out a  
decision made by the Standing Committee and Steering Committee about directors  
participating in Senate committees, even though all the directors were disappointed.  
She maintained that she explained to Mr. Singh the reasons that the senators supplied  
but that he remained unhappy. She agreed that Gerald Lafrenière, Director of Internal  
Audit and Strategic Planning at the Senate, had attended a Steering Committee meeting  
once to explain a project between February 4 and autumn 2015, but according to her, it  
was at the committees express request.  
She maintained that during that period, Mr. Singh was the director most often  
invited to attend Senate meetings, and she denied that Ms. Bouchard had regularly  
attended them. She further stated that the Standing Committee and the Steering  
Committee did not sit during summer and fall 2015 due to the federal elections. She  
testified that she answered the senatorsquestions, among others those about human  
resources, including different reports, such as one on employment equity.  
When she was asked whether Luc Pressault, who became the director of human  
resources after Mr. Singh left, attended Standing Committee and Steering Committee  
meetings, Ms. Proulx agreed that he did and stated that in fact, new directors had been  
invited to attend committee meetings, for training purposes. She explained that in  
2016 and at the request of the Chair of the Standing Committee, Mr. Pressault  
attended a meeting to explain the content of a report about diversity to the  
related subcommittee.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 45 of 150  
As to whether Mr. Pressault attended all the Senate’s meetings during his time  
as the director of human resources, Ms. Proulx stated that in 2017, she became Clerk  
of Parliament, that the Human Resources Directorate then reported to the law clerk  
and parliamentary counsels sector, and that after Mr. Patrices departure, his  
replacement was not comfortable with human-resources questions, which explains  
Mr. Pressaults presence at the committee meetings.  
As for the minutes of Standing Committee and Steering Committee meetings  
being available, Ms. Proulx maintained that for example in 2017, they were still not  
circulated, except on a need-to-know basis. She testified that she always provided  
feedback to the directors involved about briefing notes or committee meetings at her  
management meetings or at bilateral meetings with each of her directors. She  
maintained that although some discussions from committee meetings could not be  
shared, she always informed the relevant director of the gist of them and of the  
decision rendered.  
According to her, the Executive Committee reviewed briefing notes before they  
were sent to the Senate’s committees. If a note had to be changed, the director in  
question was informed. She also stated that she prepared summary tables setting out  
the outlines of the discussions with the senators and that she shared them with her  
directors through her secretariat, which also followed up on topics that the  
committees discussed.  
Mr. Singhs letter of offer  
Ms. Proulx testified that once an employee filed a grievance after the notice of  
intent to appoint Mr. Singh was issued, she had to review the file, with Mr. Bédards  
help, to respond to the grievance. She indicated that things she saw in the letter of  
offer that Mr. Singh prepared surprised her (Exhibit G-2, tab 9). In cross-examination,  
she emphasized that the leave-transfer issue had [translation] jumped out ather.  
Ms. Proulx indicated that on April 2, 2015, she then contacted Mr. Bédard and  
Mr. Pleau to find out what had been discussed with Mr. Singh before he prepared the  
letter (Exhibit G-2, tab 17). She testified that at that time, Mr. Pleau told her that he had  
asked Mr. Singh why he was on an Interchange Canada assignment and why Mr. OBrien  
had not appointed him as the director permanently. Mr. Pleau reportedly also  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 46 of 150  
mentioned that he told Mr. Singh to [translation] take care of it, referring to the letter  
of offer.  
Ms. Proulx explained that still on April 2, 2015, she met with Mr. Singh, along  
with Mr. Bédard, to gather the facts and make a decision about the grievance.  
According to her, Mr. Singh was not pleased at the meeting, and he explained the  
circumstances that had led him to prepare his letter of offer.  
According to Ms. Proulx, Mr. Singh awarded himself a raise of more than 5%,  
while according to the Treasury Board Secretariat’s rules, which the Senate follows, it is  
to be 5% without specific authorization otherwise. She submitted that the only other  
time this occurred (an increase of more than 5% was granted), an exception request  
had been submitted to the Standing Committee, which was not done this time.  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx acknowledged that Mr. Pleau and  
Speaker Nolin, who had about 25 years of Senate experience, signed the letter of offer.  
However, she emphasized that the exception to the raise had not been explained to  
Speaker Nolin and Mr. Pleau and that they had relied on what Mr. Singh had told them.  
According to Ms. Proulx, Mr. Singh should have consulted Ms. Vanikiotis before  
preparing the letter.  
Ms. Proulx testified that she was not convinced that in reality Mr. Pleau and  
Mr. Singh had discussed the probationary period issue, she acknowledged that in her  
opinion, this issue was the least serious of the three allegations. According to  
Ms. Proulx, the leave-transfer issue was undoubtedly the most important thing.  
Ms. Proulx stated that the April 2, 2015, meeting was tense, that Mr. Singh  
argued that he should not have been put in that situation, and that Mr. Patrice had not  
been required to issue a notice of intent to appoint.  
Mr. Singhs disciplinary hearing and the letter of reprimand  
Ms. Proulx testified that on May 5, 2015, she invited Mr. Singh to a disciplinary  
hearing to obtain answers and his version of the facts with respect to some things in  
his letter of offer that were not compliant with the Senate’s policies. She indicated that  
on May 5, she called him to read him the letter inviting him to a disciplinary hearing  
and that she then gave it to him personally. According to her, he reportedly told her  
that it was all bullshitand that she was just repeating what Mr. Patrice told her to  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 47 of 150  
say. According to her, he allegedly added that he would no longer speak to Mr. Patrice,  
for whom he had total disrespect. She said that during the call, she took notes on the  
back of the May 5 letter (Exhibit E-1, tab 11). According to her, the disciplinary meeting  
took place on May 15, 2015; Mr. Patrice, Mr. Robert, and Mr. Bédard were also present.  
Mr. Singh was accompanied by Mr. Desharnais.  
Ms. Proulx explained that at that disciplinary meeting, discussed were  
Mr. Singhs salary, his waiving of the probationary period, and the leave transfer.  
According to her, he should not have awarded himself a higher salary than allowed or  
waived a probationary period. She insisted that the leave transfer was the most  
worrisome thing. She maintained that at the Senate, employees have an annual limit on  
leave accumulation that must be respected; otherwise, without special authorization,  
the leave is paid out. According to her, Mr. Singh showed no remorse at that meeting  
and maintained that he would not answer that. It ended tensely, with his message  
being that the Senate was not a modern employer.  
Ms. Proulx testified that on June 1, 2015, the Executive Committee and Mr. Singh  
met to discuss the same matter. Mr. Singh then apparently admitted that he did not  
know of the leave-transfer policy and expressed remorse, even stating that he would  
have been more severe with discipline than the letter of reprimand that the committee  
was about to issue to him.  
According to Ms. Proulx, on June 12, 2015, the Executive Committee effectively  
decided to issue a letter of reprimand to Mr. Singh, who should have informed Mr.  
Pleau in January 2015 of the Senates policies and their exceptions, which he did not  
do (Exhibit G-2, tab 22). She noted the requirements of the Statement of Values and  
Ethics of the Senate Administration(Exhibit E-1, tab 6). She also referred to the  
conflict of interest code for persons employed by the Senate and its policy statement,  
which notably prohibits any favourable treatment. According to her, the fact that Mr.  
Singh wrote his letter of offer, including favourable terms and conditions of  
employment, contravened that codes requirements. Although Mr. Pleau asked him to  
prepare the letter of offer, Mr. Singh should have asked someone else to do it instead  
(Exhibit E-1, tabs 7 and 8).  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx acknowledged that this matter had shaken her,  
as the director of human resources had to be her pillar in difficult matters. She also  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 48 of 150  
acknowledged that the Executive Committee had considered other discipline, including  
termination, but that ultimately, it agreed to issue a letter of reprimand.  
Ms. Proulx testified that the Human Resources Directorate was not informed of  
the matter because Mr. Singh was the director. The senators were also not informed  
because, according to her, it would then have been more difficult for Mr. Singh to work  
with them. Therefore, the idea was to not escalate the matter, as Mr. Singh had  
expressed remorse.  
Ms. Proulx maintained that the idea at the time was to continue working  
together, and as the Executive Committee wanted to keep the matter confidential.  
Therefore, it was decided to keep the letter of reprimand in Ms. Proulx’s office instead  
of putting it on Mr. Singh’s personnel file.  
Leadership development program for procedural and legislative clerks  
Ms. Proulx stated that the leadership development program for procedural and  
legislative clerks was the responsibility of Clerk of the Senate Mr. Robert and that she  
had not taken part in its development and was not aware of it until she received an  
email about it from Mr. Singh on June 13, 2015 (Exhibit G-2, tab 23). She indicated that  
clearly, Mr. Singh was annoyed at not having been involved, but she did not understand  
why she was confronted, as she was not aware of the program. She testified that in her  
opinion, it meant that there was dissatisfaction between Mr. Singh and Ms. Vanikiotis,  
who had told him about the program on the previous day, and that it was up to him to  
resolve his differences in his directorate.  
Ms. Vanikiotiss Interchange Canada assignment and sick-leave request  
Ms. Proulx stated that on Friday, May 1, 2015, she was informed that  
Ms. Vanikiotis was considering a secondment outside the Human Resources  
Directorate. Ms. Proulx indicated that she asked Mr. Singh about who could replace her.  
According to Ms. Proulx, he then suggested someone who had failed to qualify two  
months earlier for a SEN-10 position, which was two levels lower than the manager  
position that Ms. Vanikiotis occupied, classified at the MMG-02 level. Ms. Proulx  
testified that she then told Mr. Singh that she would speak to Ms. Vanikiotis, who had  
not yet made a decision and wanted time to reflect.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 49 of 150  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx stated that she never told Mr. Singh that she  
did not agree with the secondment, even though she had reservations. On May 3, 2015,  
she reiterated to him that no decision had been made. Under the circumstances, she  
said that she did not understand his response that day (Exhibit G-2, tab 20). She  
forwarded his email to Mr. Robert and Mr. Patrice, who replied that they wanted to be  
involved (Exhibit E-1, tab 24). According to her, Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert then met  
with Ms. Vanikiotis, who in the end decided to remain with the Senate.  
In her testimony, Ms. Proulx indicated that in February 2015, she asked  
Mr. Singh to be specific about the types of leave requested; for example, whether the  
leave was for medical or family reasons. She said that she told all her directors that  
they had to comply when reporting leave, in case of an audit.  
Ms. Vanikiotis was ill on February 17, 2015, and worked all the same. However,  
she did not request sick leave for all the hours that day because she worked for  
three of them. Ms. Proulx insisted that she did not understand why Mr. Singh told her  
in his email that she was 100% wrongand reminded her not to talk to his employees  
because, on one hand, he had raised the matter with her, not the other way around,  
and on the other hand, according to Ms. Proulx, she never discussed the matter with  
Ms. Vanikiotis (Exhibit E-1, tab 16).  
As to whether Ms. Proulx asked Mr. Singh not to talk to Mr. Patrice, in  
cross-examination, she replied that she simply asked Mr. Singh to keep her informed  
of any sensitive issues involving senators. She maintained that she never asked  
Mr. Patrice not to speak to Mr. Singh and that Mr. Patrice always wanted her involved  
(Exhibit G-2, tab 15, and Exhibit E-1, tab 19).  
The chief financial officer development program  
Ms. Proulx testified that Ms. Marga had replaced her on an acting basis in  
her former position as the director of finance and procurement and chief financial  
officer. Ms. Marga had informed her that she was not interested in the position were it  
permanent. Ms. Proulx said that she approached Mr. Singh, who suggested establishing  
a 30- to 42-month phased development plan to allow a candidate to become that next  
director, classified SEG-03 (Exhibit G-2, tab 18).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 50 of 150  
Ms. Proulx explained that several people applied. In an email dated  
April 8, 2015, Mr. Singh suggested to her that a take-home examination be required.  
She indicated that she did not want one and informed him that she preferred that two  
of his staffing officers finalize the details of the interview questions. She indicated  
that she felt that he had brought the project to where he was supposed to and that  
he needed to move on to something else, especially since other files took up a  
significant amount of their time during that period, such as the senatorsemployee  
compensation study.  
When she was asked why someone at her level would take the time to  
determine whether there should be a take-home examination, when she could have  
left it to Mr. Singhs discretion, Ms. Proulx explained that it was an important file  
for her, that as a client she felt that it was important to give her point of view,  
and that regardless, it did not take much time to state that she did not like  
take-home-type questions.  
She also had to explain why she asked Ms. Hubert and Ms. Labelle to handle the  
next steps. According to her, she asked that only staffing specialists be involved in the  
technical aspect, as the strategy had been developed. She stated that on April 22, 2015,  
she left to prepare for the Duffy trial and that after that, she was no longer involved.  
According to her, Mr. Singh never indicated to her that he was interested in  
being a member of the selection board. However, she acknowledged that he would have  
been a good choice, given that three candidates were members of a visible minority  
group. She also stated that given the issues, she wanted a public-service chief financial  
officer on the board as well as Ms. Marga, who held the position of Director of Finance  
and Procurement and Chief Financial Officer on an acting basis.  
Ms. Proulx testified that normally, she would have been a member of the  
selection board, but that in April 2015, she was very busy preparing for the Duffy trial.  
So, she asked Ms. Bouchard to replace her. According to Ms. Proulx, Ms. Bouchard had  
no financial experience as such but had about 30 years of work experience, and as the  
director of information services, she had to manage very large budgets and was  
familiar with financial principles. Ms. Marga and another person with financial  
experience from outside the Senate completed the selection board. The board was  
made up of two women and one man, and one of them had a physical disability.  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 51 of 150  
According to Ms. Proulx, Mr. Singh never raised any concerns with the selection  
boards composition.  
Ms. Proulx testified that the interviews were held while she testified in the Duffy  
trial; that therefore, she had no contact with the board members; and that the board  
retained no candidates. She testified that she was disappointed when she returned  
after six days of testifying once she was informed that the selection board had not  
retained any candidates. According to her, the board was unanimous that no  
candidates had the essential skills to take part in the chief financial officer  
development program, and it would have been necessary to defy its unanimous  
recommendation to select someone, which was not done.  
In cross-examination, Ms. Proulx acknowledged that she has no accreditation  
in accounting. However, she noted that she has obtained a masters degree in public  
administration and that she was the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance  
and Procurement at the Senate before being appointed Chief Corporate  
Services Officer.  
She also acknowledged that she had supervised only one employee at the  
executive level, a comptroller, before being appointed Chief Corporate Services Officer.  
As for how managing executives compares to that of employees not in executive  
positions, Ms. Proulx indicated that directors have their responsibilities and that more  
detailed discussions about issues can be held with them. According to her, general  
guidance can still be given to directors, and she emphasized that even she, at her level,  
also received specific directions.  
Proposed changes to the Human Resources Directorate  
Ms. Proulx testified that after the shooting on Parliament Hill in fall 2014,  
efforts were made to increase Parliamentary protection. Thus, an organizational  
structure was desired to support those efforts. The Senate wanted to collaborate. So,  
Mr. Nunan, Senior Labour Relations Advisor at that time, was assigned to the project,  
initially until March 2016, so he had to be replaced. In that context, in summer 2015,  
Mr. Singh presented her with a Human Resources Directorate reorganization proposal  
(Exhibit G-2, tabs 24 to 28).  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 52 of 150  
Ms. Proulx testified that Mr. Singh proposed many changes during a period she  
described as turbulent in the Senate because of the Auditor Generals report on Senate  
expenses and the fact that the Human Resources Directorate was to be the next subject  
of a functional review. She indicated that given the context, the Human Resources  
Directorate reorganization proposals represented many adjustments to respond to the  
void created by Mr. Nunan’s departure on secondment. According to her, it all created  
much concern, from an operational standpoint. The timing was not right for the  
changes. She initially replied to his proposals on June 21, 2015, at 09:03, and again a  
few minutes later, at 09:22 (Exhibit G-2, tabs 24 and 25).  
Ms. Proulx testified that Mr. Singh then replied to her that she was  
micromanaging him and that he had the authority to make the proposed changes as  
they were staffing assignments of less than six months, so he did not need her  
approval. She challenged those assertions, using Mr. Nunans secondment as an  
example, which could last nine months, from June 2015 to the end of March 2016.  
She also testified that she felt trapped, explaining that Mr. Singh informed her  
of his intentions but that he did not want her to comment. She denied simply wanting  
to push backand insisted on asking questions and receiving answers. Ms. Proulx  
stated that she forwarded Mr. Singhs June 19, 2015, email to Mr. Patrice and  
Mr. Robert (Exhibit E-1, tab 25).  
Ms. Proulx maintained that despite the delegations of authority, she remained  
ultimately responsible and continued to be accountable as the chief corporate services  
officer. She stated that she forwarded Mr. Singh’s emails of June 19 and 21, 2015, to  
Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert, also on June 21, 2015 (Exhibit E-1, tab 25).  
Ms. Proulx testified that after Mr. Singh’s June 19 and 21, 2015, emails, she  
realized that her relationship with him had become difficult. She explained that the  
email had followed the letter of reprimand issued to him on June 12 and that she  
believed that they had turned the page. But given the tone of his email, in which  
he accused her of micromanaging him, she saw as follows that the situation  
was becoming increasingly difficult and conflictual (Exhibit G-2, tab 25). In his  
June 23, 2015, email, Mr. Singh wrote this to her:  
Nicole,  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 53 of 150  
You are of course, free to do as you wish and given how rarely HR  
is invited to speak to the Executive Committee, it will be a novelty.  
For clarity purpose [sic], however and for the record, you are  
wrong on the next level .  
Ms. Proulx stated that she found that email insulting, sarcastic, inappropriate,  
and unprofessional. She indicated that she forwarded it to Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert  
since the three of them managed the Senate administration, and they were all involved.  
When she was asked about the meaning of Grrrin her June 21, 2015, email to  
Mr. Patrice and Mr. Robert, Ms. Proulx denied that it was an expression of irritation at  
Mr. Singh and stated that instead, it was in response to the inconsistencies of some  
proposals, such as Mr. Singh<