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Daniel Bernstein
Direct Dial: (416) 351-2775
Fax: (416) 351-9196


May 13, 2017

File: 15-847


Mr. Mathias Memmel, President

personally and on behalf of
University of Toronto Students’ Union
c/o Andrew Monkhouse
357 Bay Street
Suite 804
Toronto, ON M5H 2T7

Dear Mr. Memmel:

Re: Sandra Hudson

As you know, we are counsel to Sandra Hudson.

On April 29, 2017, you made a number of statements at a UTSU board meeting at which members of
the public were present (the “Public Meeting”), and which was, to your knowledge, being recorded
by several people.

Two video recordings of the Public Meeting have been published by The Varsity on April 19, 2017
on its website, in the context of an article entitled “UTSU board transition meeting met with
protests”, written by Aidan Currie. See:

Defamatory Statements

The second video recording on The Varsity website (the “Video”) evidences that you made the
following statements at the Public Meeting:

 “They then became aware in August of 2015 that Ms. Hudson had also received overtime
payments. And overtime in the Province of Ontario, if you’re a manager, in a manager role,
you’re on salary, the laws of Ontario say that you’re not entitled to overtime. So that’s
formed the basis of the case. And that matter in itself is, as someone alluded to, actually is a
criminal offence. But the UTSU at that time made effort and specifically chose not to pursue
criminal charges because of fear that it would further hurt Ms. Hudson’s reputation.” (54:58)

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 “As for severance, Ms. Hudson would have been entitled to severance as part of her departure
from the UTSU had she actually been fired without cause, but both the past the President in
2014-15 as well as the VP Internal of 2014-15, who signed the agreement, said under oath that
Sandy asked to be fired, which is fraudulent.” (58:18)

The plain and ordinary meaning of these statements, in the context of the other statements made at the
Public Meeting and recorded in the Video, include the following:

1. Ms. Hudson committed a criminal offence by having sought to receive payments from UTSU
for overtime hours while in a managerial role.

2. Ms. Hudson committed a criminal offence by having received payments from UTSU for
overtime hours while in a managerial role.

3. Ms. Hudson is a criminal.

4. Ms. Hudson committed a fraud by asking to be fired in order to receive severance.

These statements are highly defamatory of Ms. Hudson.

These statements are also categorically false.

Ontario law provides only that the requirement to pay overtime excludes “a person whose work is
supervisory or managerial in character and who may perform non-supervisory or non-managerial
tasks on an irregular or exceptional basis”. Ontario law does not prohibit the payment of overtime to
managers who perform non-managerial tasks on an irregular or exceptional basis, let alone render it

Further, it is categorically false that Cameron Wathey, who was the UTSU’s President at the material
time, testified that Ms. Hudson asked to be fired. In any event, even she did – which she did not –
that would not constitute fraud, particularly in the context of the Termination Agreement reached,
pursuant to which Ms. Hudson released UTSU from her potential claims for harassment,
discrimination and constructive dismissal.

Statements in Breach of the Agreement to Mediate

The Video also evidences that you made a number of statements at the Public Meeting about events
which occurred at the mediation.

For example, you stated:

 “In October there was a full day mediation, of this year, and attempts were made informally to
settle out of court after that point. We actually agreed on an amount but we were unable to
agree on how we would communicate that information to our membership.” (56:40)

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 “Ms. Hudson has never expressed a desire to drop her counterclaim, even within the various
mediation sessions that we’ve had. So the assumption that she’s willing to drop her
counterclaim, which is key to part of the motion, strikes me as flawed.” (1:03:00)

 “The UTSU has not received a second official legal opinion…But I will say that throughout
the processes of mediation the mediators have given us indication that our case is quite strong,
and that they agree in part to our claim. ” (1:09:47)

Your disclosure to the public of what took place during the mediation, including an offer of payment,
and opinions on the merits allegedly expressed by the mediator, is highly prejudicial to Ms. Hudson.

In making these statements you have flagrantly breached the confidentiality obligations imposed on
parties to mediation, both by common law and by the written Agreement to Mediate which you
personally executed.

It is also troubling that aspects of your statements about the mediation are false.

Further, Ms. Hudson strongly disputes that the mediator ever opined to UTSU that
its case is quite strong.

It is clear that your intent in making these statements was to persuade public opinion regarding the
merits of UTSU’s action against Ms. Hudson, while suppressing Ms. Hudson’s version of
events. Indeed, the Video evidences that, in response to a request by a member of the audience to
articulate Ms. Hudson’s position at mediation, you refused, stating that “Mediation is confidential, by
both parties” (1:50:22). You clearly knew what happened at the mediation should not be disclosed,
but you did it anyway, selectively, to suit your own purposes.

In our view, it is evident that you have acted in bad faith.

* * *

Ms. Hudson has suffered and will continue to suffer harm to her reputation as a result of your conduct
described herein. This is in addition to the reputational harm which UTSU had caused to Ms. Hudson
by virtue of its conduct referred to in Ms. Hudson’s counterclaim.

We have been instructed to request that you personally and on behalf of the UTSU: (i) post an
apology for your misconduct, in a form acceptable to Ms. Hudson, on the front page of the UTSU’s
website for a period of at least one month, and (ii) send a letter to the Varsity, in a form acceptable to
Ms. Hudson, requesting that the Video be removed because it contains statements by you which are
defamatory of Ms. Hudson, false, and in violation of the confidentiality in respect of the mediation.

Be advised that we require the above-referenced apology and letter, to be approved by Ms. Hudson,
and posted and sent, respectively, by no later than end of day on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

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You should treat this letter as a notice of intended action pursuant to subsection 5(1) of the Libel and
Slander Act, R.S.O., 1990, c L.12.

Yours truly,


Daniel Bernstein