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Steps of the complaints process 

 
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Lorsque nous recevons votre plainte ou votre demande d'intervention, nous communiquons avec vous pour vous en aviser. Nous évaluons ensuite si nous pouvons vous aider. Si c’est le cas, votre plainte ou votre demande est « recevable » et nous la traitons. À titre de référence, voici les étapes de ce traitement.

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RECEIPT OF THE COMPLAINT

  •  We only receive your complaint if it is sent to us in writing (letter, email or form) AND signed. If you are sending it by email, please attach a PDF document with your signature.
  •  You can contact us to find out how to make your complaint and how to send it to us, in writing (plainte@cdpdj.qc.ca) or by phone (1-800-361-6477).

 

OPENING OF YOUR FILE

  •  A member of the Reception and Assessment Department will contact you to open your file. This person receives your complaint, collects the information, and determines whether, on the face of it, the Commission has the competence to intervene.
  •  If the Commission has the competence to intervene, your file is transferred to the first phase of the investigation (the evaluation).
  •  If the Commission does not have jurisdiction, your file is closed. You will be redirected to another agency that can help you (such as: the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de santé et de la sécurité au travail; the Régie du logement; a union, etc.)

 

PHASE 1 OF THE INVESTIGATION: ASSESSMENT OF YOUR COMPLAINT

  •  A member of the Assessment Department will:
    •  contact you to make sure that all the relevant information is included in your complaint.
    •  notifiy the respondent that a complaint has been filed against him or her
    •  enquire whether you and the respondent (both parties) are interested in resolving the issue amicably by mediation.
  •  If both parties agree to go to mediation, your file is transferred to a mediator. If one or both parties refuse mediation, the file is transferred to an investigator.
  •  The Commission may, for various reasons, decide not to intervene at this stage. For example, because another recourse was filed based on the same facts or the prescribed period for filing a complaint has expired, etc). Your file is then closed.

 

MEDIATION

  •  Mediation only takes place if both parties have agreed to it.
  •  A mediator contacts both parties, and helps you find common ground.
  •  When the parties do find common ground, a memorandum of agreement is prepared and signed. Your file is then closed.
  •  If the parties cannot find common ground, the file is transferred to an investigator.
  •  The parties may request that the case be settled amicably through mediation at any time during the process, even an investigation is under way.

 

PHASE 2 OF THE INVESTIGATION: THE SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE

  •  This phase of the investigation only takes place if one or both parties do not wish to go to mediation OR if you were not able to find common ground during mediation.
  •  An investigator collects the evidence (such as: testimonies, documents, and reports). The purpose of its investigation is to verify if your complaint is supported by sufficient evidence.
  •  The parties may request that the case be settled amicably through mediation even when an investigation is under way.

 

DECISION OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE

  •  The findings of the investigation are submitted to the Complaints Committee made up of three members.
  •  The Committee assesses whether there is sufficient evidence to support your complaint and makes a decision on your file.

 

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO CLOSE YOUR FILE

  •  If the Complaints Committee believes that there is insufficient evidence to support the complaint, your file is closed.
  •  The Commission explains the reasons for this decision to the parties in a resolution.
  •  Even if the Commission closes your file, you can choose to bring the case before a civil court (Small Claims Court, Court of Québec or the Superior Court) at your own expense. You have 90 days to file this action. This period (called prescription) begins at the date you receive the Commission's notice of closure of your file.

 

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO NOT REPRESENT YOU BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL

  •  The Complaints Committee may exercise its discretion not to refer the case to a tribunal even if there is sufficient evidence to support your complaint. For example, if the issue does not raise any complex legal or factual questions, and the parties are able to represent themselves before the tribunal
  •  Each file is assessed according to the circumstances of the case.
  •  The Commission provides the reasons for this decision to the parties in the form of a written resolution.
  •  Even if the Commission closes your file, you can choose to bring the case before the Human Rights Tribunal  at your own expense. You have 90 days to file this action. This period (called prescription) begins at the date you receive the Commission's notice of closure of your file.

 

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: CORRECTIVE MEASURES ARE SUGGESTED

  •  If the Complaints Committee believes that there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, it may recommend corrective measures to the respondent. For example, reinstate an employee, order that a person attend an anti-discrimination awareness program, or recommend material, moral and punitive damages.
  •  The respondent is given a specified period of time in order to implement corrective measures.
  •  If the respondent complies with the corrective measures, your file is closed.
  •  If the respondent does not comply with the corrective measures, the Complaints Committee may mandates the Commission to apply to a court on your behalf.

 

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO APPLY TO THE TRIBUNAL ON YOUR BEHALF

  •  If the respondent does not comply with the corrective measures, the Commission applies to the Human Rights Tribunal  on your behalf to seek appropriate measures.
  •  A Commission lawyer represents you before the court. Legal representation is free of charge.
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RECEIPT OF AN INTERVENTION REQUEST

  •  An intervention request can be made in by writing or by phone (1-800-361-6477).

 

PROCESSING OF REQUEST BY RECEPTION AND ASSESSMENT DEPARTMENT

  •  At this stage, a member of the Reception and Assessment Department will contact you. This receives your request and determines whether, on the face of it, the Commission has the competence to intervene.
  •  If the Commission has the jurisdiction to intervene, the file opened on behalf of the child is taken to the next step: the first stage of the investigation.
  •  If the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to intervene, or if a case based on the same facts as the intervention request has already been referred to a court, the file is closed. However, a Commission employee may direct you to another agency such as the Local Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner, a users’ committee, or the Agence de santé et de services sociaux.

 

INVESTIGATION - FIRST STAGE

  •  At this stage, an investigator will contact you. The investigator helps you clarify your request and collects the information needed to process it. Then, the investigator contacts the party named in the intervention request to discuss the possibility of correcting the situation.
  •  If the situation is corrected, the Commission takes note of it and the file is closed.
  •  At this stage, there is also the possibility that the investigator might find that the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to intervene or that the case, based on the same facts, has already been referred to a court. The file is then closed.

 

INVESTIGATION - SECOND STAGE

  •  If the situation cannot be corrected at the first stage of the investigation, the investigator collects evidence in the case.
  •  If a case involving the same facts has already been referred to a court, the Commission can decide to close the file.
  •  The purpose of the investigation is to verify whether the rights of a child or of a group of children have been violated.

 

THE FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION ARE SUBMITTED TO THE INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE FOR DECISION

  •  Once the investigation is completed, the findings are submitted to the Investigation Committee made up of three members.
  •  If a case involving the same facts has already been referred to a court, the Commission can decide to close the file.
  •  This Committee makes the decision on the outcome of the case.

 

NO MORE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED

  •  If, upon completion of the investigation, the Investigation Committee finds that there is not sufficient evidence that rights have been violated, the file is closed.

 

RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED

  •  If the Investigation Committee believes following the investigation that there is sufficient evidence that rights have been violated, the Committee will make recommendations to the persons or organizations.
  •  The purpose of these recommendations is to correct the situation and to prevent its recurrence.
  •  It is also possible at this stage to refer the case to a court.

 

HAVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS BEEN FOLLOWED?

  •  The recommendations must be followed within the specified period set by the Investigation Committee.
  •  Upon expiry of the time limit, the investigator follows up with the persons or organizations concerned to ensure that the recommendations have been implemented.
  •  If the Investigation Committee is not satisfied that the recommendations have been followed correctly, it may refer the case to a court.

 

REFERRING THE CASE TO A COURT

  •  Should the Commission decide to refer the case to a court, it drafts a motion outlining how the child’s rights have been violated and the measures it is seeking in order to correct the situation.
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