The ongoing legal battle between Peter McBreairty and the College of the North Atlantic continued with the first day of an appeal being heard in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook.
The Corner Brook resident has been fighting his dismissal from the college’s campus in Qatar since that happened in May 2003.
The latest court matter is an appeal filed by McBreairty in relation to the college’s refusal to provide McBreairty with certain information, despite the province’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner recommending documents be released to him.
The documents related to vacation leave payout of a particular person at the Qatar campus. The college did provide documents to McBreairty, but redacted portions which the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner said it didn’t have grounds to do.
Besides McBreairty, who is representing himself, and the College of the North Atlantic’s lawyer, Alex Templeton, a lawyer for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Andrew Fitzgerald, is also attending the appeal hearing as an intervenor.
The college is claiming that the Qatar campus is a separate legal entity from the College of the North Atlantic, but McBreairty is arguing there is no documentation that delineates the college and the Qatar campus as separate and distinct entities.
The appeal was delayed in starting as Templeton’s flight from St. John’s was delayed Monday morning.
McBreairty began the appeal hearing by cross-examining John Hutchings, the College of the North Atlantic’s vice-president of finances and administration who had supplied the court with an affidavit supporting the college’s stance on the issue.McBreairty’s line of questioning focused on the organizational structure and governance of the Qatar campus and how it relates to the College of the North Atlantic itself.
In defence of his affidavit, Hutchings told the court that the College of the North Atlantic was contracted by the state of Qatar to establish and manage the campus there, but the state of Qatar owns the campus in and it is subject to the laws of that country.
Further, Hutchings said that employees may be recruited and hired by the College of the North Atlantic, but they are not necessarily considered to be employees of the Qatar campus and not the college itself.
* Last sentence edited to clarify *