Date: 20210224  
File: 561-34-714  
Citation: 2021 FPSLREB 18  
Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations and  
Employment Board Act and  
Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations Act  
Before a panel of the  
Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations and  
Employment Board  
BETWEEN  
PAUL SKINNER  
Complainant  
and  
PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA  
Respondent  
Indexed as  
Skinner v. Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada  
In the matter of a complaint made under section 190 of the Federal Public Sector  
Labour Relations Act  
Before:  
Steven B. Katkin, a panel of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations  
and Employment Board  
For the Complainant:  
For the Respondent:  
Raymond Lazzara  
Steven Welchner, counsel, and Martin Ranger, Professional  
Institute of the Public Service of Canada  
Heard at Vancouver, British Columbia,  
November 1 to 4, 2016; April 24 to 28 and July 24 to 28, 2017; and February 20 to 23  
and April 30 to May 3, 2018; and in Ottawa, Ontario, October 29 and 30, 2018.  
Reasons for Decision  
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REASONS FOR DECISION  
I. Complaint before the Board  
[1]  
On September 19, 2014, Paul Skinner (the complainant) made a complaint  
under s. 190(1)(g) of the Act now named the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act  
(S.C. 2003, c. 22, s. 2; FPSLRA) against the Professional Institute of the Public Service of  
Canada (PIPSC or the Institute), alleging that it had harassed and bullied him in a  
variety of ways, which will be set out in this decision.  
[2]  
Mr. Skinner was, at the relevant time, a member of the Board of Directors (BOD)  
of the Institute and occupied the position of Regional Director for its British  
Columbia/Yukon (BC/Yukon) Region. He was employed as an auditor with the  
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) but has since retired. He no longer occupies a political  
position with PIPSC.  
[3]  
On November 1, 2014, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment  
Board Act (S.C. 2013, c. 40, s. 365; PSLREBA) was proclaimed into force (SI/2014-84),  
creating the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (PSLREB) to replace  
the former Public Service Labour Relations Board as well as the former Public Service  
Staffing Tribunal. On the same day, the consequential and transitional amendments  
contained in ss. 366 to 466 of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 (S.C. 2013, c.  
40) also came into force (SI/2014-84). Pursuant to s. 393 of the Economic Action Plan  
2013 Act, No. 2, a proceeding commenced under the Public Service Labour Relations  
Act (S.C. 2003, c. 22, s. 2; PSLRA) before November 1, 2014, is to be taken up and  
continue under and in conformity with the PSLRA as it is amended by ss. 365 to 470 of  
the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2.  
[4]  
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 PSLREB and the titles of the PSLREBA and the PSLRA to, respectively, the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (the Board), the  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act, and the Federal  
Public Sector Labour Relations Act. Note that all references to “the Board” in this  
decision include the Board and all its predecessors.  
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II. Introduction  
[5]  
In the summer and early fall of 2016, the parties were engaged with the Board in  
scheduling hearing dates, at which point the complainants representative made a  
disclosure request, parts of which the respondent contested. As a result, on  
September 22, 2016, I issued a production order.  
[6]  
The highly political and emotional nature of the contested events carried over  
into the hearing process. In addition to the contested request for disclosure, the  
parties also had pre-hearing issues with witness lists, extensions of time, and the  
identification of the precise sections of the FPSLRA engaged by the complaint. As well,  
at the hearing, a number of objections were raised by both sides.  
[7]  
The hearing of this complaint took place over 24 days and involved many  
witnesses, numerous exhibits, and some acrimony between the parties. This was  
unsurprising, given the highly charged events in issue, which concern allegations of  
politically motivated actions. Indeed, in an email dated May 8, 2014 (Exhibit 1, tab 9),  
to the BOD, the complainant directly stated that the circumstances resulted from the  
Institutes Executive Committees (EC) hatred of him and were politically motivated.  
One has only to read the 8 pages of allegations that the complainant attached to the  
complaint form to understand how contested the events became.  
[8]  
The evidence also revealed that the present complaint is but part of a longer  
history involving the discipline imposed following the three internal complaints made  
against Mr. Skinner that are at the heart of this complaint but also many individuals on  
the BOD and the EC, and others occupying elected positions. Essentially, this complaint  
is part of a deep rift that occurred within PIPSC and that resulted in much acrimony  
and in several complaints being made both within PIPSC and with the Board by  
Mr. Skinner and others, some of which have already been the subjects of decisions  
issued by the Board.  
[9]  
The preliminary investigation report of the investigator (Exhibit 2, tab 25)  
assigned to investigate the three internal complaints and the ensuing discipline which  
led to this unfair-labour-practice complaint outlines the views of several witnesses to  
the effect that the BOD was divided into cliques or factions, one of whom described it  
as a snake pit. The investigator described the BOD environment as negative, divisive,  
and tension-filled.  
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[10] Further, the evidence disclosed that the acrimony continued following the filing  
of the present complaint. PIPSC members obtained copies of it, and in October of 2014  
Gary Corbett, a former president of PIPSC, wrote to the BOD, seeking direction on what  
to say when questioned about it by members. Further to his request, Debi Daviau, the  
then-president of PIPSC, drafted a response on behalf of PIPSC to be sent to all  
stewards, stating that PIPSC would vigorously defend itself. It appears from the 2014  
National Election Record of Formal Complaints(Exhibit 36) that the note to stewards  
(Exhibit 35) prompted Mr. Corbett to make complaints against Ms. Daviau and Shirley  
Friesen; Mr. Skinner also made internal complaints against them. As these issues and  
internal complaints post-date the present complaint, I find that they are not before me  
and accordingly, I need not deal with them.  
[11] With respect to the lengthy history between Mr. Skinner and PIPSC that forms  
the backdrop to the present complaint, it is important to note that harassment  
complaints were made in 2012 against him by two members (Exhibit 2, tabs 57 and  
58). The behavioural allegations against him were found not to constitute harassment.  
Nonetheless, with respect to one of the complaints, Mr. Skinner was advised that his  
tone had been unprofessional, and he was counselled about how he communicated  
with others.  
[12] This complaint alleges that three PIPSC elected officials harassed and bullied the  
complainant by filing unmeritorious internal complaints against him. Mr. Skinner  
alleged that the three colluded to intimidate, belittle, and harass him. The allegations  
in the three internal complaints, all of which were made within months of each other,  
involved exchanges in which Mr. Skinner is alleged to have used an aggressive tone and  
approach towards fellow elected members. These internal complaints were  
investigated. As a result, corrective measures were imposed on Mr. Skinner, which he  
then appealed. Once the appeal decision was rendered, which did not satisfy him, the  
present complaint was made.  
[13] The allegations in the present complaint concern individuals occupying elected  
office and at the time relevant to this complaint serving on PIPSCs BOD, the EC, or the  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive Committee.  
[14] The Institutes BOD is composed of 15 individuals and includes those who  
occupy positions on the EC. The EC is in turn composed of the Institutes president  
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and its 4 vice-presidents. The complainant alleged that 3 of the members, Ms. Daviau,  
Shannon Bittman, and Ms. Friesen, colluded in an effort to intimidate, belittle, and  
humiliate him.  
[15] Broadly speaking, and as set out in paragraph 1 of his complaint narrative, the  
complainant alleged that a group of three friends, Ms. Daviau, Ms. Bittman, and  
Ms. Friesen, were engaged in a vendetta to ruin his reputation as the regional director  
of PIPSCs BC/Yukon region. He alleged that the source of this campaign was his  
political support of Raymond Lazzara, the Audit, Financial and Scientific Group (AFS)  
president, and Mr. Corbett and the fact that he had presented resolutions at the  
Institutes annual general meeting (AGM) proposing to reduce the number of vice-  
presidents from four to one.  
[16] I will return to the allegations in the complaint later in this decision. First, I will  
set out the facts that form its basis. As the complaint is lengthy and detailed, it is best  
to first grasp the facts before understanding the complaint’s basis.  
III. Factual background  
[17] As stated, the events forming the basis of the present complaint began with the  
filing of three internal complaints against Mr. Skinner. I will now summarize the facts  
surrounding each complaint and the subsequent events, up to the filing of the  
present complaint.  
A. The Friesen complaint and counter-complaint  
[18] The first complaint against Mr. Skinner was made by Ms. Friesen (the Friesen  
complaint), who was then one of four vice-presidents at the Institute. As such, she  
was also a member of the EC. Ms. Friesen is employed by the Correctional Service of  
Canada as a psychologist.  
[19] In June 2013, she made a harassment complaint alleging that Mr. Skinner had  
called her full of s***and a hypocriteduring a BOD meeting and that he had sent  
her an abusive email. She also alleged that it was not the first time she had observed  
him attack a persons character.  
[20] Mr. Skinner was provided with a copy of the complaint on June 17, 2013,  
together with copies of the Institutes Harassment Policy and the 2009 Dispute  
Resolution and Discipline Policy and was advised that the complaint would be dealt  
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with in accordance with those policies. The letter informing him of the complaint  
noted that Ms. Friesen was open to an informal resolution of the matter, with the  
assistance of a neutral third party. He was strongly encouraged to avail himself of  
this option.  
[21] Mr. Skinner expressed no interest in that option and instead advised the  
Institute that he intended to make a harassment complaint against Ms. Friesen. He  
filed his response and made his counter-complaint in July 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 19). He  
characterized Ms. Friesens complaint as frivolous and the result of a  
political vendetta.  
[22] According to the counter-complaint, in which the complainant largely simply  
denied the allegations against him, he never lost his temper during the meeting in  
issue, and in fact, Ms. Friesen went berserkwhen he questioned the need for four  
PIPSC vice-presidents, such that the President was compelled to call for a recess, to  
allow her to calm down. Mr. Skinner also alleged that Ms. Friesen abused her position  
to stifle discussion of the proposed amendment and that in fact, she had screamed”  
at him. He also said that her reference to him as a character assassin was baseless,  
unsupported by evidence, and a further abuse of authority. With respect to the abusive  
email (Exhibit 2, tab 14) referred to in Ms. Friesens complaint, Mr. Skinner had accused  
her of trying to censor the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, and he had threatened that  
she would be asked to leave the Regional Council meeting if she sought to influence it.  
Mr. Skinner denied having been the emails architect as she alleged, stating that instead  
it had been the work of the entire BC/Yukon Regional Executive.  
[23] In September 2013, the complainant was advised that Nicole Price of Butler  
Workplace Solutions had been retained to investigate and provide the EC with a report  
on both the Friesen complaint and his counter-complaint.  
[24] On November 7, 2013, Ms. Friesen raised additional allegations (Exhibit 2, tab  
25) related to Mr. Skinners statement to his BC/Yukon Regional Executive that the  
Professional Recognition and Qualification Committee, which she chaired, was  
useless. She viewed this as continuing harassment as well as an attack on  
her reputation.  
[25] Mr. Skinner in turn filed additional allegations on December 19, 2013 (Exhibit 2,  
tab 25). They referred to an incident in which Ms. Friesen allegedly referred to him as  
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cruelfor statements he made at an AGM that were critical of Ms. Daviau. A second  
incident outlined referred to a BOD meeting on December 13, 2013, during which  
Ms. Friesen allegedly made offensive remarks about directors and stated that  
Mr. Skinner was ridiculous. This comment was allegedly made in the context of a  
hotly debated policy that would have seen only directors chair committees.  
[26] Both the initial and additional allegations were considered by Ms. Price in her  
report. As well as interviewing numerous other witnesses, the investigator met with  
Mr. Skinner on several occasions between November 2013 and February 2014.  
Mr. Skinners two representatives were present via conference call during his interview  
with the investigator in November 2013. In March 2014, he was provided with a copy  
of the preliminary investigation report (Exhibit 2, tab 25) and was given 14 days in  
which to respond. He requested and received an extension to reply (Exhibit 2, tab 28).  
On April 16, 2014, he provided his 15-page response, with attachments (Exhibit 2,  
tab 29).  
[27] Among other things, Mr. Skinner defended his manner of speaking by stating  
that as a result of a 30-year close familial relationship, he had taken on certain  
cultural traitsthat he hoped would not be used against him. As for the fact that he  
can get red in the face, he explained that it is caused by his high blood pressure and  
anxiety. He also took exception to the fact that Ms. Friesens past history of filing  
complaints, slandering and maligning peoplewas not considered by the investigator.  
[28] The final report was issued in early May 2014. While it found that neither  
individual had been guilty of harassment, it nonetheless found that each had been  
guilty of inappropriate conduct.  
[29] With respect to Mr. Skinner, the investigator noted that he lacked self-awareness  
with respect to his conduct when agitated and noted instances in which he had become  
loud and aggressive during her interviews with him. While his aggressive tone of  
referring to Ms. Friesen as being full of s***and a hypocritehad the potential to  
fall within the definition of harassment, the investigator concluded that one such  
incident did not qualify unless it was sufficiently egregious, which this one was not.  
The investigator noted that both parties were prone to emotional responses and that  
both were responsible for contributing to unprofessionalism at the BOD level. Given  
that Mr. Skinner in particular saw no room for improvement in his conduct, the  
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investigator noted that she expected further conflict to arise between him and  
Ms. Friesen.  
B. The Mertler complaint and counter-complaint  
[30] The second complaint was made by Marie Mertler (the Mertler complaint). At  
the relevant time, she was a member of the BC/Yukon Regional Council.  
[31] On July 1, 2013, she made her complaint of harassment and bullying against  
Mr. Skinner following a meeting of the Regional Council. She alleged that during that  
meeting, he had approached her and had said in her ear, Marie, would you wake the  
f*** up and vote with your Executive.”  
[32] As with the Friesen complaint, a copy of the Mertler complaint and relevant  
Institute policies was forwarded to Mr. Skinner. He was advised that it would be  
investigated by Ms. Price and was strongly encouraged him to participate in informal  
conflict resolution.  
[33] Again, Mr. Skinner made a counter-complaint, which was included in Ms. Prices  
investigation. His counter-complaint merely alleged that Ms. Mertlers allegations were  
false and malicious and therefore constituted harassment.  
[34] Despite this, the investigation report and Mr. Skinners response to the  
preliminary investigation report indicate that he acknowledged having made the  
remark in an irritated tone because he had believed that Ms. Mertler had dozed off. He  
also advised the investigator that he had immediately apologized to Ms. Mertler when  
she objected to his remark.  
[35] Mr. Skinner was provided with a copy of the preliminary investigation report in  
February 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 36) and was given a deadline of 14 days in which to  
respond, which he met (Exhibit 2, tab 38).  
[36] The final report was issued on March 11, 2014. As with the Friesen complaint,  
harassment was not found, given that it was a singular occurrence, but unacceptable  
conduct was noted. Again, the investigator noted that Mr. Skinner sought to justify his  
conduct rather than to take responsibility for it. The report concluded that he would  
likely continue to encounter conflict. His counter-complaint was deemed  
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unsubstantiated, given that Ms. Mertlers complaint was found not vexatious or made  
in bad faith.  
C. The Denton complaint and counter-complaint  
[37] The third complaint against Mr. Skinner involved bullying, harassment, and  
abuse of authority and was made on August 1, 2013, by Sabina Denton, a member of  
the BC/Yukon Regional Executive (Exhibit 2, tab 41) and a delegate to the Regional  
Council (the Denton complaint). While she was a CRA employee, she had never  
worked with Mr. Skinner.  
[38] In her complaint, Ms. Denton accused Mr. Skinner of undermining her position  
and of using his authority as the regional director to demoralize and marginalize her.  
She stated that he blocked her attendance at the AGM and that he hampered her ability  
to function in her position. She further alleged that she was perceived as a threat to  
the male-dominated group and that she had been retaliated against because she was  
no longer perceived as loyal. She accused Mr. Skinner of ensuring that all seats are  
filled by menand characterized him as a misogynist.  
[39] Her complaint referred to her long-running issue with Mr. Skinner about the  
choice of hotel at which to hold the Institutes training school and attendee selection.  
In his response to the complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 115), Mr. Skinner alleged that in his  
opinion, Ms. Denton proposed a particular hotel because she loved to gamble, and it  
had a casino.  
[40] The complaint further stated that Mr. Skinner tried to have members of the  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive sign confidentiality agreements concerning all their  
discussions and that on a few occasions, he had accused her of having leaked such  
information. She also accused him of cancelling the Executive of the Year award on the  
pretext that there were no quality nominations and of stating later that the  
nominations were bogus.  
[41] In an email exchange between Ms. Denton and legal counsel from PIPSC on  
August 8, 2013 (Exhibit 30), Ms. Denton set out her concerns about Mr. Skinner. She  
stated that he played favourites and that she fell from grace when he saw her having  
lunch with, among others, Ms. Mertler and Ms. Friesen. Two weeks later, she was seen  
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in the company of Ms. Daviau, and she said that Mr. Skinner went ballistic. She said  
that since them, he had been rude to her and had ignored her.  
[42] Ms. Denton further accused Mr. Skinner of cancelling the Steward of the Year”  
award because she was a nominee and accused him of referring to the nominations as  
bogus. In a response to her complaint that he addressed to Ms. Price (Exhibit 2, tab  
115), Mr. Skinner alleged that the decision was made by the BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive (without the knowledge that she had been nominated) and that Ms. Denton  
agreed with it. He also said that apathy in the region resulted in the nomination of only  
two stewards, which, in his opinion, was an insufficient basis on which to give  
the award.  
[43] Mr. Skinner was provided with a copy of the complaint and an offer of informal  
resolution, and he was asked to submit a response (Exhibit 2, tab 42). Once again, in  
September 2013, he filed a response and made a counter-complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 43)  
in which he simply denied the allegations, without adding more detail. His four-  
sentence response also included a notification of a counter-complaint being made,  
without any further detail. As with the two previous complaints, he was advised that  
there would be an investigation by Ms. Price. In November 2013, Mr. Skinner provided a  
more fulsome response to the complaint, which he addressed to Ms. Price (Exhibit 2,  
tab 115).  
[44] On November 13, 2013, Ms. Denton made an additional harassment allegation  
(Exhibit 2, tab 48). She alleged that Mr. Skinner retaliated and violated the Institutes  
policy when, at a meeting of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive on October 17, 2013, he  
announced that a member of the Executive had made a complaint against him and that  
he would not allow that individual into the hospitality suite at an upcoming meeting. It  
is to be noted that at that point, and due to a lack of space at the hotel, Mr. Skinners  
room was to be used as the hospitality suite. Normally, the Institute rents a separate  
room for it. After a coffee break, Mr. Skinner announced that he was cancelling the  
hospitality suite as his room was too small. Ms. Denton also alleged that even though  
she had been named as the representative on the Human Rights Committee earlier that  
day, a new vote was taken later that day, and someone else was appointed in her stead.  
[45] On November 21, 2013, Mr. Skinner made a counter-complaint (Exhibit 2, tab  
43), which included a response to Ms. Dentons complaint. He characterized all the  
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complaintsas politically motivated because he was popular and unbeatablein  
elections, meaning that his opponents were unable to take his position or fill it with  
someone of their choosing. He accused them of being wannabeswho had done  
virtually nothing as stewards, and stated that they just wanted to travel, drink, and  
eat on the unions dime.”  
[46] Mr. Skinner was interviewed by Ms. Price about this complaint in November  
2013. His two representatives attended via conference call. In March 2014, he was  
provided with a copy of the preliminary investigation report (Exhibit 2, tabs 50 and 51)  
and was advised that he had a deadline of 14 days in which to respond, which he met  
(Exhibit 2, tab 52).  
[47] The final report was issued in early April 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 53). Although  
Ms. Dentons initial complaint was dismissed, the investigator found Mr. Skinner guilty  
of harassment on the retaliation issue. The investigator found that while Mr. Skinner  
had held an honest belief that more conflict might have arisen had Ms. Denton been  
permitted in the hospitality suite and that he had been advised by his former  
representative to avoid contact with her, he was also aware that no measures to  
separate the parties had been imposed and that they were expected to conduct  
business as usual, in a respectful tone. Mr. Skinner had not sought advice from PIPSC’s  
legal counsel concerning Ms. Dentons exclusion from the hospitality suite and had  
instead conducted himself contrary to instructions and in a disrespectful manner.  
Given that Mr. Skinner was an experienced union leader, the investigator held that  
Mr. Skinner was aware of how this message would be perceived and that he sent a  
message that there would be consequences for making a complaint.  
D. The EC’s actions in the Mertler and Denton complaints  
[48] The EC met in April 2014 (Exhibit 2, tabs 54 and 55) to consider the reports on  
the Mertler and Denton complaints. As it had not yet received the final report on the  
Friesen complaint, this third complaint was not considered at that meeting. The  
corrective measures imposed on Mr. Skinner and communicated to him on  
April 28, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 56), were twofold: he was to issue an unqualified written  
apology to each complainant, and he was to undertake sensitivity training. He was  
advised that until he had completed the training, he would not be permitted to attend  
or participate in any Institute activity with certain exceptions, namely, meetings of the  
BOD, the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, and the BC Regional Council. The Institute had  
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carefully crafted the restrictions to allow him to carry on his director duties. As a  
result of the restrictions on his activities, his hospitality allowance was temporarily  
suspended. The Institute indicated that it would provide him with options of  
sensitivity training courses but that it welcomed his suggestions. On October 23, 2014,  
the Institutes general counsel, Isabelle Roy, wrote to Mr. Skinner (Exhibit 1, tab 9). She  
reminded him of the restrictions and stated that a failure to comply could result in  
further disciplinary action.  
[49] When it decided the corrective measures that it implemented, the Institute  
noted that it had considered a number of factors.  
[50] First was Mr. Skinners use of his position of authority to engage in public  
retaliation against Ms. Denton.  
[51] Second, it noted that on two occasions in 2012, and as indicated earlier in this  
decision, he had been advised in writing as to the tone and approach he employed in  
communicating with other members. With respect to this, in a letter dated  
October 24, 2012 (Exhibit 26), Mr. Corbett, then the president of PIPSC, had advised  
Mr. Skinner that the EC did not feel that the complaint that another member (Dan  
Jones) had made against him met the requirements of harassment, even if the tone of  
Mr. Skinner’s email was viewed as strong.  
[52] Third, the harassment of Ms. Denton and the inappropriate conduct noted in the  
investigation report of the Mertler complaint (“the Mertler report”) were considered  
indicative of a pattern of behaviour.  
[53] Fourth, the EC considered that by engaging in public retaliation, Mr. Skinner had  
contravened the confidentiality of the complaint process.  
[54] The last two factors considered were the expectation that PIPSC’s leaders were  
expected to set standards for others and the fact that Mr. Skinner had demonstrated  
no remorse and that he lacked sensitivity to the impact of his approach on others.  
E. The EC’s action in the Friesen complaint  
[55] By letter dated June 12, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 62), the final report on the Friesen  
complaint and counter-complaint was provided to Mr. Skinner. No additional corrective  
measures were imposed.  
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F. Appeal to the BOD  
[56] Mr. Skinner appealed the imposition of the corrective measures to the BOD  
(Exhibit 2, tab 66), as was his right under PIPSC’s applicable Dispute Resolution and  
Discipline Policy of December 3, 2009. He also appealed the EC’s decision not to impose  
corrective measures on Ms. Friesen in response to his counter-complaint (Exhibit 2, tab  
67). The appeals raised issues of bad faith, conflict of interest, bias, and  
procedural fairness.  
[57] On June 3, 2014, Ms. Roy wrote a briefing memo to the BOD (Exhibit 2, tab 69),  
outlining the factual background to the Mertler and Denton complaints and concluding  
that pursuant to PIPSCs 2009 Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy, the BODs “…  
jurisdiction is limited to determining if the Executive Committee acted within its  
mandate. She also stated that according to that policy, The Executive Committees  
mandate is to make decisions that are not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith.”  
This conclusion was reported in the minutes of the BOD meeting on June 20 and  
21, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tabs 70 and 71). These minutes also reflect the BODs decision, in  
accordance with the Institutes rules, to engage the services of a neutral third party to  
hear the appeal of the two complaints in its place.  
[58] Over a month later, on August 15 and 16, 2014, the BOD made the same  
decision with respect to the Friesen complaint. The mandate letters signed between the  
Institute and the selected third party stated that she would be limited to determining  
whether the EC and the BOD acted within their mandates under Part C of the 2009  
Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy (Exhibit 2, tabs 79 and 80).  
[59] On June 16, 2014, Mr. Skinners representative, Ian Tait, wrote to Ms. Roy  
(Exhibit 20) about the upcoming BOD deliberations, requesting that they be allowed to  
provide an opinion summary in person, given that she would be doing so. Mr. Tait also  
asked that Ms. Roy recuse herself from any involvement in the appeal, alleging that  
Ms. Bittman had already spoken to her and had provided her with inaccurate and  
unsupported information. The letter further stated that Ms. Bittman, along with Yvan  
Brodeur, a PIPSC vice-president, and Ms. Daviau, should be removed from the hearing,  
since hearing and voting on a disciplinary measure of their own making is contrary to  
administrative/natural justice and procedural fairnessas well as an abuse of power  
and a conflict of interest. Lastly, the communication requested that Steve Hindle, a  
PIPSC vice-president and member of the EC as of April 30, 2014, also recuse himself,  
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given events surrounding his attendance at a recent BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive meeting.  
[60] On June 25, 2014, Mr. Tait emailed Ms. Roy and began by stating, After  
discussion, we are okay with Joy Noonan(Exhibit 2, tab 74), as the neutral third party  
mandated to decide the complainant’s appeal of the internal complaints. He then  
requested that Ms. Noonan be made aware at the outsetof the exceptionality of the  
disciplinary measure imposed on Mr. Skinner and that specific types of documents be  
submitted to her, namely, the final investigation reports with his rebuttals, the  
complete appeal file, and all correspondence from EC and from us to the BOD.”  
[61] Further to the BODs decision to retain the services of a neutral third party and  
to Mr. Skinners indicated acceptance of Ms. Noonan, the Institute retained her services  
to act in place of the BOD. On July 7, 2014, Ms. Roy emailed Mr. Skinner and his  
representatives to advise them that Ms. Noonan had been retained and attached the  
draft mandate letter (Exhibit 2, tab 78). She stated, I am open to your comments, but  
please keep in mind that the third party is being retained to act in substitution of the  
Board and the process provided for under the policy remains otherwise intact.”  
[62] On July 10, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 76), Mr. Tait and Mr. Lazzara wrote to  
Ms. Noonan to advise her of a number of their concerns. The last issue addressed was  
the sensitivity training course and how it was not the normal course of action.They  
referred to the course as psychological counselling, alleged that it was likely  
recommended with input and influence by Shirley Friesen a VP (and psychologist), and  
stated finally that Ms. Friesen and Ms. Bittman were working together and that  
Ms. Bittman had a direct hand in administering the disciplinary measure.”  
[63] On July 18, 2014, Ms. Noonan dismissed the appeals against the Mertler and  
Denton complaints (Exhibit 2, tab 83). At paragraph 5 of her decision, she stated that  
her mandate was very narrow and that it was limited to determining whether the EC  
had acted within its mandate and had made a decision that was not arbitrary,  
discriminatory, or in bad faith. At paragraph 7, she stated that her mandate did not  
permit her to assess whether the EC had made a mistake or had acted beyond its  
authority. She then repeated that her assessment was limited to whether the actions  
had been arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.  
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[64] Ms. Noonan found that the EC’s decision was not arbitrary, as it had been made  
after a full deliberation. While sensitivity training was new as a disciplinary measure,  
Ms. Noonan held that accepted approaches to workplace incivility and disrespectful  
workplace behaviourshad evolved considerably. Finally, she found no markers of  
bad faith.She concluded that there was no arbitrariness or bad faith in the decision to  
impose corrective measures or in the measures themselves. Ms. Noonan found that the  
need for sensitivity training was rationally connected to Mr. Skinners behaviour and  
that the EC was entitled to accept the finding that he ought to have known that he had  
breached the confidentiality of the investigation process. Finally, Ms. Noonan found  
that the investigation was procedurally fair and that the ECs decision to consider the  
three complaints together was logical.  
[65] Mr. Skinners appeal against the Friesen complaint was dismissed by  
Ms. Noonan in September 2014. The present complaint was made the same month.  
[66] On Mr. Skinner’s appeal of the investigator’s finding on the Friesen complaint,  
Ms. Noonan concluded that the ECs decision not to discipline Ms. Friesen was logical  
and in good faith given the finding that no harassment had occurred. Although the  
investigator had noted inappropriate conduct on Ms. Friesens part, there was no  
evidence that it was part of a pattern of behaviour. Lastly, Ms. Noonan noted that the  
EC was entitled to accept and act on independent findings and to fashion appropriate  
remedies in good faith.  
G. Mr. Skinners complaint against Ms. Bittman  
[67] At about the same time that Ms. Noonan was conducting her work on  
Mr. Skinner’s appeals, he made a harassment complaint against Ms. Bittman, on  
August 19, 2014. He alleged harassment in relation to a comment that Ms. Bittman had  
made to Del Dickson, a BOD member, during a meeting of the BOD and alleged a  
conflict of interest and a breach of confidentiality in relation to another complaint. A  
neutral third party was retained by PIPSC. That person concluded that the complaint  
should be summarily dismissed, since the one-time comment at the root of the  
complaint had been directed not at Mr. Skinner but at another individual and therefore  
had not been intended to belittle or humiliate him. Furthermore, Ms. Bittmans apology  
to the BOD on the matter was sufficient. On the issues of conflict of interest and  
breach of confidentiality, the neutral third party found that it was inappropriate to use  
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a harassment complaint to attack the integrity of a separate harassment complaint  
process that was being run independently (Exhibit 10).  
H. Mr. Skinners response to the EC’s decision, and the EC’s response  
[68] Following the appeal decision on the Friesen, Mertler, and Denton complaints by  
Ms. Noonan, PIPSC wrote to Mr. Skinner on August 5, 2014. It confirmed her decision,  
reiterated that written unqualified apologies and sensitivity training were required of  
him (Exhibit 2, tab 85), and stated that unless he complied, the restrictions imposed on  
his activities within PIPSC would remain in place.  
[69] Mr. Skinners representative, Mr. Tait, responded on August 11, 2014 (Exhibit 2,  
tab 86). He attached draft apologies that upon review by the Institute were deemed  
unacceptable. Both apologies began with Mr. Skinner advising the intended recipient  
that he was being required to tender an apologyto them. The apology to Ms. Denton  
in particular stated that he contested the imposition of training as being way beyond  
what anyone else at PIPSC has been required to attend.It also set out the conditions  
that he was willing to accept for the training. He accused the three women of collusion  
and concluded by stating that Ms. Friesen had behaved far worsethan he had and  
that she too required training.  
[70] The EC met on August 14, 2014, and discussed the situation. It confirmed that  
the apologies as proposed would not suffice as they were qualified and did not comply  
with the directions in the letter of discipline of April 28, 2014. As for the sensitivity  
training, the minutes of the meeting indicate that contrary to Mr. Skinners allegations,  
no psychological report was required. The EC also reiterated its invitation to him to  
propose a course he felt was appropriate.  
[71] On August 20, 2014, Ms. Roy wrote to Mr. Skinner (Exhibit 2, tab 88) to confirm  
the ECs decision and to state that it was false to suggest that any psychological report  
was required. She said that the Institute did require an outline of training objectives  
and how they had been met but that it did not require any medical information.  
[72] Mr. Tait wrote to Ms. Roy in late August 2014, proposing a training course,  
which she accepted in early September 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 89). The training was to  
take place in late October. However, when Ms. Roy followed up with Mr. Tait about the  
confirmation of the registration and the outstanding letters of apology, Mr. Tait replied  
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on September 23, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 92), advising her that Mr. Skinner had exercised  
his right to appeal the EC decision to the PSLRB.The letter set out a long list of  
grievances about a number of items. It accused Mr. Hindle of retaliation, alleged that  
Mr. Skinner being barred from attending the Steward Council was evidence of  
retaliation for having filed an internal complaint against Mr. Hindle, argued that he had  
been treated differentially and unfairly, and pointed out what he considered the poor  
behaviour of Mr. Hindle, Ms. Bittman, Ms. Denton, and Ms. Friesen. The letter also  
complained of the Institutes decision to have Mr. Hindle attend, as an observer, all  
meetings that Mr. Skinner attended, alleging that it was intimidation and harassment  
of the worst kind.Ms. Roy responded on October 10, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 93), advising  
Mr. Tait that the EC’s decision remained in effect regardless of Mr. Skinners complaint  
to the Board.  
IV. The complaint  
[73] I will turn now to a summary of the many allegations in the complaint. It is a  
dense mix of fact, allegations, and argument such that it is difficult to discern the  
exact actions at its source. Nonetheless, I have summarized the major issues, to situate  
the reader before outlining the Institutes response to the complaint and the oral  
testimony that was entered in this case. I will deal with each allegation in greater detail  
in the analysis section of this decision.  
[74] Primarily, the complainant alleges that complaints made against him by  
Ms. Mertler, Ms. Denton, and Ms. Friesen (all of whom were friends), were referred for  
investigation despite, in his view, being groundless and frivolous. He also complains  
that private information was disclosed to the BOD only one week after the complaint  
was made, in June 2013.  
[75] The complainant alleged that his preliminary objections alleging bias and  
conflict of interest were ignored, resulting in discipline that would not normally have  
been imposed. He also alleged that the investigator was biased against men and made  
comments on his behaviour that only a qualified medical practitioner could make. The  
complaint alleges that the neutral third party retained by PIPSC to decide the appeal  
was also in a conflict of interest, that the complainants choices of neutral third parties  
were rejected, that he was refused a representative and not permitted to make verbal  
representations, and that the terms of reference for the neutral third party were  
too limited.  
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[76] The complaint alleges that the investigative process was tainted by unfairness,  
bias, and a denial of natural justice. The complainant alleged that the investigator  
ignored statements from key witnesses but placed weight on testimony from his  
adversaries. He also alleged that the investigator interviewed directors who were  
unfavourable to him, despite him advising the investigator that they should not be  
interviewed as that would place them in conflict of interest. He also alleged that  
witness statements and interview notes were withheld from him and that the record of  
those statements is inaccurate or has been fabricated.  
[77] The complaint also alleges that the investigator exceeded her mandate, despite  
concluding that no harassment had taken place, by going further and deciding that the  
complainant had retaliated against those who had made complaints against him. He  
further alleged that he had never been accused of retaliation or given the opportunity  
to defend himself against such allegations, which then became the basis for discipline.  
He alleged that the purpose of this was to make it difficult for him to be re-elected to  
his position.  
[78] The complainant alleged that the members of the BOD and EC were biased and  
in conflict of interest and that they recognized it only when it was time to hear his  
appeal, despite his earlier related protests. He also alleged that the EC was without a  
quorum to render a decision against him and that the final investigation reports and  
issues of discipline should have been sent to the BOD. He complained that the EC’s  
members sat in on the BOD’s discussion of his appeal, which was a clear conflict of  
interest. He also claimed that to justify the discipline meted out to him, the EC claimed  
that he had a history of bad behaviour and raised two incidents that had never been  
investigated and against which he had no chance to defend himself.  
[79] The complaint further alleges that the EC harassed the BC/Yukon region by  
ignoring its requests for committee selections, interfering with the selection of the  
Finance Committee member from the region, and appointing the complainants to  
committees despite the fact that the region had not recommended them.  
[80] The complainant alleged that he was refused legal representation by PIPSC,  
which used its in-house legal counsel against him.  
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[81] The complaint alleges that a PIPSC vice-president, Mr. Brodeur, disciplined him  
based solely on original English-only reports, when he usually requires that all  
documentation be translated for him.  
[82] The complaint then alleges that Ms. Bittman engaged in mocking behaviour of  
the complainant at the August 2014 BOD meeting when aloud, she advised Mr. Dickson  
to wake the f*** up, which is a phrase the complainant had been disciplined for  
saying quietly and discreetly to Ms. Mertler.  
[83] The complainant also raised the issue of having been disciplined while he was in  
the process of appealing, which significantly impaired his ability to represent the  
members who had elected him. His hospitality account was frozen, he was permitted  
to attend approved meetings only if an observer was present, and he was required to  
take a sensitivity-training course that was in fact psychological counselling. He alleged  
that the last requirement was an invasion of privacy, was unprecedented, and was  
unreasonable in its harshness and was therefore arbitrary, discriminatory, and an  
abuse of authority.  
[84] As for the required presence of an observer at regional council and executive  
meetings, the complainant alleged that this was unprecedented and humiliating, that it  
prevented him from carrying out several of his duties, and that it negated the good  
work he had done. The complainant detailed several meetings that he was not  
permitted to attend in May and September of 2014 and the embarrassment that  
resulted. With respect to him not being able to attend the Steward Council in  
particular, he alleged that the discipline was such that no reasonable person should  
have been expected to comply with it and that his refusal to comply was used to  
justify further discipline against him. The complainant stated that this effectively  
constituted dismissal from his position, without process.  
[85] As remedial measures, the complainant seeks that a declaration of harassment  
and abuse of authority be made and that sanctions be imposed on unspecified  
individuals, including financial penalties, damages, apologies, and removal from office.  
He also seeks the dismissal of complaints against him and the expunging of discipline  
imposed on him and that the 2014 BC/Yukon election for regional director be  
suspended until these matters are resolved. Finally, he requested any other remedy  
that the Board deems fit.  
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[86] Despite that claim for remedial measures, the complaint continues with  
allegations. The complainant then alleged that the attendance of Mr. Hindle at two  
regional meetings in June 2014 for the purpose of babysittinghim was belittling and  
humiliating and that he had made a separate internal complaint about it. He alleged  
that Mr. Hindle retaliated by hand-delivering a complaint against him, written on the  
letterhead of PIPSC’s office of the president, at a meeting of the BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive in September 2014. Mr. Hindle’s complaint was jointly signed by Mr. Hindle  
and Don Burns, a member of the EC, whom the complainant alleged was in a conflict of  
interest with him, as the complainant had supported Mr. Burnspolitical rival, and  
Mr. Burns had encouraged Ms. Mertler to make her complaint against him. To be clear,  
the Board is not seized of the internal complaints referred to in this paragraph;  
however, the facts surrounding these complaints formed part of the factual  
background raised by Mr. Skinner on the issue of the political nature of the  
present case.  
[87] The complainant contested the fact that minutes of both the EC’s and BOD’s  
closed-session meetings discussing his case have been withheld from him. He also  
complained that a special meeting to remove him was not held, as he alleged was  
required by law, and that by being disciplined, he was effectively removed from office  
without PIPSC having followed the process. In so doing, his visibility was reduced,  
which made his re-election difficult.  
[88] The complainant also complained about the timing of the discipline, alleging  
that it interfered with his ability to attend the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and  
May BOD meetings and that it left him insufficient time to respond to two complaints.  
He alleged that this was arbitrary, discriminatory, an abuse of authority, and done in  
bad faith, to deny him participation in the Institute.  
[89] On the issue of the breach of confidentiality with respect to the Friesen  
complaint, the complaint alleges that by letter dated June 24, 2013, Ms. Bittman  
informed the BOD that that complaint had been made. It also alleges that PIPSC then  
informed the Okanagan and Yukon branch presidents, both of whom had asked  
Mr. Skinner to address their AGMs, that he was being disciplined as a result of founded  
complaints, when no such finding had been made. Furthermore, when his appeal was  
to be heard, copies of the final report and his appeal were posted unmarked on PIPSCs  
electronic Virtual Binderfor any director to copy. While the complainant received an  
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apology two months later, he alleged that the damage had already been done, leaving  
him to explain the embarrassing presence of an observer at BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive meetings.  
[90] On the issue of retaliation, Mr. Skinner defended keeping one complainant from  
attending the BC/Yukon Regional Executive hospitality suite at the Steward Council  
meeting by stating that his training had taught him to separate parties in conflict. He  
defended sharing the complaint with members of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, as  
was his right, to obtain witness statements. He also stated that his representative and  
members of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive had advised him to take that action.  
A. PIPSC’s response to the complaint  
[91] The Institutes response to the complaint was filed on October 23, 2014. It sets  
out the Institutes version of the facts as well as its substantive response to the  
complaint. The response begins by setting out the facts surrounding the three  
complaints made against the complainant by the three members of the Institute, which  
I summarized earlier. The Institute denied each allegation made by Mr. Skinner.  
[92] The Institute defended the investigation process as appropriate and  
procedurally fair. It characterized Ms. Price as a neutral and unbiased investigator who  
conducted a thorough investigation. The Institute pointed out that it was not required  
to consult parties on the choice of investigator and that it was not in the habit of doing  
so. It alleged that Mr. Skinners allegations that Ms. Price was biased against men and  
that she had reached a predetermined conclusion were without foundation and  
inconsistent with the facts. The Institute argued that Mr. Skinner had had the  
opportunity to respond to the findings in the preliminary investigation report and that  
an investigator is under no obligation to prepare formal witness statements. With  
respect to Mr. Skinners allegation that the investigator had exceeded her mandate by  
considering the retaliation complaint, the Institute noted that he had been provided  
with timely notice and the opportunity to respond on two occasions and pointed to the  
definition of “harassment” in its Harassment Policy as including the offence  
of retaliation.  
[93] The Institute then dealt with the EC’s actions, arguing that it had acted  
appropriately when it addressed the complaints. The Institute denied the presence of  
bad faith or an improper motive and denied that the EC’s members had encouraged  
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making the three complaints. It maintained that the EC acted in good faith, fairly and  
within its mandate, by retaining the investigator and imposing reasonable  
corrective measures.  
[94] The Institute submitted that its Conflict of Interest Policy had been respected, as  
both Mr. Corbett and Ms. Friesen had excused themselves from participating in any  
discussion or decision in relation to the three complaints. In about March 2014,  
Mr. Burns also recused himself following a dispute with Mr. Skinner, by which time  
Mr. Corbett was no longer president of the Institute or a member of the EC. The  
Institute alleged that the remaining EC members had no disqualifying interest. The fact  
that Mr. Skinner endorsed a resolution to reduce the number of PIPSC vice-presidents  
from four to one, and the political tensions present on the EC, did not constitute a  
disqualifying interest. The Institute maintained that all deliberations were conducted  
with an open mind and that only relevant and appropriate considerations  
were considered.  
[95] The Institute then argued that a quorum had been maintained at all times, given  
the fact that the EC’s composition had changed three times during the period in  
question. All decisions had been made by three of five EC members, thus constituting a  
quorum at all times.  
[96] The Institute stated that when it decided the appropriate corrective measures, it  
was reasonable for it to consider the fact that on two occasions, Mr. Skinner had been  
asked to be mindful of his tone and approach in internal communications.  
[97] In defence of its novel decision to impose sensitivity training, the Institute  
responded that accepted approaches to workplace incivility had evolved in recent  
years and that this was the first time that it had been faced with a member who had  
engaged, without remorse, in multiple acts of inappropriate communication.  
[98] In response to Mr. Skinners allegations with respect to sensitivity training, the  
Institute noted that he was advised that a psychological report would not be required,  
that not all options were offered by psychologists, and that he was encouraged to  
propose his own options.  
[99] The Institute denied the allegation that Mr. Skinner had been dismissed from his  
regional director position, arguing that he could perform his core duties despite the  
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imposition of the corrective measures, since those measures allowed him to attend  
important meetings related to his position. The suspension of his right to attend other  
activities, together with the suspension of his hospitality account, was time-limited and  
would end on the completion of his training. These measures and the requirement for  
the presence of an observer were reasonably and logically related to the findings and  
to Mr. Skinners refusal to alter his conduct. The fact that the corrective measures were  
not placed in abeyance pending his appeal was appropriate and consistent with past  
practice and arbitral jurisprudence.  
[100] The Institute argued that it applied the same 2009 Dispute Resolution and  
Discipline Policy policy throughout the investigation and that it did not retroactively  
apply the terms of the new version of the policy that became effective on  
February 1, 2014.  
[101] With respect to the Institutes alleged failure to provide Mr. Skinner with legal  
counsel, the Institute stated that he had been treated like any other member would  
have been treated.  
[102] Concerning the BOD’s actions, the Institute denied that it had failed to give due  
attention to Mr. Skinners allegations that the EC was in a conflict of interest and that  
the BOD had considered and rejected this objection. The decision to retain a neutral  
third party for the appeals was not an admission of any conflict of interest and was  
designed only to avoid any perception of one.  
[103] With respect to Mr. Skinners allegations concerning the failure to translate  
documents for Mr. Brodeur, the Institutes response states that the BOD never ruled on  
the appeal in any event, that Mr. Brodeur had a good level of reading comprehension in  
English and had never asked that the documentation be translated, that BOD  
discussions were interpreted simultaneously, and that the Institutes practice was to  
translate only briefing notes provided by its general counsel to the BOD and not  
all documentation.  
[104] The Institute then dealt with the allegations concerning Ms. Noonans role in the  
events. It indicated that by emails dated June 24 and 25, 2014, Mr. Skinner had  
consented to her appointment with respect to the appeals related to the Mertler and  
Denton complaints and that he objected only once his first appeal had been dismissed.  
It argued that the neutral third partys role was appropriately limited to that of the  
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BOD and stated that had the BOD heard the appeal, it would not have received verbal  
representations from Mr. Skinner, and his representative would not have sat in on the  
discussion. Therefore, he was incorrect in suggesting that he should have been  
afforded additional rights once his appeal was in the hands of a neutral third party. On  
the issue of scope, the Institutes Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy provides that  
on appeal, the BOD’s role is limited to determining whether the EC acted within its  
mandate, and that its mandate is to make decisions that are not arbitrary,  
discriminatory, or in bad faith.  
[105] Lastly, on the issue of the breach of confidentiality, the Institutes response  
states that it is not a breach for the EC to advise the BOD that a complaint has been  
made or to provide electronic access to final reports or appeals. It also stated that  
advising a branch of the Institute that Mr. Skinner could not attend its meeting as a  
guest speaker as a result of the corrective measures imposed on him was not a breach  
of confidentiality. It closed by stating that even if one or more unintended breaches of  
confidentiality occurred, they did not amount to discipline or a penalty under the  
PSLRA, as it then was named.  
V. Summary of the evidence  
A. For the complainant  
1. Mr. Skinner: examination in chief  
[106] Mr. Skinner was a tax auditor with the CRA for almost 35 years and holds CPA  
and CGA professional designations. He got involved in the Institute in 1996 and  
became active in it in 2000. He was the president of the Vancouver, British Columbia,  
CRA branch for 12 years and PIPSCs AFS regional representative for BC/Yukon for 8  
years, supervising over 100 stewards. He was named Steward of the Year in 2003 and  
Executive of the Year in 2010. He was elected as a PIPSC director in June 2012 and  
occupied that position until he lost an election in December 2014.  
[107] Mr. Skinner referred to Ms. Noonans appeal decision on the Mertler and Denton  
investigation reports issued on July 18, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 83, page 2, paragraph 5), in  
which she outlined that her appeal mandate was narrow. He alleged that her  
conclusion was based on findings of facts from investigation reports. She could not  
consider other information or interview him. He provided her with additional  
information. She said that she could not review it.  
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[108] During the investigation, Mr. Skinner obtained witness statements that he  
submitted to Ms. Price during his first interview on November 14, 2014. She took them  
and said that she would obtain some of her own.  
a. The Friesen incident  
[109] Mr. Skinner testified that he got along with Ms. Friesen; she was elected to the  
BOD in June 2013, one year after he had been elected. She was disgusted with the  
behaviour of the BOD, as everyone screamed. A discussion took place about a  
resolution to reduce the number of vice-presidents. PIPSC and Mr. Corbett had hired an  
expert in governance and not-for-profit organizations, who attended the BOD meeting  
and made a presentation. Mr. Skinner asked if he thought that PIPSC needed four vice-  
presidents. He alleged that Ms. Friesen went crazy at his response and that she  
attacked him as never before. He was shaking. Mr. Corbett immediately called a break.  
Only Mr. Skinner and Ms. Friesen remained in the room. He told her that she had  
always complained about BOD behaviour but that she had just attacked him and that  
she was a hypocrite. Ms. Friesen replied that at least she did not travel the country  
and run campaigns of hate. Mr. Skinner testified that he was shocked and that he told  
her that she was full of s***. He alleged that Ms. Friesen then continued nattering.  
He stated that he put up his hand and said that he did not want to engage any further.  
He went to Mr. Corbett, who told Mr. Skinner that he had seen what had happened and  
that Ms. Friesen would probably make a complaint against him. Mr. Skinner said that  
he was in shock. He did not know how anyone could say that about him. According to  
him, Ms. Friesen was his boss she was a vice-president and a member of the EC, and  
he was just a director.  
[110] Mr. Skinner testified to having witnessed all kinds of behaviour by the BOD —  
banging on tables, swearing, etc., to the extent that the BOD had to attend a mediated  
session with an experienced mediator to learn how to work together. Ms. Friesen did  
not complain about any of the other members, just Mr. Skinner. He knew that she was  
a psychologist. On the issue of her state of mind, he referred to an email she wrote on  
October 18, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 29, page 22, Appendix B), in which she alleged that  
gender discrimination was a growing trend within PIPSC and that it and Mr. Skinner  
were engaged in victim blaming. As for colourful language from a full-time vice-  
president, Mr. Skinner referred to an email dated June 20, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 102), in  
which Ms. Bittman acknowledged that along with everyone else, she was guilty of using  
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colorful [sic] termson occasion. Mr. Skinner also referred to an email he wrote on  
August 19, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 122), in which he alleged that he had witnessed seeing  
Ms. Bittman tell Mr. Dickson to wake the f*** up. Mr. Skinner said that he walked  
away from the confrontation. He knows that he has a loud voice, and he is usually  
quite calm at BOD meetings and rarely swears. He was shocked at Ms. Friesens  
comment to Mr. Dickson.  
b. The Mertler incident  
[111] At the BC/Yukon Regional Council meeting in June 2013, a Friday-night dinner  
was held. Mr. Skinner testified that Ms. Mertler became highly inebriated. On Saturday  
morning, the meeting began at 8:30. Ms. Mertler had agreed to speak to certain  
resolutions. It was her last day on the BC/Yukon Regional Executive in June 2013.  
Mr. Skinner testified that she was at the head table, in essence passed out, with her  
head in her hands. Kal Sahota chaired the meeting and asked Mr. Skinner to do  
something about Ms. Mertler. He went over to her, crouched down, and told her,  
Marie, wake the f*** up” (“the Mertler incident”). He was her boss, and she was  
embarrassing the executive. He never denied using that language.  
[112] Three or four months later, Ms. Mertler told Mr. Skinner that she did not like the  
words he had used. He apologized and said he was sorry, but he had thought that she  
was not paying attention at the meeting. The next thing he knew, she had made a  
harassment complaint. He did not understand why he was disciplined, as he was her  
boss, and Ms. Mertler had already received an apology from PIPSC. He questioned  
whether members would condone behaviour by someone who had been so inebriated  
that she could not conduct business the next day. Mr. Skinner said that he had known  
Ms. Mertler for 10 years and that she constantly used four-letter words. One month  
earlier, she had emailed him after he had resolved a dispute and had written that he  
was a caring and compassionate person. He testified that he did not agree with PIPSC’s  
statement in Ms. Daviaus letter to Ms. Mertler of May 29, 2014 (Exhibit 3), which  
advised her that the EC had taken measures to address the findings of inappropriate  
behaviour and extended apologies on behalf of the Institute. He testified that in his  
opinion, it condoned Ms. Mertlers behaviour.  
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c. The Denton incident  
[113] While the investigator did not find that Mr. Skinner had harassed Ms. Denton,  
she found that he had retaliated against Ms. Denton by not allowing her in the  
hospitality suite, thus denying her a benefit to which others were entitled. And he had  
shown her complaint to witnesses and talked about it at the BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive, which embarrassed her. Although he did not mention her name, two people  
at the Regional Executive knew that he was referring to Ms. Denton.  
[114] Mr. Skinner testified that the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, not he, had decided  
that there would not be a hospitality suite. He referred to the minutes of the Regional  
Executive meeting (Exhibit 1, tab 14, item 21) held the day before the Steward  
Council meeting.  
[115] Mr. Skinner testified that his room was too small to entertain as there was only  
1 bathroom, and 140 people had attended. The resort had said that nothing else was  
available. The room could accommodate only 5 or 6 people at a time. He acknowledged  
that he was concerned about having the complainants in the room, as drinking was  
underway, and tempers could well have flared. He feared that more complaints being  
made against him. The decision was made that there would be no hospitality suite.  
However, although it was not advertised, the BC/Yukon Regional Executive members  
could tell people that if they wanted to go to Mr. Skinners room for a drink, it  
was fine.  
[116] Mr. Skinner testified that had the complainants asked to attend, they could have  
attended. Although he personally did not want them there, he would have left the  
room had they indicated their desire to attend. Mr. Skinner referred to Ms. Price’s  
investigation report about the Denton complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 53) and alleged that it  
caused confusion as there was no hospitality suite, only his room. He explained that in  
his BC/Yukon Regional Executive, decisions were made by consensus.  
[117] Mr. Skinner then testified about the two complaints made against him in 2012,  
which dealt with allegations of improper behaviour and were referred to earlier in this  
decision. With respect to a letter to Mr. Skinner from Mr. Corbett dated May 29, 2012  
(Exhibit 2, tab 57), the individual named in the letter, Sean Auguste, was a retired  
member of PIPSC who had been a member of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive and  
who had had the right to attend certain meetings. Mr. Skinner and Mr. Auguste had an  
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exchange that the latter did not like. He made a complaint against Mr. Skinner, which  
was never investigated. Mr. Skinner asked Mr. Corbett what the letter was about. He  
replied that it was about leadership and that Mr. Skinner should not worry, as it was a  
courtesy letter. Mr. Skinner wrote back, stating that he accepted it in the spirit in which  
it had been intended.  
[118] With respect to the second complaint in 2012, which resulted in a letter to  
Mr. Skinner from Mr. Corbett dated October 24, 2012 (Exhibit 2, tab 58), Mr. Skinner  
testified that it concerned his long-standing difficult relationship with Mr. Jones, a  
former director of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive and former member of the  
Vancouver CRA Branch executive. Mr. Skinner said that he had won the director  
position over Mr. Jones, who resented it. Mr. Corbett talked to both of them and  
suggested that they have dinner, so they could talk and try to get along. Mr. Jones left  
the dinner, and Mr. Skinner was shocked. He testified that it was his belief that  
Mr. Jones had received the same letter.  
[119] Mr. Skinner testified that PIPSC used the two letters (“the two 2012 letters”) to  
establish a pattern of behaviour. As a result of them, PIPSC did not offer him any  
training, did not follow-up, and did not say that they were warning or cautionary  
letters. However, he testified that PIPSC considered them documented evidence of bad  
behaviour. Had he known that they would be used that way, he would have  
fought them.  
[120] Mr. Skinner then referred to the minutes of the EC’s July 3, 2013, meeting  
(Exhibit 2, tab 20, Appendix A), in which it is stated that several B.C. members were  
afraid to go againsthim as they claim he is a bully and fear his reprimand.”  
Mr. Skinner testified that no one had every called call him a bully. He questioned what  
fear his reprimandmeant and alleged that the minutes show that the EC had already  
made up its mind about him. PIPSC never indicated to him in a document or elsewhere  
that people in B.C. feared his reprimand or that he was a bully. Next, Mr. Skinner  
referred to the sixth paragraph of those minutes, in which he is accused of a prior lack  
of cooperation and of refusing to attend mediation. Mediation is an option at PIPSC. He  
was willing to take sensitivity training in a class with pass or fail marking, but that was  
in July 2013, before the investigation, and his first interview with the investigator was  
on November 14, 2013. He alleged that when he was disciplined, the sensitivity  
training was to be carried out with a psychologist who would report to PIPSC. He said  
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that it was not sensitivity training and repeated his contention that PIPSC wanted  
behavioural therapy.  
[121] Mr. Skinner then addressed the minutes of the June 18, 2013, EC meeting  
(Exhibit 2, tab 16, Appendix A), which state that there have been numerous issues in  
the past with the respondentand in which he is characterized as a repeat offender. He  
disputed both statements.  
[122] Mr. Skinner was told that his proposed apologies were not acceptable and that  
they should be rewritten because they were qualified. He testified that he wrote that he  
was required to tender an apology. He asked Ms. Roy to help with drafting the letter.  
She refused, even though in the past, Ms. Bittman was helped with a letter of apology.  
He testified that had he been asked to remove that line, he would have, but nobody  
told him to. Concerning sensitivity training, Mr. Tait offered several alternatives.  
Finally, CRA sensitivity training was accepted. Mr. Skinner testified that he did not  
attend it because PIPSC required unqualified letters of apology.  
[123] According to Mr. Skinner, Ms. Friesen has a history of bad behaviour that he  
pointed out to the investigator, who dismissed it. He alleged that Ms. Friesen had  
written emails about him but that the EC had not disciplined her.  
[124] Ms. Price emailed Ms. Denton’s additional allegations (Exhibit 2, tab 4) to  
Mr. Skinner immediately after the PIPSC’s AGM. He did not know who had written them  
as they were unsigned and had not been written as a complaint. If it constituted an  
additional complaint, it should have gone to the PIPSC’s general counsel for vetting  
and then to the EC.  
[125] Ms. Denton was present at the meeting of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive at  
which it was decided to cancel the formal hospitality suite. Had she or the other  
complainants shown up, he would not have turned them away. He had arranged with  
Mr. Lazzara that if any of the complainants showed up, he would leave, and  
Mr. Lazzara would take over the room.  
[126] When Ms. Price interviewed him on November 14, 2014, Mr. Skinner mentioned  
the minutes of the October 17, 2013, BC/Yukon Regional Executive meeting concerning  
the cancellation of the hospitality suite, which she had requested. He emailed them to  
her on November 21, 2013 (Exhibit 12). All his training as a PIPSC steward stated that  
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in a harassment complaint, the parties should be separated. However, in an email on  
October 15, 2013, Ms. Roy had advised Wanda Aschacher, a member of the Regional  
Executive (Exhibit 2, tab 53, page 50), that the Institute expects all its members to  
conduct themselves professionallyand to respect the Institutes values of respect,  
integrity, cooperation, and accountability. Mr. Skinner said that because of Ms. Roys  
response to Ms. Aschacher, he could not exclude Ms. Denton from his room.  
[127] Mr. Skinner then addressed Ms. Dentons additional allegations (Exhibit 2, tab  
48). Nao Fernando, Mr. Skinners first representative, told Mr. Skinner to gather the  
witness statements he thought he would need for the Denton complaint. Mr. Skinner  
had obtained a statement from Mr. Sahota because Mr. Sahota had thought that the  
complaint had been directed at him, and it was his responsibility to handle seat  
selections at the AGM. Mr. Sahota provided a statement as to how he made the  
selections. Mr. Skinner testified that he gave the statement to Mr. Fernando, who then  
fell ill and could no longer represent him. Mr. Skinner then asked Mr. Tait to help, and  
Mr. Lazzara offered his services. Mr. Skinner gave the statement to them. He also  
obtained a witness statement from Ms. Aschacher and gave both statements to  
Ms. Price, who never returned them. Mr. Skinner testified that Ms. Price said that they  
were irrelevant and that she would obtain her own witness statements and decide  
whom to interview. Both Mr. Tait and Mr. Skinner told Ms. Price that they wanted full  
disclosure; she refused. Ms. Roy also wrote him a letter, stating that the investigator  
did not have to accept the statements. That is when Mr. Skinner thought something  
was wrong with the investigation. When he was on the BOD, he had seen investigation  
reports; they had included witness statements.  
[128] Before Mr. Skinner became a director, he was a member of the AFS executive. He  
had been involved in investigations conducted by the CRAs internal affairs section in  
which the investigator had given witnesses their statements to sign immediately  
following their interviews. When one time, Mr. Skinner and Mr. Tait were assigned by  
PIPSC and the AFS to investigate an individual, Mr. Skinner had sought advice from  
Martin Ranger, PIPSC Legal Counsel, on how to conduct the investigation. In the  
investigation they conducted, they gave all the witnesses their statements, for their  
approvals. Mr. Skinner testified that he thought that that was normal procedure. He  
saw nothing in PIPSC policy or guidelines to the effect that he could not ask for  
witness statements to help defend himself. Nobody from PIPSC or the investigator said  
that he could not receive them until he met with the investigator. Ms. Aschacher wrote  
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to Ms. Roy, asking how to proceed. She sent another letter to Ms. Roy on  
October 24, 2013 (Exhibit 1, tab 12), indicating that Ms. Denton had claimed that she  
was being bullied by the executive and had slandered its members.  
[129] Mr. Skinner testified that it was important that he inform the BC/Yukon  
Regional Executive that a complaint had been made against him because he feared  
saying or doing something that would result in another complaint. He also felt  
compelled because of the hospitality suite issue. He sought guidance from PIPSC via  
Ms. Aschacher and was shocked by Ms. Roys response, because all his training in such  
matters had been to separate the parties.  
[130] Mr. Skinner then testified with respect to a letter he addressed to Ms. Roy on  
February 25, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 100), and reiterated the issues he had outlined in it.  
He was concerned that the same investigator was to investigate and assess the three  
complaints together. He said that PIPSC by-laws stated that an investigation had to be  
procedurally fair. He took that to mean that he would obtain witness statements, face  
his accusers, and comment on what they had said. He said that from his first day on  
the BOD, he had proven that he was not a yes man. Members of the BOD always  
sought his vote. Ms. Daviau, Ms. Bittman, and Ms. Friesen hated him because they could  
not get him to vote their way. He voted as he thought best for the members, and he  
had no ambition to run for vice-president or president.  
[131] Mr. Skinner testified that in 2012, Carmine Paglia was the treasurer on the AFS  
executive who filed a report claiming financial irregularities in one of Mr. Lazzaras  
expense claiMs. The EC suspended Mr. Lazzara for three years but at that time, he  
could appeal to the BOD. Mr. Skinner knew that the report was wrong, and he  
represented Mr. Lazzara. The EC’s members wanted to attend the BOD meeting and  
vote on the appeal of their decision, which Mr. Skinner succeeded in blocking.  
Mr. Burns was upset and threatened to sue him. Mr. Skinner testified that Ms. Bittman  
was in a conflict of interest because at the time of the events in issue, she was living  
with Peter Gilkinson, who was running against Mr. Lazzara for the AFS presidency.  
Were Mr. Lazzaras suspension upheld, Mr. Gilkinson would have had the way clear”  
for the AFS presidency. The BOD overturned the EC’s decision. Mr. Skinner stated that  
he had testified to all this to show that he was targeted because he had helped  
someone whom Ms. Bittman hated.  
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[132] Mr. Skinner wrote to Ms. Price on the issues of the apprehension of bias and  
conflict of interest. She said that they were not within her mandate. Ms. Noonan said  
the same thing. Mr. Skinner then referred to several events that he alleged supported  
his position that members of the BOD and EC were in a conflict of interest and that  
they hated him and advocated against him because of the positions he took.  
Concerning the proposed reduction of vice-presidents, Mr. Skinner said that the same  
position had been taken by the AFS under Mr. Lazzara and PIPSC's Atlantic region.  
Mr. Skinner was on PIPSC’s Executive Compensation Committee, which reviewed the  
salaries and benefits of executive members. It found certain irregularities as well as  
omissions to do away with severance payments, which the federal government  
had eliminated.  
[133] Mr. Skinner questioned why Ms. Price raised the issue of bad behaviour, as he  
had not been accused of it. Had he been, he could have defended himself differently,  
but he never had the opportunity. He alleged that Ms. Price went out of her way to  
interview people with whom he had issues, namely, Mr. Jones and Helene Spacek, a  
former vice-president of the Vancouver CRA branch. He told Ms. Price that he would  
not discuss the issue with Ms. Spacek because it was private.  
[134] Mr. Skinner provided only one character witness, Jim Thatcher, who had sat on a  
number of his executives and had served under two directors. Mr. Skinner did not  
think that he needed more character witnesses. He added that Ms. Price did not  
interview Mr. Thatcher.  
[135] Mr. Skinner then stated that union businessis political and that people are  
raucous and argue. He gave examples of arguments he had had, including with  
Mr. Corbett, with whom he was not friendly, but said that they were able to talk things  
out, even loudly, and resolve them. He testified that he had heard every senior person  
at PIPSC use the F-word. He stated that he did not know if Ms. Price had a union  
background or had attended union meetings. If she had, she would not have said what  
she did. It was either incompetence or bias.  
[136] Mr. Skinner then referred to two documents in evidence. In the first document,  
(Exhibit 2, tab 39), Ms. Prices report on the Mertler complaint, Ms. Price stated that she  
was troubled with his inability to recognize problems with his conduct that he would  
not tolerate from his employer. The second document (Exhibit 2, tab 56) is a letter to  
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Mr. Skinner from Ms. Roy sent in April of 2014 in which she referred to that statement.  
Mr. Skinner said that in the workplace, an employer would discipline employees for  
such language. The investigator was using the employer as a benchmark, when  
stewards require an aggressive nature.  
[137] Mr. Skinner testified that he did not attend sensitivity training because a lengthy  
exchange occurred with Ms. Roy about the type of training, and by the time it was  
resolved, it was September 2014. The 90-day limit to make a complaint with the Board  
was approaching, and he could not get his letters of apology accepted. No one told him  
what was wrong with the letters.  
[138] Mr. Skinner next referred to an email sent to Ms. Price by Mr. Tait (Exhibit 2, tab  
112) and reiterated the concerns raised by Mr. Tait to the effect that he had issues with  
Ms. Price accepting additional allegations from Ms. Friesen and Ms. Denton that had  
not been vetted by Ms. Roy and the EC. He testified that as the letter stated, he had  
made additional allegations, which Ms. Price had not accepted.  
[139] Mr. Skinner alleged that the investigator made upthe word retaliation”  
without coming to a conclusion in the final report. He said that Ms. Denton did not use  
the word retaliation.  
[140] Ms. Daviau emailed the PIPSC stewards on October 24, 2014, concerning the  
complaints made by Messrs. Corbett and Skinner (Exhibit 16) with the Board.  
Mr. Skinner testified that he was shocked. In all his 18 years at PIPSC in several  
capacities, he had never seen an email to all members naming the persons who had  
made complaints against PIPSC. The date of the email was a few weeks before the mid-  
November regional director election, a position for which Mr. Skinner was a candidate.  
He alleged that this was done to limit his visibility to the membership and to ensure  
that he could not be re-elected. It ensured that every member knew that there was a  
founded complaint against him that was appealed. Few knew that he had made a  
complaint to the Board. Mr. Skinner alleged that he had received emails from all kinds  
of people across the country as a result, asking what he had done. It affected how  
people voted, and the discipline ensured that he could not speak with members.  
[141] Ms. Price emailed Mr. Ranger on January 3, 2014, attaching Mr. Skinners email  
of November 20, 2013 (Exhibit 17). Mr. Skinner said that if the investigator was  
independent, why did she go to PIPSC legalfor instructions? This showed that PIPSC  
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was involved in her investigation, even though she was supposed to act independently.  
It also showed at a minimum that Ms. Bittman and Ms. Friesen were discussing his  
complaint. They, together with Ms. Daviau, were on the EC, which was dealing with his  
complaint. He alleged that Ms. Bittman did not declare a conflict of interest concerning  
his complaint. Mr. Ranger reported to Ms. Roy, who in turn reported to the president.  
Mr. Skinner asked Ms. Roy to declare a conflict of interest, but she did not.  
[142] Mr. Skinner then explained the allegation at paragraph 13 of his complaint,  
namely, he was denied legal representation by PIPSC. He conceded that the provision of  
it is discretionary and not mandatory. For the allegation at paragraph 16 of his  
complaint, which was that PIPSC applied its discipline policy retroactively, he conceded  
that it was not the case. While the new 2014 Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy  
was implemented, which dealt with the conflict issue he had raised, it was  
implemented after the complaints at issue had been made. PIPSC continued with the  
complaints under the former 2009 policy and did not apply the new  
policy retroactively.  
[143] Mr. Skinner then turned his attention to the preliminary investigation report in  
the Friesen complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 25). He alleged that during his interaction with  
Ms. Friesen, only Mr. Corbett and Julie Gagnon were in the room. Mr. Dickson came  
forward eight months later to be interviewed. Mr. Skinner said that Mr. Dickson had  
not been in the room, and there was no evidence that he had been there. He then  
referred to his representativesresponse to the preliminary report (Exhibit 2, tab 29,  
page 6), which questioned why people who had not witnessed the events were  
interviewed, yet Mr. Skinners witness, who was interviewed, did not figure in the  
report. Also, Mr. Skinners reply to the preliminary report refers to an email he  
received from Deborah Kruz, a member of Ms. Friesens consultation team, advising  
him of her interview with Ms. Price, in which she characterized Ms. Friesen as a bully.  
[144] Mr. Skinner then referred to the final report in the Friesen complaint (Exhibit 2,  
tab 30) and to the last paragraph on page 58, which concluded that his behaviour had  
been inappropriate and that he had spoken in a raised and aggressive tone that had  
the potential to fall within the definition of harassmentbut for the fact that it was a  
singular occurrence that was not sufficiently egregious to constitute harassment.  
Mr. Skinner alleged that that conclusion was false. He alleged that Ms. Friesen had been  
loud and aggressive and that the meeting had been paused because of her. He stated  
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that the investigator did not provide context and that she went beyond her mandate  
when she determined that there had been harassment.  
[145] Mr. Skinner then referred to the minutes of the BOD meeting of September 15  
and 18, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 47), and to Appendix B, section 4.5 in particular, in which  
the penultimate paragraph states that the EC considered Mr. Skinners past record.  
Mr. Skinner said that he had no past record. Mr. Corbett had characterized the two  
2012 letters as mentoring. Bullying was never discussed with Mr. Skinner.  
[146] Mr. Skinner then turned to the preliminary investigation report in the Denton  
complaint (“the Denton preliminary report”; Exhibit 2, tab 50, page 56), which states,  
Mr. Skinner has a history of conflict with both men and women.He asserted that that  
was false; Ms. Price did not provide him with documents supporting this allegation of  
conflict and never discussed that issue with him.  
[147] As to the reports allegation that he was disrespectful, Mr. Skinner said that the  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive meeting occurred in a closed room. He did not mention  
Ms. Denton by name and said only that three complaints had been made against him.  
He denied that he had excluded Denton in a public manner.As for the investigators  
conclusion that Mr. Skinner sent a message to the membership that filing complaints  
had consequences, Mr. Skinner said that as a regional director, what could he have  
done to her personally? He took orders from the EC.  
[148] Mr. Skinner then referred to item 5.1.1 of the minutes of the EC meeting of  
April 22, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 55), which deals with the matters involving Mses. Denton  
and Mertler. The minutes refer to warningssent to him in the past and to the two  
2012 letters asking that he change his tone when dealing with people.Mr. Skinner  
asserted that the letters referred to were not disciplinary. Had they been, he would  
have contested them. He stated that he never saw those minutes until the  
production order.  
[149] Mr. Skinner testified that he did not know that he would be accused of a breach  
of information. According to PIPSC, it was done because he had obtained witness  
statements. He alleged that PIPSC breached his confidentiality by posting the  
investigation report on the Virtual Binder. It apologized two months later, when the  
damage had been done.  
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[150] Mr. Skinner then raised the issue of Ms. Noonans impartiality. He said that she  
acted as PIPSC general counsel in Ms. Roys absence and that she provided mediation  
and consulting services for the EC. He referred to an email exchange between his  
representatives and Ms. Roy of June 25, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 74), in which they  
consented to Ms. Noonan as a neutral third party, albeit with stipulations on the  
disclosure of certain documents to them, and demanded that she be apprised from  
the outsetthat the disciplinary measure imposed on him was exceptional.  
Mr. Skinner said that Ms. Roy had testified that in the email correspondence of July 10  
and 11, 2014, between her, Mr. Tait, and Ms. Noonan (Exhibit 2, tab 76), the use of the  
word coachedin Ms. Noonans email to Ms. Roy meant that Ms. Noonan had coached  
EC members on their interpersonal relationships, terming it conflict coaching.  
Mr. Skinner said that Ms. Noonan had acted on behalf of PIPSC. He testified that  
Ms. Roy had stated that Ms. Noonan was not retained by Ms. Daviau as an  
individual coach.  
[151] Mr. Skinner referred to an email from Ms. Daviau to Ms. Roy dated  
January 14, 2014 (Exhibit 18), in which the former confidentiallyexpressed her  
concern that only BOD members favourable to Mr. Skinner were being interviewed and  
her hopethat the result of the investigation not be one-sided as well.Mr. Skinner  
stated that his concern from the outset was that the EC hated him. The email states  
that people negative to him were not being interviewed. The email had been sparked by  
an earlier email from a member who had wished to be interviewed but was told by  
Ms. Price that she would determine whether the member’s evidence was needed.  
Mr. Skinner then questioned why Ms. Price did not gather the evidence before issuing  
the findings of her investigation.  
[152] In an email to Mr. Skinner dated March 10, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 95), Ms. Roy  
wrote that with respect to his February 25, 2014, request for disclosure and natural  
justice obligations that he be allowed to review any supporting evidence,she was of  
the view that the present process met the requirements. Mr. Skinner said that he never  
received the email.  
[153] Mr. Fernando emailed Ms. Roy on August 1, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 97), expressing  
concern about the EC being in a conflict of interest.  
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[154] Mr. Skinner said that Ms. Roys email to Randy Millage, PIPSC’s chief negotiation  
officer, of May 8, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 126), shows that PIPSC breached his  
confidentiality. The email advised Mr. Millage that he ought to have been copied on the  
letter of discipline to Mr. Skinner as he might have to direct staff under his supervision  
to ensure that it was respected. He said that Mr. Millage was a PIPSC employee and the  
chief of bargaining and asked why Mr. Millage had to be informed. He speculated that  
Mr. Millage would not have been happy with Mr. Skinners pension recommendations.  
[155] Mr. Skinner next referred to an email exchange on June 16, 2014 (Exhibit 20),  
between Ms. Friesen, Ms. Bittman, and Ms. Daviau. He said that Ms. Friesen was in a  
declared conflict of interest but that she discussed his case with other EC members.  
[156] Mr. Skinner then referred to Ms. Noonans email to Mr. Corbett dated  
July 9, 2013 (Exhibit 1, tab 30). Mr. Skinner questioned why Ms. Noonan emailed  
Mr. Corbett about complaints that related to the EC and the BOD while she was  
retained as the neutral third party one year later.  
[157] Mr. Skinner then devoted part of his testimony to refuting statements in PIPSC’s  
response to his complaint. Concerning Ms. Prices statements about his behaviour, he  
admitted that he talks loudly. He argued that as a steward, one has to be passionate,  
aggressive, and fearless. He alleged that Ms. Price took things out of context and that  
salty language is normal in a union environment.  
[158] Concerning the conclusion that Mr. Skinner had shown no remorse, he asked  
why he should have shown any when the harassment allegations were dismissed.  
[159] At that point in the hearing, Mr. Skinner withdrew his allegations of the  
breaches of ss. 188(d) and (e) of the FPSLRA.  
2. Mr. Skinner: Cross-examination  
[160] Mr. Skinner was referred to a brief email he wrote to Ms. Roy on July 11, 2013  
(Exhibit 2, tab 35), in which he stated that he would provide a list of witnesses who  
would offer written or verbal statements to her. When Mr. Welchner pointed out that  
the email did not state that he would gather the statements himself, Mr. Skinner  
replied that he did not receive a reply to his email and that he was not cautioned  
against gathering the statements himself. Nobody gave him guidelines about the  
investigation. He consulted policies. There was no prohibition against gathering  
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witness statements. Furthermore, Mr. Fernando advised him to gather them. If he was  
wrong to have done so, he did it unknowingly. When he was referred to an email from  
Ms. Price to Mr. Tait on October 30, 2013 (Exhibit 1, tab 13), Mr. Skinner agreed that it  
stated that he could not gather witness statements. He then said that Ms. Price had  
been retained two months earlier and that she could have told him as much at  
that time.  
[161] In his response to the preliminary report on the Friesen complaint, Mr. Skinner  
did not mention that the phrase full of s***was common language in the union  
setting. He maintained that in the circumstances, he was respectful by using that  
phrase with Ms. Friesen and telling her that she was a hypocrite when she told him  
that he was running campaigns of hate. In his response, he also did not mention his  
testimony that to be a steward, one has to be aggressive or otherwise be eaten alive.  
Mr. Skinner said that he had to explain the union to Ms. Price because she had never  
before conducted an investigation for PIPSC.  
[162] Mr. Skinner agreed that in his response to the Mertler complaint, he did not  
state that Ms. Mertler had used the word, f***. He said that he told Ms. Price in the  
interview that the word was commonly used and that it was used by Ms. Mertler. While  
acknowledging that he could have been more sensitive, Mr. Skinner said that  
regardless, he had to get Ms. Mertler to wake up and did not know what else he could  
have done in the circumstances. He apologized if he had offended her. He alleged that  
Ms. Bittman had that said she would have done the same thing but that she would not  
have used that word.  
[163] Mr. Skinner testified that he told Ms. Price not to interview directors, including  
Ms. Spacek, because of personal issues and that she interviewed only those  
unfavourable to him. Furthermore, he thought that it would put the directors in a  
conflict of interest when his appeal to the BOD was heard. When it was to be heard, all  
the directors declared that they were in conflict of interest. He would have provided  
more character witnesses had he known to. If Ms. Price was independent, why did she  
write to Mr. Ranger of PIPSC’s legal section about whom to interview (Exhibit 17)?  
Mr. Skinner testified that the people he had asked to be interviewed were not  
interviewed. Ms. Prices approach was not balanced.  
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[164] Mr. Welchner then pointed out that when in a letter dated October 30, 2013  
(Exhibit 2, tab 24), Ms. Roy informed Mr. Tait that Ms. Price had been selected as the  
investigator, Mr. Skinner did not take the position that she was unqualified.  
[165] Mr. Skinner stood by his statement in the complaint that Ms. Price was biased  
against men(see paragraph 5 of the complaint). He said that her firm was 100%  
female. None of the representations he made was considered, while those made by  
females were considered. He alleged that Ms. Price did not pay attention to what he  
said and that she commented on his behaviour, yet she made no comments about  
Ms. Denton lying. Even though the complaints were dismissed, he was the one  
determined to have behavioural issues. Mr. Skinner stated that Ms. Price did not have a  
mandate to address behaviour. Why did she not comment on Ms. Dentons behaviour?  
Nobody talked about the fact that Ms. Dentons complaint was mostly against  
Mr. Sahota. Ms. Denton lied to him about delegate selection. Mr. Skinner stated that  
Ms. Friesen had libelled a former director and had been admonished by a  
past president.  
[166] Mr. Skinner admitted that in hindsight, he should not have referred to Ms. Price  
as a goofy feminist investigatorin his letter to the BOD of August 12, 2014 (Exhibit 2,  
tab 103).  
[167] Concerning his request to Ms. Price that she interview Mr. Thatcher, while he  
agreed that Mr. Thatcher was not a witness to any of the allegations, he pointed out  
that neither was Ms. Spacek or Mr. Jones. Although he did not raise the fact that  
Mr. Thatcher had not been interviewed in his response to the preliminary report,  
Mr. Skinner had told Ms. Price to interview him, to obtain a balanced view. If  
Mr. Skinner had known that he would be accused of and disciplined for bad behaviour  
for the previous 10 years, he would have made more of an issue about her interviewing  
Mr. Thatcher.  
[168] Mr. Skinner agreed that Mr. Thatchers character evidence was irrelevant to a  
finding of retaliation but stated that Ms. Price went out of her way to comment entirely  
negatively on his behaviour, which the EC took into account. Mr. Skinner spoke to  
some people Ms. Price had interviewed who had said positive things about him —  
Ms. Aschacher and Mr. Corbett were cited as examples but their comments were not  
in the report. Mr. Skinner knew that Ms. Aschacher, Mr. Corbett, Carol-Ann Lonsdale, a  
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member of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, and Mr. Sahota had had long interviews  
but that only snippets were in the report. Jason Brown and Mohan Grewal were not  
interviewed despite the fact that he had provided their contact information to Ms. Price  
(Exhibit 2, tab 108). Mr. Brown could have made positive comments as he had replied  
to Ms. Spaceks nasty comments about the subgroup. Mr. Skinner did not mention  
Ms. Prices failure to interview Mr. Brown in his response to the preliminary Denton  
report because he had given her Mr. Browns witness statement.  
[169] Concerning Mr. Skinners assertion that Ms. Price exceeded her mandate by  
commenting on his behaviour aside from the retaliation issue, he pointed to page 56 of  
the final investigation report of the Denton complaint (“the Denton final report”;  
Exhibit 2, tab 53), where Ms. Price stated that Mr. Skinner “… has a history of conflict  
with both men and women.Mr. Skinner asked where Ms. Price obtained that  
information and for evidence supporting it. He also referred to the letter of discipline  
of April 28, 2014. How could Ms. Price say that Mr. Skinner would continue to  
encounter conflict? He said that the report makes those comments throughout,  
although Ms. Price is not a psychologist.  
[170] Mr. Skinner had wanted Mr. Grewal interviewed because Ms. Mertlers complaint  
referred to an incident to which Mr. Grewal could speak. He did not ask that  
Mr. Grewal be interviewed in his response to the preliminary investigation report in the  
Mertler complaint because Mr. Grewal was on the list of witnesses he had given to  
Ms. Price. She did not interview him; what else was he to do? When it was put to him  
that he did not raise the issue of Ms. Price having overlooked witnesses in any of his  
responses to the preliminary reports, Mr. Skinner said that while Ms. Prices  
preliminary reports dismissed most of the allegations, he had no idea that he would be  
disciplined aside from the harassment charges. It was not a big issue at first but  
became one later on.  
[171] Concerning Ms. Dentons additional allegationsand the retaliation issue,  
Mr. Skinner acknowledged that he was familiar with PIPSC’s Harassment Policy (Exhibit  
2, tab 6), which states that retaliation constitutes harassment. He asserted throughout  
a lengthy cross-examination on this issue that Ms. Price never told him directly that  
she was investigating retaliation. He was referred to an email exchange between him,  
Ms. Price, and Mr. Tait dated January 10, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 112), in which Ms. Price  
indicated that she was investigating retaliation allegations against Ms. Friesen and  
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Ms. Denton for having made complaints. Mr. Skinner stated that he wanted Ms. Price to  
investigate the additional allegations that he had filed against Ms. Friesen.  
[172] Mr. Skinner was referred to an email exchange between Mr. Tait and Ms. Price  
dated January 15 and 16, 2015, on which he was copied (Exhibit 2, tab 113). In it,  
Ms. Price said that she would investigate all allegations. Mr. Skinner denied that that  
would have included Ms. Dentons allegation of retaliation because Ms. Price never  
used that term. They discussed only the hospitality suite. He knew that she was  
investigating the suite, but she did not call that retaliation. Ms. Price also did not tell  
Mr. Skinner that she was investigating his behaviour or his swearing.  
[173] Mr. Skinner was referred to his testimony that the additional allegations levelled  
against him should have gone to legal counsel to determine whether they would be  
approved. He was referred to an email exchange between Mr. Tait and Ms. Roy of  
January 15, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 114), the first email of which stated that all allegations  
would be considered. Mr. Skinner replied that the additional allegations were made on  
November 13, 2013, while he was at the regional AGM and that Ms. Roys email was  
two months late. By then, the interviews were over. Mr. Skinner had two interviews  
with Ms. Price, with Mr. Tait present. They disagreed with Ms. Price that there were  
additional allegations. Ms. Price never mentioned the word retaliationto Mr. Skinner.  
She went back and forth with Mr. Tait. The hospitality suite was discussed but not in  
terms of retaliation. The issue of retaliation arose two months after the interviews  
when it was raised in Ms. Prices email to Mr. Tait in January 2014. Mr. Skinner said  
that he had no opportunity to respond to the retaliation issue because it came out only  
in the Denton final report, to which he was not allowed to respond. The report was  
biased because nobody had mentioned retaliation to Mr. Skinner not PIPSC’s legal  
section, Ms. Roy, or Ms. Denton. The final report did not contain a  
“retaliation” heading.  
[174] Mr. Skinner said that he referred to having relied on his harassment training at  
paragraph 10 of his complaint to the Board because when he drafted it, he was told  
(without specifying in his testimony who had allegedly told him) that he did not have  
to include everything, since he could add to it during the hearing. He said that it was  
the first time he had drafted a complaint and that perhaps, he should have amended it.  
He included it in the complaint and not before then because Ms. Price never listened to  
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his representations, did not know the union environment, and did not consider  
his training.  
[175] Concerning the decision not to have a hospitality suite, Mr. Skinner reiterated  
that the BC/Yukon Regional Executive made it, not him alone, as indicated in the  
meeting minutes. He knew that Ms. Aschacher and Peter MacDougall, a member of the  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive, had said as much to Ms. Price, but it was not reflected in  
the report. Ms. Price would not listen to the facts. He had told her that had the  
complainants come to the suite, he would have left. He had arranged for Mr. Lazzara  
and Mr. Corbett to cover the room.  
[176] When it was put to Mr. Skinner that there was an argument in his written  
submissions to the effect that if there was no hospitality suite, then Ms. Denton could  
not have been deprived of a benefit, Mr. Skinner said that he did the best he could. It  
was frustrating talking to an investigator who did not listen to what he had to say.  
[177] Mr. Skinner was referred to his testimony about the October 17, 2013,  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive meeting, in which he said that it had been important to  
tell his executive about the complaints against him because he feared that he would  
say or do something that would result in another complaint. He stated that he was  
forced to inform it because of the hospitality suite. When it was put to him that he  
could have justified the cancellation of the suite because of the size of the room,  
Mr. Skinner said that hindsight is 20/20. He pointed out that in his appeal, he  
mentioned that he could have done things differently. He said that he was right about  
more complaints being made against him, referring to Ms. Denton’s  
additional allegations.  
[178] The next portion of Mr. Skinners cross-examination dealt with the type of  
sensitivity training that he was directed to take and with the negotiations between his  
representatives and the Institute about this issue. In his testimony, Mr. Skinner  
continued to maintain that the Institute required that the sensitivity training should  
consist of psychological counselling and a psychological report.  
[179] The cross-examination then turned to the apology Mr. Skinner was directed to  
tender. He was asked whether he thought the apology as drafted was qualified or  
unqualified. He said that he and Mr. Tait did not know what was meant by  
unqualifiedand that he should have been allowed to work with Ms. Roy or someone  
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on the BOD to draft the letter, as had Ms. Bittman. Mr. Skinner maintained that the  
draft met the qualification of being of an apology. He stated that it was acceptable,  
especially since it was found that he had not harassed Ms. Mertler. He believed that  
Ms. Mertler should have apologized to the BC/Yukon Regional Executive and the  
BC/Yukon region. Mr. Skinner said that at the time the apologies were prepared, he  
thought that they were unqualified. He asked Ms. Roy how she wanted them drafted;  
he still did not know as of the hearing.  
[180] The cross-examination then dealt with Mr. Skinners assertion that he was not  
found guilty of harassment. He was referred to the complaint and the correspondence  
in which he had made that assertion. Mr. Welchner suggested that when Mr. Skinner  
was found guilty of retaliation, he had also engaged in harassment because PIPSC’s  
policy states that retaliation constitutes harassment. Mr. Skinner asserted that he was  
never charged with retaliation and that he never had the opportunity to defend himself  
against such a charge.  
[181] Mr. Welchner then returned to the issue of sensitivity training. He referred  
Mr. Skinner to several sections of the final reports, in which Ms. Price commented on  
Mr. Skinner’s behaviour, including that he was likely to engage in similar conduct in  
the future. Mr. Skinner said that Ms. Price is not a psychologist and that she did not  
interview his character witnesses. She based her comments on her interviews with his  
political enemies, Ms. Spacek and Mr. Jones, and she was unqualified to make such  
findings. He questioned how Ms. Price came up with those findings and contended that  
she was biased.  
[182] Mr. Skinner said that he was forced to accept Ms. Noonan because PIPSC would  
not accept his proposals for a neutral third party. Concerning his testimony that  
Ms. Noonan said that she was operating in a vacuum, Mr. Skinner was referred to her  
decision on his appeal (Exhibit 2, tab 83) and was asked whether it indicated that she  
had been operating in one. Mr. Skinner said that she based her decision on two flawed  
reports. He tried to submit other documents, but she refused to accept them.  
Mr. Skinner was informed only on the day of the BOD meeting that his appeal had been  
referred to a third party. He had been fully prepared to present his appeal of all three  
complaints to the BOD. He did not agree with the BODs decision to refer it to a third  
party. It knew that he had supporters on it, and it felt that it did not have the votes to  
reject his appeal. In Mr. Lazzaras appeal of his discipline, Mr. Skinner was able to  
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make representations to the BOD and present affidavits from AFS members. He was  
also able to respond to the final report. Mr. Skinner had the opportunity to make  
comments only on the preliminary reports and in his appeal.  
[183] Mr. Skinners allegation of conflict of interest was first raised in his email to  
Ms. Roy on July 10, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 96), several days after the Mertler complaint  
was made. It asked that a third party determine if an investigation was warranted. At  
the time, Mr. Skinner supported Mr. Corbett and believed that he would not receive a  
fair decision from the EC. As for Mr. Fernandos email to Ms. Roy dated August 1, 2013  
(Exhibit 2, tab 97), concerning conflict of interest, Mr. Welchner pointed out that the  
only argument relied on to support such an allegation was the fact that Mr. Skinner  
was in favour of reducing the number of vice-presidents. Mr. Skinner replied that  
Mr. Fernando told him to keep his other arguments in reserve at the time. The BOD  
rejected Mr. Fernandos submission (Exhibit 2, tab 47). Mr. Skinner pointed out that the  
vice-presidents debated and participated in the decision even though they were the  
subjects of his objection.  
[184] Mr. Skinner was directed to his letter of February 25, 2014, to Ms. Roy (Exhibit 2,  
tab 100) and his allegation of conflict of interest because he had supported  
Mr. Lazzara at the BOD. This was the first time Mr. Skinner had raised it in writing. He  
was referred to page 3 of the letter, in which he raised the friendship of Ms. Friesen,  
Ms. Bittman, and Ms. Daviau as a basis for his allegation. When Mr. Welchner stated  
that Mr. Skinner had not relied on that in his appeal (Exhibit 2, tab 66), Mr. Skinner  
replied that he had already made that argument and that he had been allowed only five  
pages for his appeal arguments. He had submitted many documents to Ms. Price,  
which were not in her reports. He cited a statement from Mr. Sahota about the  
hospitality suite, a statement from Mr. Brown about the delegation to the AGM, and a  
statement from Ms. Aschacher.  
[185] Although PIPSC’s Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy states that a BOD  
member could face discipline if he or she fails to declare a conflict of interest,  
Mr. Skinner said that that policy requires making a self-declaration and that a BOD  
member could not be forced to leave the room. He has never known anyone to make a  
complaint against the EC for not declaring a conflict of interest. Mr. Skinner was  
directed to the contents of an appendix to the approved minutes of the EC meeting of  
April 22, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 55), which state that Ms. Friesen left the room based on a  
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conflict of interest. Mr. Welchner also pointed to an email from Ms. Roy to Mr. Skinner  
on March 10, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 95), in which, in the last paragraph, she states that  
Ms. Friesen removed herself from deliberations. Mr. Skinner replied that even though  
that was written, it does not necessarily make it so.  
[186] The next topic dealt with committee selection, as set out in paragraph 12 of  
Mr. Skinners unfair-labour-practice complaint. He attended the BOD meeting of  
February 21 and 22, 2014, during which the BOD began selecting committee members.  
He was referred to section 4.13.1 of the meeting minutes (Exhibit 7), which reflected  
the discussion of the finance committee members. It was pointed out that he had  
testified that in the past, the BOD had accepted the BC/Yukon regions  
recommendations, as it did for other regions. Mr. Skinner testified that before he  
became the regional director, the BC/Yukon Regional Executive would put forward  
names for committees who often were people on the Regional Executive. He stated that  
after some discussion at the BOD, everyone usually got what he or she wanted. That  
changed when Ms. Daviau became president and changed the rules. Mr. Sahota was put  
forward for the Finance Committee, but Mr. Dickson admitted that he selected a nurse  
whose name had been put forward by Ms. Friesen. The minutes indicated that  
Mr. Skinner objected to political interference by Ms. Friesen and by Mr. Burns, who  
worked at the same correctional institution as did Ms. Friesen. According to  
Mr. Skinner, the minutes do not reflect what happened. He alleged that at the next  
meeting of the BOD, Mr. Dickson admitted to what had happened and stated that he  
had been coerced with respect to his choice of Finance Committee members.  
[187] The next part of the cross-examination concerned Mr. Hindle’s complaints and  
the report of a neutral third party, neither of which are entirely relevant to this  
complaint. Those events have already been outlined earlier in this decision in the  
section on the background to the complaint. Mr. Skinner said that his biggest problem  
with Mr. Hindle was that he had a private meeting with delegates to the  
Regional Council.  
[188] With respect to Mr. Skinners concern about the posting of the final  
investigation reports on the Virtual Binder, this issue has also been referred to earlier  
in this decision and needs no further elaboration here.  
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[189] Mr. Skinner was then referred to his testimony that he could not report to the  
BOD what was going on in the BC/Yukon region as he had no idea about it. He  
admitted that after the discipline was imposed on him, he continued to attend regular  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive meetings, which were held five times per year, including  
one at the same time as the Regional Council and one at the same time as the Steward  
Council. Mr. Skinner stated that only one Regional Council meeting was held after the  
discipline was imposed on him. Concerning communication with members of the  
Regional Executive, he did not know two or three committee members, e.g., the nurse  
on the Finance Committee. Part of the discipline required that he had to ask Ms. Daviau  
for funds. Mr. Skinner requested funds for the new Finance Committee member to  
attend the meeting as that person was not a delegate. He also requested funds for  
Mr. Dickson to attend, as he was willing to, but the BOD refused both times. The  
funding refusal was about not wanting Mr. Skinner to be re-elected. When it was put to  
him that he did not need permission to communicate with the newly appointed  
Finance Committee member, Mr. Skinner asked why he should communicate with that  
person if he did not have the funding to send that person to the meeting. If someone  
from the BC/Yukon Regional Executive had been on the Finance Committee, the region  
would have had a report, because his regions constitution required that the member  
submit a report to the Regional Executive. The new committee member never  
communicated with him. Mr. Skinner needed someone to provide a financial update. It  
was not his job to make a presentation. It was the role of either the new member, the  
chief financial officer, or the chair of the Finance Committee.  
[190] Mr. Skinner was referred to his testimony that Ms. Bittman was assisted with her  
apology to David Gray, a PIPSC vice-president, while he was not provided similar  
assistance. He testified he was at the BOD meeting where Atlantic Director Brian  
Thompson was tasked to help Ms. Bittman. Mr. Skinner was referred the minutes of the  
BOD meeting of April 19 and 20, 2013 (Exhibit 27), which state that he had to ensure  
that his apology complies with requirements.When it was put to him that that does  
not mean assistance, Mr. Skinner replied that was Mr. Welchners interpretation.  
Mr. Thompson was assigned to help Ms. Bittman. At the next BOD meeting, he reported  
that the letter had been agreed on and issued (Exhibit 1, tab 15, last page).  
[191] Mr. Skinner was referred to his testimony that Edward Gillis, the chief operating  
officer (COO) and executive secretary, could not have bothered to check PIPSC’s  
website to determine whether the BC/Yukon Regional Executive minutes concerning  
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the hospitality suite being cancelled had been posted. Mr. Skinner said that Mr. Gillis  
often edited the website and that Ms. Roy had a fiduciary responsibility to check the  
website to determine whether the minutes had been posted. As the region received  
funding for the meeting, the minutes had to be posted.  
[192] Mr. Skinner confirmed that he was never denied membership in PIPSC, was  
never expelled from membership, and never had his membership suspended except  
perhaps when he went on three months of sick leave, but he stated that he was  
not certain.  
3. Mr. Skinner: Re-examination  
[193] Mr. Skinner referred to his email to the PIPSC presidents executive assistant,  
Nicole Gauthier, of October 25, 2012 (Exhibit 28). It was sent in response to an earlier  
letter he had received from Mr. Corbett advising him that while Mr. Joness allegations  
did not meet the requirements of a valid harassment complaint, the EC was  
disappointed that he did not avail himself of an opportunity to engage in discussions  
… to attempt to deal with some of the issues raised in the complaint” (Exhibit 2, tab  
58). In his email to Ms. Gauthier, Mr. Skinner indicated that that allegation was  
incorrect and that he had agreed to a meeting that was cancelled by Mr. Burns and  
Mr. Corbett, not by him. Mr. Skinner said that he did not receive a reply to his email to  
Ms. Gauthier. He said that Mr. Corbetts letter of October 24, 2012, alleged that  
Mr. Skinner was unavailable. He stated that that was constantly referred to as an  
example because of his bad behaviour. Everyone knew of his issues with Mr. Jones.  
Mr. Skinner indicated that he did not pursue the issue with Ms. Gauthier because  
Mr. Corbett had asked him not to and had advised him at that time that the letter was  
not disciplinary. As he was a new director, he did as Mr. Corbett asked.  
[194] Mr. Skinner then referred to the minutes of the BOD meeting of April 19 and  
20, 2013 (Exhibit 27, pages 5 and 6), and to the passages concerning providing an  
apology. He characterized the minutes as a summary of the BOD’s discussion. He  
stated that the second paragraph on page 5, which outlined the type of apology  
Ms. Bittman was to provide to Mr. Gray, seemed similar to the directions in his letter of  
discipline. The directions to Ms. Bittman stated that her apology had to be  
unqualifiedand contain no justifications or criticisms of Mr. Gray.She was also  
advised to acknowledge that her actions had constituted harassment. Mr. Skinner then  
compared his draft apology to Ms. Denton (Exhibit 2, tab 86) with Ms. Bittmans  
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apology (Exhibit E-1, tab 15) and said that his letter to Ms. Denton was basically the  
same as Ms. Bittmans, which was qualified. He stated that even though his letter was  
better than hers, nonetheless, it had been refused. He stated that Ms. Bittman was on  
the EC when it decided whether to accept his letter.  
[195] Mr. Skinner then turned to Ms. Roys letter dated September 11, 2013 (Exhibit 2,  
tab 23), advising him that the EC had referred the Friesen and Mertler complaints for  
investigation. He said that the investigation mandate did not state that bad behaviour  
should be looked into but that the EC mandated only investigating harassment. In his  
opinion, the matter should have gone to the BOD.  
[196] Mr. Skinner referred to Ms. Roys letter to him dated June 24, 2014, advising him  
that the BOD had retained the services of a neutral third party to decide his appeal  
(Exhibit 2, tab 71), to “… avoid any perception of lack of impartiality.He said that that  
meant a perception of bias or a conflict of interest. The BOD said as much on  
June 24, 2014, even though Mr. Skinner and his representatives had said so all along.  
He questioned why the BOD had not said so before then.  
[197] Mr. Skinner then referred to Ms. Roys email to Mr. Fernando of  
September 9, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 98), advising him that there had been an insufficient  
quorum at the EC meeting to deal with the issue of conflict of interest. Mr. Skinner said  
that had Mr. Fernando been listened to, he would not be here today. The matter should  
have been dealt with appropriately.  
[198] Lastly, Mr. Skinner referred to the third paragraph of an email he wrote to  
Ms. Roy and Mr. Gillis on July 25, 2014 (Exhibit 2, tab 121), and to his testimony that  
he believed that Ms. Friesen had been involved in the BOD or EC meetings when his  
case was being discussed, despite her alleged recusal. In the email, he stated that  
from the EC closed session minuteshe understood that Ms. Friesen was present in  
the room and by extension more likely than not, fully engaged and influencing the EC  
at the EC closed session.Mr. Skinner stated this is where he obtained the relevant  
paragraph in his complaint. He noted that he had never received a response to that  
email stating that he was wrong. His recollection is that Ms. Friesen was in the EC’s  
closed session when his case was being discussed.  
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4. Ms. Aschacher  
a. Examination-in-chief  
[199] Ms. Aschacher, a nurse, has been a member of PIPSC since 1981. She has lived in  
Whitehorse, Yukon, since 1990 and has been a member of the branch and group  
executive since 1993. She was on the executive during the tenure of three regional  
directors. She has been named Yukon Steward of the Year and Regional Steward of  
the Year.  
[200] The first regional director she served with was Mr. Jones. Ms. Aschacher  
assumed that issues raised with the BC/Yukon Regional Executive were automatically  
brought to the BOD. During an AGM when Ms. Daviau was a vice-president, they met in  
a hallway. Ms. Daviau told her that when Mr. Jones addressed the BOD, he would table  
an issue, but she made it clear that it was what his Regional Executive wanted him to  
raise and that he would indicate that he did not support it. Ms. Daviau said that that  
was not very good. Ms. Aschacher agreed.  
[201] The next regional director she served with was Mr. Skinner. She described him  
as a much-respected member of PIPSC who had significant experience representing  
members. The BC/Yukon Regional Executive were excited to have an experienced  
person whom they knew would represent their issues at the BOD. When Mr. Skinner  
was the regional director, matters were handled professionally. Issues were arrived at  
by discussion at the Regional Executive. They agreed by consensus on the issues to be  
brought to the BOD. Consensus was reached either by vote or by going around  
the table.  
[202] Ms. Aschacher then referred to the minutes of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive  
meeting of October 17, 2013, concerning the hospitality suite (Exhibit 1, tab 14). Under  
item 21, titled Roundtable, the following reference is found: No Hospitality room at  
this years Steward Council.As background to that decision, Ms. Aschacher said that it  
was normal to have some hospitality. The regional director would have a larger room  
to host. But once they arrived at the resort, they noticed that Mr. Skinner was given a  
smaller room with a couch and one bathroom that did not hold many people and that  
was not appropriate for hosting a hospitality suite. At a Steward Council meeting, 80 to  
90 people would attend. At the Regional Executive meeting the day before the Steward  
Council meeting, Mr. Skinner had expressed concern. Without stating any names, it was  
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mentioned that a complaint had been made against him. There was a consensus that  
there should not be a hospitality suite, and it was not advertised as one. Anyone could  
have stopped by, but there was nothing formal about it.  
[203] Ms. Aschacher communicated with PIPSC’s legal section for guidance on the  
protocol for the next meeting(Exhibit 1, tab 12). Mr. Sahota was the chair of the  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive, and Ms. Aschacher was the vice-chair. The reply  
indicated that the business of the region was to proceed in its normal course, including  
meetings of the Regional Executive. Her interpretation of the reply was that it was not  
helpful. She had expected something like what is taught in harassment training, which  
is to keep the parties apart. Ms. Aschacher wanted some direction from PIPSC. The  
BC/Yukon Regional Executive was a toxic environment of which PIPSC was aware and  
about which it was not helpful.  
[204] Ms. Aschacher said that in December 2013, she was interviewed by Ms. Price in  
Vancouver during a lunch break at a BC/Yukon Regional Executive meeting. When  
Ms. Price told her that she could have someone with her as a representative,  
Ms. Aschacher said that she did not know anyone and that she was from Whitehorse,  
so having a representative was not appropriate at that time. Ms. Price then asked her  
questions. She was not asked to review or sign her witness statement and never heard  
of it again. Ms. Aschacher believed that Ms. Price asked her about the hospitality suite,  
but she did not recall what she said.  
[205] Ms. Aschacher said that as of the Steward Council meeting, Mr. Skinner was  
being brutalized. At the meeting, which took place the day after the Regional  
Executive meeting, Ms. Aschacher sat at a table with members she did not know well.  
One of them said that they had to support Ms. Denton. When Ms. Aschacher asked  
why, the member said it was because Ms. Denton was being bullied by the executive.  
When she asked where the member had obtained that information, the reply was that  
she had been hearing it around.Ms. Aschacher said that that is when she realized  
that Ms. Denton was against the whole executive.  
[206] Mr. Skinner told Ms. Aschacher about Ms. Dentons complaint because she was  
to be a witness in its investigation, and he had to defend himself. She did not view that  
as a breach of confidentiality.  
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[207] She was then referred to the final report on the Denton complaint (Exhibit 2, tab  
53, page 47) and to the first italicized paragraph about the hospitality suite, which  
referred to Mr. Skinner not allowing the complainant into his hospitality suite. She  
stated that it was not accurate. The information about the hospitality suite was posted  
before the complaint investigation, so PIPSC knew about it.  
[208] Ms. Aschacher stated that she disagreed with the statement in the fourth  
paragraph of Ms. Roys summary of the Friesen complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 20, Appendix  
A), which describes members of BCbeing afraid to go against Mr. Skinner as they  
claimed that he was a bully and fear his reprimand. She stated that she did not know  
what that meant. The regional director has no authority to reprimand. The members of  
the executive have been in PIPSC a long time and should know that the regional  
director has no such authority. PIPSC knew what was going on, as it offered mediation  
to the executive but then let it continue, to the point of ridiculousness.  
[209] Concerning PIPSC sending Mr. Hindle to monitor meetings, Ms. Aschacher did  
not think that he was impartial. She thought that he was sent to see how bad things  
were. Ms. Roy wrote that the BC/Yukon Regional Executive was disrespectful and  
not inclusive.  
[210] During the entire time it was being told how bad of an executive it was, PIPSC  
never told it how PIPSC could help. Sending in Mr. Hindle almost made it more divisive.  
Ms. Aschacher did not know what behaviour was acceptable for PIPSC. Her view was  
that there was a lack of leadership at PIPSC. It tried to focus on Mr. Skinner, and it  
hobbled him. It brought him and the whole executive down. Ms. Aschacher tried  
several times to talk to Ms. Daviau, but she refused to talk.  
[211] From Ms. Aschachers observation, the EC singled out Mr. Skinner. He was  
causing all the problems, and he had to be dealt with. It took place over time. The EC  
refused to let him travel, cut off his funding, and took away his regional director  
duties. He went from being respected and being a good representative of the members  
to being a joke.  
[212] Ms. Aschacher was then referred to the Denton preliminary report (Exhibit 2, tab  
50, page 56, second bullet) and stated that she disagreed with the statement that  
Mr. Skinner had a “… history of conflict with both men and women.She said that the  
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executive respected him. They would have lunch and sometimes dinner together.  
Ms. Denton would join them.  
[213] Ms. Aschacher agreed with the statement that Ms. Denton had bullied and  
harassed Mr. Skinner. She said that Ms. Denton was not a productive or particularly  
helpful member of the executive and that she was dismissive of Mr. Skinner.  
[214] Ms. Aschacher said that PIPSC retaliated rather than being helpful. Mr. Skinner  
was invited to an AFS branch meeting by the executive, which was told that if he  
showed up, he was to be escorted out. He did attend, and the branch was reprimanded  
by the removal of some of its funding. Ms. Aschacher stated that she is aware of that  
because the AFS branch president came to the executive for help having the funding  
restored. To Ms. Aschacher, it seemed that Mr. Skinner was being targeted by PIPSC.  
[215] Concerning the proposed reduction to the number of vice-presidents,  
Ms. Aschacher said that the BC/Yukon Regional Executive proposed a resolution to  
bring to the AGM. It was one of several resolutions brought to the Regional Council for  
the delegates’ approval. She said that Ms. Denton was upset with the resolution  
because she had just been elected as a vice-president. She wanted an emergency EC  
meeting to review the resolution and to have it withdrawn. Ms. Denton usually did not  
show up at B.C. functions, but she attended that one Regional Council meeting and left  
when the resolution was brought up for discussion. Ms. Aschacher knew that  
Ms. Denton was upset because of her emails to the EC.  
b. Cross-examination  
[216] Ms. Aschacher did not recall whether, at the BC/Yukon Regional Executive  
meeting of October 17, 2013, the appropriateness of having complainants in the  
hospitality suite was discussed. The discussion was about whether there would be a  
hospitality suite.  
[217] Concerning the interview with Ms. Price and the offer of a representative,  
Ms. Aschacher acknowledged that she could have said that she would not be  
interviewed without one but stated that she had not thought of it. She is a nurse and  
does not have a law background. Ms. Price did not present options, such as  
interviewing by telephone. Ms. Aschacher was in Vancouver; she did not know anyone.  
When she was asked why she did not ask that the meeting be deferred, she replied that  
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she did not know that doing so was an option. Ms. Aschacher stated that she did not  
read Ms. Prices investigation report.  
[218] Ms. Aschacher was referred to the Denton final report (Exhibit 2, tab 53, page  
49, at the last paragraph) and to her comment to the investigator that Ms. Roy’s reply  
to her request to PIPSC’s legal section asking how to proceed with meetings given the  
complaint didnt say much.Ms. Aschacher said that that was correct. Ms. Roy  
responded on October 15, and the meeting was held on October 17. The timing of the  
response did not allow for a follow-up before the meeting. PIPSC’s assistance was slow  
to come. She hoped that PIPSC would help make the meeting go smoothly, but it said  
to continue with the business of the day, which was not functional. PIPSC was aware of  
many complaints from the BC/Yukon region.  
[219] When she was asked if she had asked Ms. Roy whether complainants should be  
admitted to the hospitality suite, Ms. Aschacher said that she did not know that it  
would be an issue. When she was asked if before arriving at the resort, she thought  
that there would be a hospitality suite, she replied that at the time, it was not a big  
deal. If Ms. Denton wanted to go to the suite, it was her choice.  
[220] The Denton final report was then referenced, specifically Ms. Aschachers  
discussion with Mr. MacDougall and Mr. Skinner as to whether Ms. Denton should be  
allowed into the suite. The third paragraph on page 48 states that Mr. Skinner advised  
the investigator as follows: I have to avoid them …”. Ms. Aschacher said that it did not  
happen that way. They discussed it and thought that it was not a good idea. It was  
brought to the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, which made the decision. To  
Ms. Aschacher, it was not that big of a deal. She said that she has good recall of it. The  
decision was not made by her, Mr. Skinner, and Mr. MacDougall. She was directed to  
page 49, at which the investigator wrote that she had asked Mr. Skinner if he said he  
would not allow the complainants into the hospitality suiteand that he had replied  
that that was the case. Ms. Aschacher did not recall Mr. Skinner saying that. When she  
was asked if it was possible that he said it and that she did not recall, she replied that  
anything is possible. She specified that whatever was said before the executive meeting  
did not matter because the executive made the decision.  
[221] Ms. Aschacher was then asked about statements she had reportedly made to the  
investigator with respect to a conversation she had with Ms. Denton about the  
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hospitality suite and whether Ms. Denton intended to attend. Ms. Aschacher did not  
recall her statement and stated that she had not been given a copy of the report. As far  
as she knew, Ms. Denton was in the room during the Regional Executives discussion  
about the hospitality suite. She stated that she knew about Ms. Dentons complaint but  
that she did not know whether anyone else on the executive knew of it.  
[222] No invitation to the hospitality suite was sent out. Ms. Aschacher stated that  
the word gets out pretty fast. She went to Mr. Skinners room, where only a handful  
of people had gathered; she did not stay long.  
[223] Ms. Aschacher was then directed to the minutes of the EC meeting of  
July 3, 2013 (Exhibit 2, tab 20), which state that B.C. members felt that Mr. Skinner was  
a bullyand that they feared his reprimand. When it was put to her that she would  
not know if a member felt that way, Ms. Aschacher said that she relied on her  
observations at the meetings she attended. Mr. Skinner attended meetings before he  
became the regional director, and she never saw that anyone was afraid of him. She  
stated that she does not believe that members in B.C. were afraid of him and claimed  
that he was a bully. When it was put to her that she could not know every B.C. member  
and whether each one was afraid of Mr. Skinner, Ms. Aschacher replied, You mean just  
like the person who made that statement knows every person.She said that she was  
not saying that she knows more or less than the person who made the statement.  
[224] Concerning her testimony that she was disappointed that PIPSC made no  
attempt to deal with the situation in the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, such as using  
mediation, Ms. Aschacher was asked if she knew that Mr. Skinner had turned down an  
offer to informally resolve the complaint. She replied that she did not know that and  
that she did not know what was offered to one person, only what was offered to the  
executive as a whole.  
[225] Ms. Aschachers view was that Mr. Hindle was not impartial because he arrived  
with a bit of an attitudeto observe the workings of the executive and Mr. Skinner in  
particular. He never spoke to her. She was the chair of the Communications Committee  
when Mr. Hindle came into the meeting and sat down. She asked him why he was there,  
and he said because Mr. Skinner would attend. When she told him that Mr. Skinner  
would not attend, Mr. Hindle left. It was a missed opportunity to discuss issues. To  
her, it felt as though Mr. Hindle had been sent to see how disrespectful and divisive the  
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executive was. He was not there to discuss issues. He sat at meetings, took notes, and  
never asked for feedback. Ms. Roy had written an email stating that the executive had  
been found disrespectful and non-inclusive. Ms. Aschacher said that the email was no  
longer on her phone. When Mr. Welchner told her that he understood that Ms. Roy had  
said the opposite, Ms. Aschacher replied that in a meeting that Mr. Hindle attended,  
she had read the email to him from her phone. I note that PIPSCs position is that no  
such email exists.  
[226] Ms. Aschacher was then referred to Ms. Roys letter of May 30, 2014, addressed  
to the BC/Yukon Regional Executive (Exhibit 2, tab 119), in which she advised it that  
the Institute had dismissed its complaint against the ECs decision to appoint  
Mr. Hindle to work with the Regional Executive. Ms. Roy stated that the complaint was  
found frivolous and without merit. Ms. Aschacher stated that she said that in a  
comparable workplace, a grid was in place to ensure equal treatment. If one is in good  
favour with PIPSC, things are dismissed easily. She stated there were different  
outcomes to different complaints by different people, depending on where they stood.  
Mr. Skinner was not a particular favourite of the BOD, and she said that he was  
disciplined to the nth degree.Ms. Aschacher had served on the executive with three  
different directors. Robert MacDonald was in PIPSC’s favour and obtained what the  
Regional Executive wanted. He held three meetings in Victoria, British Columbia, and  
members asked where the money was coming from. Mr. Skinner had begged to hold  
any meeting outside Vancouver. But when he was the regional director, the members  
always knew where the money went.  
[227] When she was asked to explain her testimony that Mr. Skinner had been  
brutalized, she stated that she meant that he was completely defeated emotionally.  
He was unfairly beaten down. When she was asked whether her view was that PIPSC  
caused the complaints to be made, Ms. Aschacher said that it was poor leadership to  
let things reach the point that Mr. Skinner was stripped of his functions.  
[228] When she was asked whether it was unfair that Ms. Dentons complaint was  
investigated, Ms. Aschacher replied that she understood that a complaint goes to the  
BOD and that if it thinks that it should be investigated, then it is investigated.  
Mr. Welchner then stated that the general counsel decides if a complaint is to be  
investigated. Ms. Aschacher stated that she thought that a complaint should not be  
investigated if the matter at issue could be talked out.  
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[229] Ms. Aschacher was referred to PIPSCs offer of mediation in the Friesen  
complaint (Exhibit 2, tab 17). She expressed that she thought that it was a good step  
but that it also depended on when it occurred. She was not saying whether the  
investigation should have occurred. PIPSC let things go too long. The fact that the  
Denton complaint was investigated was not a factor in Ms. Aschacher’s conclusion that  
Mr. Skinner was brutalizedby PIPSC. She stated that her comment needed to be put  
in the context that at the time, she was being questioned by Ms. Price. Three different  
people had made complaints against Mr. Skinner.  
[230] Ms. Aschacher stated that she believes that the Friesen and Mertler complaints  
were part of the brutalization of Mr. Skinner. She did not think that things should have  
gone as far as they did. PIPSC should have stepped in earlier. Ms. Aschacher served on  
the executive with Ms. Denton for years, yet Ms. Denton had never told her that she  
had a problem with Mr. Skinner. When she was challenged on her allegation that PIPSC  
did not step in early enough, Ms. Aschacher acknowledged that she had no first-hand  
knowledge of whether PIPSC knew of the complaints in advance. However, she added  
that she thought that a complaint should not be made without warning, and  
Ms. Denton never said a word. Ms. Aschacher then stated that as Ms. Denton had told  
people that she was being bullied by the executive at the Steward Council, How did  
PIPSC not know?Mr. Welchner pointed out that Ms. Aschacher could not assert any  
knowledge of the issue.  
[231] Concerning her testimony that the EC or BOD singled out Mr. Skinner and that  
he was a target, Ms. Aschacher stated that she based it on the complaints, Mr. Hindles  
observation of Mr. Skinner, and the continual attack on him. Ms. Aschacher said that  
the onus is on the person being harassed to notify the harasser that something needs  
to stop. Ms. Denton had received considerable harassment training and should have  
known what to do.  
[232] Ms. Aschacher asserted that her view was that the EC or the BOD had targeted  
Mr. Skinner, as complaints go to legal counsel, and the BOD is aware of them. At some  
point, the EC and BOD should step in and do something.  
[233] With respect to the Denton preliminary report (Exhibit 2, tab 50), Ms. Aschacher  
agreed with the first sentence on page 54, in which Mr. Skinner alleged that he was  
being “‘bullied and harassedby Ms. Denton.Ms. Aschacher stated that Ms. Denton  
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was a poor performer who caused issues. For her, making a harassment complaint  
without discussing it with the person beforehand is bullying. Ms. Denton said that she  
was singled out in a meeting, which did not happen.  
c. Re-examination  
[234] In reference to her testimony about PIPSC’s knowledge of the hospitality suite,  
Ms. Aschacher stated that she assumed that PIPSC and its legal section knew that there  
would be one because the larger functions always have one. Generally, the regional  
director has a larger room. If there is a proper hospitality suite, a notice is issued. If  
there is no formal suite, it is announced by word of mouth.  
[235] The Steward Council is open to all stewards. The delegates to the Regional  
Council (about 65 of them) represent members of the BC/Yukon region. Ms. Aschacher  
confirmed that she socialized with them but that nobody said anything about bullying.  
5. Mr. Sahota  
a. Examination-in-chief  
[236] Mr. Sahotas PIPSC experience includes being a steward from 2010 through  
2014; being named Steward of the Year for 2014; being the vice-president of the  
Vancouver subgroup, then the vice-president and president of the Vancouver CRA  
branch; being the regional representative for the AFS on the national executive; and  
finally, being a member and the chair of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive. He holds  
both Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant  
(CMA) professional designations.  
[237] Mr. Sahota was shown the first paragraph of the Denton complaint (Exhibit 2,  
tab 41), in which Ms. Denton states that in addition to being harassed by Mr. Skinner,  
she also felt harassed by Mr. Sahota. He said that PIPSC did not notify him about it but  
agreed that he had seen the document. Without knowing its substance, it appeared to  
be a complaint about him.  
[238] Concerning the allegation in the second paragraph of the complaint to the effect  
that Mr. Skinner had blockedMs. Dentons attendance at the PIPSC’s AGM, Mr. Sahota  
said that at that time, he was responsible for delegate allocation. He then explained the  
delegate allocation in detail, none of which is relevant to my decision.  
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[239] The next part of Mr. Sahotas testimony dealt with the selection process for the  
Steward of the Year award. First, he stated that to correct the recent apathy  
surrounding the award and to increase its profile, the BC/Yukon Regional Executive  
had decided to advertise its availability. It had also decided that there would be no  
award in years of an insufficient number of nominees or candidates. In 2013, no  
Steward of the Year award was given due to such an insufficient number of candidates.  
[240] Mr. Sahota was referred to investigation report in the Denton internal complaint  
and to the allegation of bullying against Mr. Skinner. He stated that he disagreed with  
the comments; Mr. Skinner helped Ms. Denton become involved at the branch and  
regional levels. She had previously been unknown to Mr. Sahota or to others. He was  
unaware of gender bias at the BC/Yukon level and could not speak to PIPSC at the  
national level. Mr. Sahota stated that he did not consider an individuals gender when  
considering the person’s suitability for a union role and did not think that Mr. Skinner  
did either. Anyone willing to become involved in and work with PIPSC is considered.  
[241] Mr. Sahota gave Ms. Denton directions as to how delegates were selected and the  
criteria that had to be followed. When she did not follow the criteria, he told her,  
Chalk it up to a learning experience.Ms. Denton had put her name forward as a  
delegate. Mr. Sahota said that she was probably the last person qualifiedto attend  
the AGM that year.  
[242] Mr. Sahota was again referred to the Denton investigation report and the  
allegations contained in it. He stated that it indicated that Ms. Denton aspired to move  
up in the union. In his experience at the BC/Yukon Regional Executive, she had never  
wanted to work. Her job was to take minutes and when she took them, they were well  
done. They were generally late, and she had to be called to complete them. She did not  
do much of what she said she did. She discussed her political aspirations. When they  
did not work out, she worked to undermine Mr. Skinner and her other  
political opponents.  
[243] Mr. Sahota was referred to page 47 of the Denton final report, concerning the  
hospitality suite. He stated he was not at the October 17, 2013, BC/Yukon Regional  
Executive meeting but that he did attend the October 18 Steward Council meeting. He  
was told of the decision not to have a hospitality suite. Mr. Skinner did not want to be  
alone with the complainants, whoever they were. There was no announcement to  
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delegates that there was a hospitality suite. Individuals could just show up if they  
wanted to. Very few did. When Mr. Sahota was there, some just entered and then left.  
The suite was cancelled because the room was too small. Mr. Sahota had hosted  
hospitality suites, which were always held in larger rooMs. Had he had Mr. Skinners  
room, he would not have hosted a hospitality suite.  
[244] Mr. Sahota acknowledged that he was interviewed by Ms. Price. When he was  
asked if she discussed the October 17, 2013, incident, he replied that the bulk of her  
questions were about delegate selection and whether Mr. Skinner had interfered with  
Ms. Dentons place as a delegate to the AGM. He did not have a good recall as to what  
he said, because Ms. Price never gave him a document about his statement to her.  
[245] Mr. Sahota was then referred to page 48 of the final report and to the issue of  
Mr. Skinner having obtained witness statements. Mr. Sahota recalled that Mr. Skinner  
asked him to write down what he remembered, as a complaint had been made, and  
Mr. Skinner might need a statement from him. Mr. Sahota said that that is how  
stewards normally prepare. Mr. Skinner did not attempt to influence him. Mr. Skinner  
told him the name of the complainant but not the substance of the complaint.  
Mr. Sahota did not view that as a breach of confidentiality. Mr. Sahota provided a  
statement to Ms. Price, but not to Mr. Skinner or his representative. Ms. Price did not  
give Mr. Sahota a document to review and never returned any document to him.  
[246] Concerning bad behaviour, Mr. Sahota said that PIPSC never provided him with a  
document setting out what would be considered bad behaviour. He has his views but  
stated that what PIPSC perceives as bad behaviour depends on the person or those in  
power. Swearing does not seem to be bad behaviour for PIPSC because it is  
commonplace. At a PIPSC-sanctioned event, he was called a racially offensive term.  
Such comments were quite common at PIPSC events. At times in meetings, matters  
become heated. If someone has a different view, people become loud and will swear.  
Under PIPSC’s Harassment Policy, generally, it is not to be tolerated, but it depends on  
whether people complain, and not many do. If an individual observes such harassment,  
the person can act on it. Mr. Sahota would expect those in PIPSC to do the same.  
Mr. Sahota said that not all harassment complaints have to go to PIPSC’s legal section,  
as they can be dealt with locally. He said that as a branch president, he should be able  
to address one. If someone uses profanity at a meeting, he would not be persuaded  
that it would be harassment in the context of a PIPSC meeting, while it might be in  
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another context. PIPSC does not provide training on bad behaviour at its meetings or  
on what would be unacceptable behaviour for elected officials.  
[247] Concerning whether PIPSC had a disciplinary grid, as did the CRA, indicating the  
consequences of bad behaviour, Mr. Sahota stated that it did not. Union  
representatives use the CRA grid to defend employees. Mr. Sahota thinks that PIPSC  
needs some document setting out what constitutes bad behaviour and what is  
acceptable, which would indicate its organizational values.  
[248] Mr. Sahota then reasserted that the application of discipline at PIPSC depends  
on who is in power. The might of the entire organization is brought against  
individuals, who are then alone. Those to whom the people in power are sympathetic  
receive resources, and the others are left to themselves, regardless of the merits of the  
situation. Mr. Sahota has argued in the past that in an internal complaint, either both  
sides should be provided representation, or neither side should receive it. He has never  
had an internal complaint made against him. He made such a complaint against PIPSC  
and had no resources; no one in PIPSC was prepared to defend him, and he was on his  
own. For almost every complaint Mr. Sahota has observed, those who were not  
represented tended to be on the outs. The people on the EC, acting in concert with  
senior PIPSC staff, such as legal counsel and Mr. Gillis, the chief operating officer  
(COO), bring it to bearon the individual. It is a daunting experience.  
[249] Mr. Sahota does not think that the process is remotely fair. As union officials,  
they would not tolerate it in the workplace. Virtually all the processes are generally  
unfair, particularly if members of the EC or PIPSC senior staff have a particular interest  
in the matter. Mr. Skinner was the regional director. The EC might have had gripes with  
him, but it interfered with the way the BC/Yukon Regional Executive did business. The  
executive complained, but in vain, because, in Mr. Sahota’s words, “Youre complaining  
to people whom youre complaining about. They hold the hammer.”  
[250] Mr. Sahota stated that while the process may look good superficially on paper, it  
is not in fact good. For a harassment complaint, PIPSC selects the investigator,  
determines the mandate, and limits who the investigator talks to, and the EC is given  
the investigation report before the complainant or his or her representative sees it.  
PIPSC can tinker with it, as they hire and pay the investigator. The EC makes a decision  
even if the complaint involves it. It then goes to the BOD, so the EC gets to vote again  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and  
Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act  
Reasons for Decision  
Page: 60 of 193  
on its decision. It would be more appropriate if EC members were removed from the  
vote. While Mr. Skinner