RCBY challenging Policy excluding employees with Type 1 Diabetes

Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP/s.r.l. represented Bronwyn Cruden, a Canadian International Development Agency (“CIDA”) aid worker and member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (“PSAC”) before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Ms Cruden filed a complaint with the Tribunal in 2008 against CIDA and Health Canada after being denied a field posting in Afghanistan because she had Type 1 Diabetes. Despite her status as a “rising star” within CIDA and having successfully completed physical examinations and independent specialized medical assessments deeming her fit for posting, Health Canada refused to recommend her for medical clearance.  CIDA, which has the authority to overrule Health Canada recommendations, refused to post her to Afghanistan or to provide suitable accommodation.  Health Canada’s policy prohibits federal government employees with Type 1 diabetes from being posted to Afghanistan and other regions deemed to be “hostile”. Ms Cruden seeks to change the policy and receive compensation for lost wages and opportunities.

The hearing was held from January 17 to February 3, 2011. Bronwyn Cruden was represented by Alison Dewar and Erin O’Hara.

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