Alberta judge who handed down controversial ruling on engineer professional standards on longer at human rights commission

April 2014

Calgary — A controversial judge is no longer employed by Alberta’s Human Rights Commission after he handed down a heavily criticized ruling that could dilute the province’s professional standards for engineers.

Moosa Jiwaji continues to perform legal consultancy work for Alberta Justice, according to a spokesperson. However, Solicitor General Jonathan Denis confirmed that he was no longer employed as a human rights commissioner.

“Please direct further inquiries to the commission,” he said.

The HRC did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Jiwaji was appointed to a second term with the commission in July 2013; his tenure was to have expired in the summer of 2016.

He came under heavy fire after handing down a ruling in February in favour of Ladislav Mihaly, who alleged the local professional association discriminated against him by refusing to certify him as an engineer after he twice failed codes tests.

The former professor had been educated in Czechoslovakia, and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) did not have an agreement that would recognize credentials from his home country. Mr. Mihaly was required to pass several exams, including a test of codes of practice and ethics, and an investigation of his technical skills.

Mr. Mihaly failed the first exam, refused to show up for a second sitting and then failed it again on the third attempt.

He then refused to sit for the examination of his practical competence.

APEGA, which says as many as a quarter of the engineers working in Alberta were educated abroad, would not certify Mr. Mihaly.

The man, who had been trying for recognition since 1999, then took the matter to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which sided with him and suggested a long list of recommendations to help the foreign-trained engineer.

APEGA is appealing the ruling.

In the meantime, Mr. Jiwaji faced additional scrutiny for several inflammatory comments posted on Twitter. Most of them expressed strong views on the politics of Kenya.

Judges are not permitted to express political biases in public; the HRC later said it would conduct an investigation and review its social media policies.