On November 8, 2021, the Chair of the BC Human Rights Tribunal announced an emergency practice direction. Specifically, the Tribunal is not allowing respondents to apply to dismiss complaints for the next few months. This applies to newly filed complaints where the Tribunal has not yet notified the parties of a deadline to file an application to dismiss.
This direction is due to the increased complaint volume experienced over the past year during COVID-19. This has caused a significant backlog in the Tribunal process. For example, there are many new complaints waiting for intake/screening and many existing complaints waiting for decisions to be made on applications to dismiss.
The practice direction can be found here: www.bchrt.gov.bc.ca/law-library/practice-directions/emergency-pause.htm
For parties involved in the initial steps of the complaint process at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, they should expect their cases may take more than 18 months to be adjudicated.