No Tort of Harassment for You!

The common law in Ontario has proven relatively adept at developing new torts, in particular in the area of privacy law, to change and adapt to relatively stagnant or unsatisfactory statutory developments. Although the tort of intimidation has long been recognized as giving rise to a cause of action, as affirmed in cases such as Tran v. University of Western Ontario, the status of the tort of harassment has been much more divided. The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed in the 1981 decision of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology v. Bhadauria that human rights legislation are the more appropriate venue for pursuing claims of harassment related to those grounds. Outside of developments in post-secondary education law since, this rationale does not necessarily extend to claims of bullying or harassment where indicia of human rights are not present, or where it falls outside of the scope of the Human Rights Code. In an era where society is increasingly struggling…

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