The complainant was an official of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who took exception to the manner in which one of his employees was treated by a member of the Immigration Division (ID).
The allegations in the complaint relate to the member’s behavior. It is alleged that the member was rude and disrespectful towards the CBSA employee. The CBSA employee felt humiliated and belittled by the member. It is also alleged that the member’s behaviour had a negative impact on representatives from an outside organization who witnessed the exchange.
The allegations relate to an incident which took place outside the hearing room. the CBSA had allocated two vacant hearing rooms normally used for ID hearings to the outside organization for the purpose of regular visits for interviews. The member noticed, from security monitors in the members’ preparation room, that individuals unknown to him were in the hearing room and that the microphones used for audio recording of ID hearings had been disconnected. The member went to find out who the individuals were, and subsequently had a heated exchange with the CBSA employee.
The Director of Integrity pursued informal resolution of the complaint under paragraph 5.3 of the
Procedures for Making a Complaint About a Member (Complaints Procedures). However, the complainant chose to proceed with the formal process.
The Chairperson referred the complaint to the Office of Integrity for investigation under paragraph 5.5 of the Complaints Procedures.
The member was invited to provide a written response to the allegations in the complaint.
Investigations typically involve incidents in the hearing room, for which audio recording of the proceedings are available. In this instance, the incident occurred outside the hearing context and those most directly involved were interviewed personally by the Director of Integrity.
The Director of Integrity prepared draft findings of fact and analysis and provided both parties with an opportunity to make submissions.
In the investigation report, the Director of Integrity indicated that different views were expressed regarding what was said, and regarding the tone, volume and underlying intent of the member’s actions. The Director of Integrity found that it was a regrettable incident that should have been avoided altogether. By his own admission, the member should have shared his concerns with his manager and not intervened personally. While not accepting the way all of his behaviour was characterized in the complaint, the member recognized that he could and should have handled himself more appropriately.
The Director of Integrity concluded that the conduct of the member on that day fell short of what is expected of IRB members in their interactions with others. The demonstrated behaviours were found not to be in keeping with members’ obligations under the
Code of Conduct.
The Chairperson reviewed the investigation report. He was satisfied that the investigation was thorough and fair. the Chairperson accepted the conclusions in the report and decided that there was a breach of the Code of Conduct.
Both parties were informed about the resolution of the complaint in the Chairperson’s decision letters of October 31, 2019.
The Deputy Chairperson of the ID was informed of the results of the investigation.
The Chairperson discussed the matter with the member and confirmed his expectations of conduct going forward. In his decision letter to the member, the Chairperson noted that the member recognized that his behaviour fell short of expectations and that the member accepted responsibility for his actions.
The Chairperson was satisfied that the member was fully aware of the expected standard of conduct and that such an incident will not occur again.
The Chairperson concluded that there was no need for any further follow-up action.
The complaint was founded and the file was closed.