News / Halifax

Halifax committee won't revisit licence suspension for taxi driver charged with sexual assault

City lawyer says committee can't revisit appeal after already ruling to reinstate Bassam Al-Rawi's license in August.

A plate on a taxi is shown.

ANDRZEJ TERRENCE/FOR METRO

A plate on a taxi is shown.

A Halifax committee will not reconsider its decision to reinstate the taxi licence for a driver charged with sexual assault.

The city’s appeals standing committee accepted a letter Thursday from Amanda Halliday, asking it to reconsider in a public forum its reinstatement of Bassam Al-Rawi’s taxi licence.

The committee accepted the letter, and at the request of Coun. Gloria McCluskey, will be sending a response to Halliday, explaining why it won’t be revisiting the appeal.

Halifax Regional Municipality solicitor Randolph Kinghorne told the committee that it can’t revisit a matter that it’s already ruled on unless one of the parties involved says there was some kind of mistake with the original ruling.

“In terms of revisiting a decision, without the consent of the parties, you have no jurisdiction to do so,” he said during Thursday’s meeting.

“Once the order has been provided, if anyone has any objection to it, their recourse is to seek judicial review.”

Committee chair Coun. Matt Whitman stood by the committee’s original decision.

A section of the letter sent to the committee said Whitman had set a precedent with the August decision.

“Well, the precedent is innocent until proven guilty. There’s nothing that can change until we have a conviction,” he said during a break in the meeting.

“If the person’s innocent, they’re innocent. That’s the only rules we have to go by.”

Halliday told Metro on Wednesday that the committee is different from the courts, and charges should be enough.

“We take our lead from the court systems, and we try to fall in line with what the judges say,” Whitman said to that point.

“There’s no change in decision from me; there’s no need to look at it.” 

Halliday’s letter also asks that the committee make the minutes from its August in-camera meeting public. Whitman said he has no interest in doing so.

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