CALGARY — She was the victim of gossip and rumours; her supervisor called her colleagues and contacts at home after hours in an effort to dig up dirt on her; and she was told there was no room for "a damn woman" in her chosen field.What consummate madness! And had there been no AHRC to complain to? This lunacy would have been wrapped up a long, long time ago.
"My life became hell," Delorie Walsh said Monday afternoon, recounting years of humiliation and harassment at the hands of her former employer — retaliation for her filing a human rights complaint for gender discrimination.
"It was beyond stress. My self-esteem was being destroyed."
The story of Delorie Walsh — a veritable female version of David versus Goliath — is irrefutable proof that some experiences don't get any easier in the re-telling.
As she recounts the period of her life stretching out several years, the silver-haired 53-year-old grows increasingly shaky and upset. By the time she gets to Feb. 21, 1995 — the day she was fired by her employer of a decade — she is breaking down in tears and barely able to speak.
It isn't the first time she's had to share her personal story of pain before a judge and other participants in a cold Calgary hearing room.
In fact, it isn't even the second or third time.
Nearly two decades after she first filed a complaint against her former employer with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, Walsh found herself yet again Monday having to revisit those days.
A human rights complaint in Alberta — from first filing to final resolution — takes, on average, a little over a year. At 19 years, Walsh vs. Mobil has the dubious distinction of being the longest ongoing case in its 37-year history...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Almost Two Decades of "Hurt Feelings"
One of the (lame) reasons why our state inquisitions, the "human rights" commissions and tribunals, were established in the first place was to "speed up" the judicial process so that "victims" could get redress quicker than they could in a regular court. It hasn't exactly worked out that way, as the "human rights" process can drag on for years, the process itself being part of the punishment for the respondent, and a grind even for the complainant. Here, for example, is the mother of all "human rights" cases--and, certainly, one for the Guinness Book of Records--one in Alberta that's closing in on its second decade (something that's got to make the Rev. Stephen Boisson, with his comparatively brief 8-year-long "human rights" ordeal, feel either really good or really bad). From the Montreal Gazette: