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Notes from JR of Rancourt Arb Award – Appeal of Motion Decision

April 29, 2016

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) continues toward a hearing of its Application for Judicial Review of the Award of Arbitrator Claude Foisy upholding the dismissal of Professor Denis Rancourt from the University of Ottawa.

The APUO won a motion hearing in October 2015, allowing it to submit affidavit evidence to supplement the record of the arbitration proceeding.

The University appealed that motion decision, and the appeal was heard today before a panel of three Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) judges.

Typed transcript-notes from this morning’s hearing are posted here.


Videos of uOttawa Senate meetings

March 10, 2016

I was a representative for graduate students at the University of Ottawa Senate in the academic years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.

Although the Senate’s meetings are professionally filmed, the university removes older videos from its website. Therefore, I have uploaded to YouTube copies of the videos from the Senate meetings at which I was most involved.

A list of links to these videos is below. I have also included a link to the Minutes for each meeting. Note that Student’s-Eye View contains many posts that explain and provide additional information regarding items discussed during these meetings.

I hope that these videos will be useful for future representatives to the University of Ottawa Senate.

2010-09-13: Video | Minutes
2010-11-01: Video | Minutes
2010-12-06: Video | Minutes
2011-01-10: Video | Minutes
2011-02-07: Video | Minutes
2011-03-07: Video | Minutes
2011-04-04: Video | Minutes
2011-05-02: Video | Minutes
2011-06-06: Video | Minutes
2011-09-12: Video | Minutes
2011-10-03: Video | Minutes
2011-11-07: Video | Minutes
2011-12-05: Video | Minutes

“Profs sue uOttawa over executives’ pay hike”

December 18, 2015

“We were so, you could say, ‘insulted’ at the lack of response from the board of governors, and even the minister, that one of the only ways left to get the information we want, and to figure out if this was legal or illegal, was to bring it to the courts,” association president Jennifer Dekker said Friday.

“We’ve read the law. We think it’s illegal.”

In October, the APUO wrote to Moridi urging a “transparent public investigation” into the raises given to vice-president of research Dr. Mona Nemer and to Dr. Jacques Bradwejn, dean of the School of Medicine, the person who approved Nemer’s raise.

Nemer’s pay jumped by $132,304 — or 50 per cent — between 2012 and 2014, pushing her salary to $392,058, according to Ontario’s sunshine salary disclosure list. The association complained about the increase to the university’s board of governors last summer summer. — Ottawa Citizen, Dec. 17, 2015, “Profs sue uOttawa over exectives’ pay hike

See also: La Rotonde, Oct. 5, 2015: “Qu’est-ce que l’APUO? Rencontre avec Jennifer Dekker, présidente

Carleton U board members sworn to secrecy

November 29, 2015

As reported yesterday in the Ottawa Citizen:

‘Biology professor Root Gorelick, the faculty representative refusing to sign onto the new edict, has blogged about the board meetings.

“It apparently gets me in trouble,’ he said Saturday, “but I keep doing it. I have been told informally and somewhat more formally that is has to cease.”

The board executive committee is comprised of non-university members and Gorelick said he would be “speculating” if he said his blogs had sparked the new rule.

“There could be other reasons, I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t think of any other reasons but there certainly is a possibility.”’ – Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa again ordered to release Allan Rock’s emails

October 26, 2015

“I conclude that the university has not discharged its onus and that there is no reasonable expectation of harm identified by the university occurring if the records are disclosed.” — Para. 25, Final Order PO-3540-F.

In August 2015, we reported on an Interim Order of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) that ordered the University of Ottawa to release emails between President Allan Rock and his former Chief of Staff, Stephan Emard-Chabot.

We recently received the IPC’s Final Order (PO-3540-F) on this matter. This decision orders the university to release another set of records, which were withheld on the basis of section 17 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a section intended to protect the “informational assets” of third parties who provide information to a public institution. None of the third parties contacted by the adjudicator objected to disclosure of the information pertaining to them:

[15] As noted above, I notified the five third-parties of this appeal and provided them with the opportunity to make representations. One of the third-parties did not respond. The others responded as follows:

• One third-party stated that the records relating to it “may be released to the [appellant]”.

• One third-party stated that it had “no concerns regarding the disclosure of the information”…

• One third-party stated that it had “no objection”…

• One third-party stated that it was “ok with [the] request”…

[16] The third-parties did not file representations beyond these statements.

The access to information request was filed in September 2011. The Final Order is dated Oct. 15, 2015.

Records to follow.

Access Denied in Ontario: A Critical Examination of the Roles of the University, the Commissioner, the Legislature, and the Courts

October 16, 2015

Available here on is a chapter I wrote in 2014 for a book about Freedom of Information in Canada. The chapter is entitled “Access Denied in Ontario: A Critical Examination of the Roles of the University, the Commissioner, the Legislature, and the Courts”.

The chapter was accepted by the academic editors of the volume as “excellent” and an “important and unique contribution to the collection”, but was later rejected by the publicly-funded publisher.

Notes from Judicial Review of Rancourt Arbitration Award – Motion Hearing

October 8, 2015

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (the “Union”) has appealed Arbitrator Foisy’s decision to uphold the dismissal of former Professor of Physics Denis Rancourt. The appeal takes the form of an application for judicial review to the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

As a preliminary matter, the University moved to strike out the Union’s affidavit submitted with its application for judicial review. The motion was heard today before Justice Robert Scott at the Ottawa Courthouse on Elgin St.

My typed notes from today’s motion hearing can be read here.

See here for my typed notes from the Foisy arbitration.

Update: Judicial Endorsement of Justice R. Scott available here.