MANITOBA HUMAN RIGHTS BOARD OF ADJUDICATION
IN THE MATTER OF a complaint made under The Human Rights Code, CCSM c. H175
complainant, MHRC File No.: 09 EN 206
4L Communications Inc.,
For the complainant: Ms Janet I. Jardine
For the respondent: Ms Sharon L. Tod
For the Commission: Ms Isha Khan
Procedural order made: 18 June 2012
Manitoba Human Rights Commission,
ROBERT DAWSON, adjudicator:
 An employer moves to defer the hearing of a former employee’s human rights complaint until after the employee’s parallel claim for wrongful dismissal has concluded in the courts. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted in part.
 On 15 March 2012, the Minister of Justice designated me as the Board of Adjudication to hear and decide this complaint. The respondent employer’s lawyer then notified me that the respondent would move to defer the hearing of this complaint. I invited written submissions from the respondent in support of its motion, and the complainant and the Commission made joint written submissions in response. After the respondent those to make no final reply, submissions on the motion closed on 31 May 2012.
 In the reasons that follow, I make no findings about the facts related to this complaint. I nonetheless take notice that, on 16 July 2009, the complainant employee filed a statement of claim in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench (CI 09-01-62041) against the respondent employer and another defendant, who is not a party to the human rights complaint. In her statement of claim, the complainant set out as her cause of action that she had been in the employ of the respondent and the other defendant, but that she had been dismissed only because she was pregnant. Her claim also alleges that the conduct of the respondent and the other defendant constitute discrimination and a failure to accommodate, contrary to The Human Rights Code, CCSM c. H175. As a result, the complainant’s prayer for relief claims general damages, special damages, aggravated damages, punitive damages, and interest.
 On 4 September 2009, the complainant made a complaint to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, alleging that, contrary to The Code, the respondent had terminated her employment because she was pregnant. With proceedings underway before the Board of Adjudication and in the courts, the employer moves that the human rights complaint “be deferred or stayed pending resolution of the statement of claim filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench.”
 There is an obvious relation between the claim that the former employee has brought in the Court of. Queen’s Bench and the complaint that she has made to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. In the most general of descriptions, the two proceedings arise out of basically the same events, involve pretty much the same persons, and contemplate redress of some sort. At this level of generalization, such parallel proceedings, one in the courts and the other before the Board of Adjudication, seem undesirable, because they could be duplicative and arrive at contradictory or different results. None of these unfavourable consequences is a good thing for the parties or the administration of justice. In some cases, the problems arising out of parallel proceedings could be diminished or avoided if the proceedings in one forum were deferred, so that the matter may move forward in the other forum. This is the suggestion that the respondent proposes.
 The motion asks that the human rights complaint “be deferred or stayed.” The respondent does not seek to dismiss the complaint, which would permanently terminate the proceedings before the Board of Adjudication. Instead, the respondent wants only to pause the hearing of the human rights complaint until there has been a “resolution of the statement of claim filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench.” This, therefore, is a motion to defer, and it gives rise to these issues:
(a) Does an adjudicator have jurisdiction to defer the hearing of a complaint?
(b) What factors guide the exercise of an adjudicator’s discretion to defer the hearing of a complaint?
(c) Should the hearing of this complaint be deferred?
An adjudicator has jurisdiction to defer the hearing of a complaint
 There is no express provision in The Human Rights Code by which a Manitoba adjudicator may defer the hearing of a complaint pending the conclusion of proceedings in another forum. In contrast, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has express authority to “defer an application in accordance with the Tribunal rules”: Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, c. H19, s. 45. As a similar example, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal may defer consideration of a complaint until the outcome of another proceeding that “is capable of appropriately dealing with the substance of a complaint”: Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c. 210, s. 25. However, there are no comparable provisions in the Manitoba Code.
 Instead, once the Minister of Justice has designated an adjudicator to form the Board of Adjudication, s. 32(1) of the Manitoba Code requires the adjudicator “to hold a hearing and decide the validity of the complaint.” In addition, s. 39(1) compels the adjudicator to “convene and complete the hearing without undue delay.”
 Despite the absence of any express language in The Code, the respondent employer submits that it is within the jurisdiction of an adjudicator to defer the hearing of a complaint pending the conclusion of proceedings in another forum. The complainant and the Commission seem to agree, but the written submissions of the parties diverge in their respective reasoning. The respondent employer points to s. 42 of The Code, which gives the adjudicator
exclusive jurisdiction and authority to determine any question of fact, law, or mixed fact and law that must be decided in completing the adjudication and in rendering a final decision respecting the complaint.
Contrary to the respondent’s implicit argument, s.42 does not address the scope of an adjudicator’s substantive jurisdiction. At most, s.42 of The Code relates to the procedural powers of an adjudicator. For example, s. 42 confirms that an adjudicator has the authority to consider and decide a motion to defer the hearing of a complaint, but the section says nothing about whether or not the adjudicator has the jurisdiction to take the next step and actually order the hearing to be deferred.
 The respondent also relies upon Sopinka J.’s oft-quoted rule that “tribunals are masters in their own house”: Prassad v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [19891 1 5CR 560 at para. 17. However, like s. 42 of The Code, this maxim is procedural and not substantive, which Sopinka J. makes clear at para. 17: “[i]n the absence of specific rules laid down by statute or regulation, [tribunals] control their own procedures....” Prassad focused upon the exercise of an administrative decision-maker’s discretion to adjourn a hearing, but the statutory basis for that discretion was express and never in doubt. In contrast, the first issue in this motion to defer the hearing of this complaint asks if such a deferral even is within the jurisdiction of an adjudicator.
 For their part, the complainant and the Commission jointly assert that an adjudicator has wide-ranging procedural powers, which are set out at ss. 37-40 and 42- 43 of The Code. From out of this broad authority, they infer without analysis that it is within the jurisdiction of an adjudicator to consider and decide whether it is appropriate to defer the hearing of a complaint. However, I am mindful of the Supreme Court of Canada’s reminder in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9 at para. 29, that
[a]dministrative powers are exercised by decision makers according to statutory regimes that are themselves confined. A decision maker may not exercise authority not specifically assigned to him or her. By acting in the absence of legal authority, the decision maker transgresses the principle of the rule of law.
Accordingly, instead of general inference, I prefer to focus upon s. 39(1) of The Code, which requires that “[t]he adjudicator shall convene and complete the hearing without undue delay.” I note that s. 39(1) does not require that the adjudicator act without any delay; instead, the provision precludes only undue delay. It follows that, pursuant to s. 39(1) of The Code, it is within an adjudicator’s jurisdiction to defer the hearing of a complaint provided that the resulting delay is not undue. However, s. 39(1) should not be read as if it encourages all delay that is not undue. In fact, the provision drives an adjudicator towards the converting and completion of a hearing. The pressure relents only where the circumstances of the complaint give rise to delay that is not undue.
 Readers of the French version of The Code will, however, realize that s. 39(1) does not have the same meaning as the English version, which is a point upon which none of the parties commented. Section 7 of The Interpretation Act, CCSM c. 180, provides that “[t]he English and French versions of Acts and regulations are equally authoritative, in accordance with section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870.” Set side by side, the bilingual version of s. 39(1) reads:
The adjudicator shall convene and complete the hearing without undue delay./ L’audience est tenue et complétée sans délai par l’arbitre.
[emphasis added in both versions]
As the added emphasis makes clear, the French version of s. 39(1) lacks the qualifying “undue”, and it instead precludes all delay, whether undue or not. “Sans délai” connotes an English-language equivalency to adverbs such as “forthwith” and “immediately”. The French version sets out a rule of broader application than the English version; that is, in the stark language of set theory, all undue delays are a form of delay, but not all delays amount to undue delays. In excluding all forms of delay, the French version of s. 39(1) does more than the English version attempts, and it places beyond an adjudicator’s jurisdiction any authority to defer the hearing of a human rights complaint. Bastarache J. solved such an interpretational problem in R. v. Daoust, 2004 SCC 6, holding at para. 29 that where one version of a legislative provision is broad and the other is narrow, “the common meaning is normally the narrower version.” As he later explained at p. 74 of his Law of Bilingual Interpretation (Markham: LexisNexis, 2008),
when two versions are equally clear and one version is broad and the other narrow, the broad version’s meaning includes the meaning of the narrow version, so it is that narrow meaning that is shared by the two versions.
Accordingly, the narrower English version of s. 39(1) prevails, so that, despite the wording of the broader French version, an adjudicator must convene and complete the hearing of a human rights complaint without undue delay, but not without any delay.
 Indeed, such is the outcome that one would expect in any event, quite apart from Bastarache J.’s approach to bilingual interpretation. Looking only at the English version of The Code, a straightforward application of the rules of statutory interpretation confirms the conclusion that it was never the legislature’s intention to rule out all delay in convening and completing a hearing. Often relied upon by the Supreme Court of Canada (for example, Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, 2005 1 SCC 30 at para. 80) and the Manitoba Court of Appeal (for example, Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union v. Hughes, 2012 MBCA 16 at para. 36), Driedger’s modem principle of statutory interpretation requires that
the words of an Act are to be read in their entire context, in their grammatical and ordinary sense harmoniously with the scheme of the Act, the object of the Act, and the intention of Parliament.
[Ruth Sullivan, Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes,
5th ed (Markham: LexisNexis, 2008) at 1]
Looking to s. 39(1), the ordinary meaning of “undue” admits the possibility of delay in convening and completing a hearing, but the denotation of the adjective also precludes delays that are excessive or that go beyond what is appropriate: The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed, sub verbo “undue”. In addition, The Code’s preamble sets out broad goals that require flexibility and reasonableness instead of rigid timetables that would value bureaucratic efficiency over the peculiar needs and circumstances arising in each complaint. Other parts of The Code similarly anticipate that delays might reasonably arise, and they make provision for the accommodation of such delays; for example, instead of automatically replacing an arbitrator who has not rendered a decision within the prescribed timeframe, the Minister may choose to extend that timeframe: s. 41(2). It follows from all of this that, despite the French version of s. 39(1), lawmakers intended that The Code should recognize the possibility that delays may arise, provided that they are not undue.
 Manitoba High Schools Athletic Assoc. Inc. v. Pasternak, 2008 MBQB 24, implicitly acknowledges this point. Although none of the parties referred to it in their submissions, Pasternak dismissed an application for judicial review of the decisions of a board of adjudication in Pasternak v. Manitoba High Schools Athletic Assoc. Inc. (No. V. 2006 MHRBAD 1, and Pasternak v. Manitoba High Schools Athletic Assoc. Inc. (No. 2), 2006 MHRBAD 2. In those cases, the respondent to the human rights complaint was the regulator of high school athletic programs in Manitoba. Refusing to allow female hockey players the opportunity to try out for a place on a male high school hockey team, the regulator had instead relegated the female players to a female team. In its motion to dismiss or defer the hearing of the human rights complaint before the Board of Adjudication, the regulator argued in Pasternak (No. 1) that the adjudicator had no jurisdiction until the regulator’s own internal appeal process had been exhausted. In rejecting this submission that would have imposed conditions precedent to her jurisdiction, Adjudicator Harrison wrote that,
[w]hile certain other statutes such as Manitoba’s Ombudsman Act and Ontario’s Human Rights Code require or authorize a tribunal “to not deal” with a complaint in certain circumstances, nowhere in Manitoba’s Human Rights Code does it say that an adjudicator must or may dismiss or defer a complaint on grounds that external or other routes of appeal have not been exhausted.
On judicial review, McElvey J. confirmed the correctness of this interpretation of The Code, holding at para. 48 of the Queen’s Bench decision that “[t]here was no requirement stipulated in The Code which required an adjudicator to defer to another process.” At the same time, Pasternak (No. 1) does not hold that an adjudicator may never defer the hearing of a complaint, just that the hearing may not be deferred “on grounds that external or other routes of appeal have not been exhausted.” Although Pasternak (No. 1) frames the issue in terms of the conditions precedent to an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, the decision implies that, in the context of that complaint, undue delay would have resulted if the statutorily-convened hearing of a human rights complaint had been deferred to the internal appeal process of a regulator of high school sports. This coincides with a reading of s. 39(1) of The Code that gives an adjudicator the discretion to defer the hearing of a complaint, but imposes no requirement to do so. At most, 5.39(1) admits the possibility of undue delay in the convening and completion of a hearing.
 Accordingly, it is within the jurisdiction of the Board of Adjudication to defer the hearing of a human rights complaint, provided that the resulting delay is not undue, pursuant to s. 39(1) of The Code.
Factors that guide the exercise of an adjudicator’s discretion
 The exercise of an adjudicator’s discretion to defer a hearing depends upon the circumstances of each complaint. As described above, s. 39(1) of The Code does not encourage delay in the convening and completion of a hearing. It instead pushes an adjudicator forward and softens only to recognize that delays may occur, but even then the momentum of s. 39(1) requires that any delay must not be undue. Where such delay would be undue, s. 39(1) compels the adjudicator to proceed with the hearing.
 The test is different in Ontario and British Columbia, where human rights legislation sets out in broad language more permissive grounds by which to decide a motion to defer the hearing of a complaint; namely, the hearing may be deferred where “other legal proceedings [are] dealing with the subject-matter of the Application” (Ontario, Human Rights Tribunal, Rules of Procedure, r. 7.1); and, a hearing may be deferred where “another proceeding is capable of appropriately dealing with the substance of a complaint” (Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c 210, s. 25(2)).
 To determine whether another forum is able to “deal with” the substance or subject matter of a complaint, human rights tribunals in those jurisdictions have put forward non-exhaustive lists of factors that they will consider: see, for example, Monck v. Ford Motor Co. of Canada, 2009 HRTO 861 at para. 9, to which the complainant and the Commission jointly point, and Lee v. BC Hydro and Power Authority, 2004 BCHRT 209 at para. 6, on which the respondent relies in its written submission. These factors include:
• the nature of the proceedings
• the subject matter of the proceedings
• the desirability to avoid unnecessary duplication of proceedings
• the adequacy of the remedies available in each forum
• the impact upon the resources of the parties, as well as the resources of the forums in which the proceedings would go forward
• fairness to the parties
• the relative likelihood of a timely resolution to the dispute
• the status and progress of the proceedings.
None of these considerations directly flows from the Manitoba Code, which, as noted above, sets out a different test than the Ontario and British Columbia legislation.
Nevertheless, these and other factors are at least a starting point for a Manitoba adjudicator.
 Such factors collect under three headings:
1. Instant considerations, which relate to the specific proceedings that give rise to the motion to defer.
2. Institutional considerations, which form the general backdrop against which the motion is brought. At an institutional level, factors include an aim to ensure fairness, show respect for the participants, and promote integrity in the administration of justice.
3. Considerations of policy, which take into account the principles, intent, and purposes that underlie the legislative framework within which human rights proceedings generally unfold.
No single one of these headings gathers considerations of necessarily-greater weight than any other. An adjudicator must instead look at these factors on a case-by-case basis. The exercise of discretion arising out of s. 39(1) of The Code depends upon the balancing of factors, such as these instant, institutional, and policy considerations. The aim is to determine whether, in deferring the hearing, the resulting delay would be undue.
The hearing of this complaint should be deferred
 A consideration of these factors convinces me that I should exercise my discretion to defer the hearing of this complaint. Despite the urging of s. 39(1) of The Code to convene and complete the hearing, I find that although a deferral of the hearing would result in delay pending the outcome of the proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench, the resulting delay would not be undue in the circumstances of this complaint.
 What amounts to undue delay very much depends upon the specific proceedings that give rise to a motion to defer. Several factors emerge from the context of this complaint
 Characterization of the proceedings. Distilled to its succinct elements based upon the statement of claim and the complaint, the proceedings involve an employee who was fired from her job. She says that her employer terminated her because she was pregnant, so she seeks redress. The reason for her termination might amount to discrimination, but at its heart, the essence of these proceedings is an employment dispute with a human rights component. To be sure, this characterization of the proceedings is not intended to diminish the seriousness of any discriminatory conduct that may have occurred. Moreover, it is not intended discourage the making of human rights complaints, just because they arise in multi-layered contexts.
 This exercise in characterization goes beyond the formalistic categories into which the law assigns disputes. In formal terms, there would be significant differences between the proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench and those before the Board of Adjudication. The former is a wrongful dismissal action, where the terminated employee likely needs to show only the lack of just cause or sufficient notice in order to succeed. Any discriminatory motive on the part of the employer falls outside the cause of action. In contrast, the human rights complaint focuses upon any link between the complainant’s termination and a ground of prohibited discrimination. Indeed, when considering the complaint, there could be a finding of discrimination, whether or not there was unjust cause in the termination of the complainant’s employment. Accordingly, the use of formalistic categories is unhelpful in characterizing the proceedings, because a difference will almost always result.
 Adequacy of remedies. The remedial powers of the Board of Adjudication are different than those of the Court of Queen’s Bench. For example, the statement of claim seeks aggravated and punitive damages, which likely go beyond the range of an adjudicator’s remedial order under s. 43(2) of The Code. On the other hand, because a contravention of The Code does not give rise to an actionable wrong, the Court of Queen’s Bench would not likely tie any award of aggravated or punitive damages to a finding of discrimination. Similarly, the Court of Queen’s Bench may not grant public interest remedies, such as the adoption and implementation of “an affirmative action program or other special program.” In addition, an adjudicator may award damages for injury to dignity, feelings, or self-respect, pursuant to s. 43(2)(c).
 In any event the complainant and the Commission jointly argue that it is premature to assess the adequacy of remedies. They note that the Commission has not yet identified the specific remedies that it will seek in the context of this complaint. They urge that it is therefore premature to bring a motion to defer the hearing. In rejecting this argument, I briefly note that uncertainty is part of any motion to defer, because the parties can only speculate about how parallel proceedings will unfold in the future. Indeed, at para. 36 of their joint submission, the complainant and the Commission themselves speculate that, if the respondent to this complaint is found to have contravened The Code, the Board of Adjudication “will almost necessarily award general damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect....”
 Current status of the proceedings. While the hearing of this complaint is almost ready to proceed, a trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench is hardly imminent, given that the parties report that they are still addressing issues arising out of the production of documents.
 Identity of the parties. I make little of the fact that the parties to the proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench are different from those implicated in the hearing of this complaint before the Board of Adjudication. The statement of claim names a second defendant who is not a party to the human rights complaint. However, it seems from para. 4 and 8 of the statement of defence that the second defendant was mistakenly included through the “fog of war” that surrounds the beginning of many law suits. I also note that the Commission obviously is not a party to the civil proceedings, but assumes carriage of the human rights complaint.
 Stepping away from the factors that depend upon the specific proceedings, the next collection of considerations looks at the backdrop against which this motion is brought. To some extent, these factors frequently receive consideration when the courts entertain motions for a stay of proceedings. Relying upon Cirone v. Park Lawn Co., 2008 CanLII 4977 (ON SCDC), the respondent argued that the Board of Adjudication should defer the hearing of this complaint unless “unwarranted prejudice” would result for the complainant. However, s. 39(1) of The Code already sets out a different test, whose default assumption is that, unless there is delay that is not undue, an adjudicator will convene and complete the hearing of a complaint. The test as expressed in Cirone reverses the assumption, so that a court would stay proceedings unless there is “unwarranted prejudice”.
 Duplicative proceedings. The respondent notes that ongoing parallel proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench and before the Board of Adjudication “force the Respondent to incur significant cost in both time and money.” As a general rule, duplicative proceedings are to be avoided: Dan yluk v. Ainszvorth Technologies Inc., 2001 5CC 44 at para. 18. Despite my appreciation of the respondent’s point, I am unable to go along with its characterization of the complainant’s human rights complaint as a “deliberate attempt” to prod the respondent towards a settlement of the wrongful dismissal action. I find no evidence that the complainant is exploiting the human rights complaint system as a flanking maneuver that aims to engage the respondent in strategic litigation.
 Inconsistent outcomes. The proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench and before the Board of Adjudication raise a serious prospect that different findings of fact, interpretations, and outcomes could result in each forum. There is “a public interest in the avoidance of... potential inconsistent results”: British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Malik, 2011 SCC 18 at para 40.
 Incomplete disposition. Setting aside the doctrines of res judicata, issue estoppel, and abuse of process, none of the parties expects that either the Court of Queen’s Bench or the Board of Adjudication could singlehandedly settle all the issues that arise in both proceedings. Barring a settlement deferred or stayed proceedings would likely be revived, regardless of the forum in which the proceedings first reach their conclusion.
Considerations of policy
 As the preamble to The Code explains, law-makers intended the human rights provisions to have effect beyond the resolution of individual complaints. To that end, The Code diminishes retribution and punishment, and it instead promotes reconciliation and the evolution towards a society free of discrimination. For example, such public policy considerations inform The Code’s remedial orders that go beyond mere compensation for monetary losses. In contrast the civil courts are differently mandated, chiefly functioning as commercial dispute-resolution mechanisms that follow a closed adversarial approach before imposing an outcome upon those parties who are specifically implicated in the proceedings.
Balancing the considerations
 The public policy considerations that underlie The Code clearly set out the importance of the human rights adjudicative process within the justice system. In addition, s. 39(1) of The Code discourages delay in convening and completing the hearing of a complaint. These factors together create a strong temptation for any adjudicator simply to refuse out of hand the deferral of a hearing. At the same time, I am mindful that The Code does not entirely preclude the deferral of a hearing. The statutory construction of s. 39(1) shows a legislative intent to accommodate delays, provided that they are not undue. What constitutes “undue delay” depends upon the circumstances of each case and requires a balancing of the many competing factors.
 I have characterized the proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench and before the Board of Adjudication as, in essence, an employment dispute with a human rights component. In that light, the proceedings belong first in the Court of Queen’s Bench, where employment matters are routinely heard. To defer the hearing of this complaint for that reason gives rise to delay, but the delay is not undue.
 Without such a deferral, the continuation of parallel proceedings raises concerns about duplication and inconsistent outcomes. The proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench and before the Board of Adjudication stem from the same facts, principally involve the same parties, and touch upon many common issues. Because of this overlap, it is unfair to require the respondent to expend resources in defending against the statement of claim while responding to the human rights complaint. It is further problematic for the administration of justice to face the serious prospect that separate forums could arrive at different or contradictory outcomes when considering these proceedings. Therefore, where delay results from an attempt to avoid duplication and inconsistent outcomes, the circumstances of this complaint suggest that the resulting delay would not be undue.
 However, I wonder about the seriousness of this prospect that different or contradictory outcomes could result. After all, no trial date is imminent in the Court of Queen’s Bench proceedings. Significant developments could occur in the meantime that relate to this complaint. To address this concern and preclude the possibility that undue delay results from the deferral of the hearing of this complaint, I reject the respondent’s request for an open-ended deferral.
 Finally, I remind the complainant and the Commission that, although deferred, the complaint is not dismissed. Its hearing has merely been delayed, but in accordance with The Code without resulting in undue delay. The deferral has not foreclosed the eventual availability of any remedial orders uniquely available under The Code. In addition, the public policy functions of the human rights adjudicative process will not go ignored. To the extent that any outcome in the Court of Queen’s Bench does not address issues arising under The Code, the Board of Adjudication stands as a backstop.
Decision and order
[381 For the reasons set out above, the motion is granted in part.
 I order that
(a) the hearing of this complaint is deferred until no later than 18 December 2013, pending the conclusion of the proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench (CI 09-01-62041);
(b) by motion to me before the end of the deferral period, any party may move to extend or end the deferral period;
(c) no costs are awarded on this motion, none having been sought; and,
(d) I remain seized of this complaint.
 I draw to the parties’ attention s. 50(2) of The Code, which imposes a limitation date for the bringing of any application for judicial review of this decision.
[Original signed by]
18 June 2012