A Port Hawkesbury woman who complained to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission that she was denied an employment opportunity because she is a woman will have her matter heard by an independent board of inquiry. Joan MacAulay alleges that in 2003 she was passed over for a job as a carpenter for construction of a civic centre for the Town of Port Hawkesbury because she is a woman. Her complaint also names Tom Fiander, project manager, and Campbell MacLean, site supervisor for the construction project. The hearing will be chaired by David MacDonald and will begin considering arguments at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Maritime Inn, 717 Reeves St., in Port Hawkesbury. The hearing is scheduled to continue daily from Wednesday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Oct. 26. A complaint is referred to an independent board of inquiry when the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case of discrimination is made after an investigation by a human rights officer. The chief judge of the provincial court selects a board chair from a roster and the commissioners ratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then in the hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during investigation of a complaint is presented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. The complainant and respondent can make submissions and question witnesses. The board chair then decides whether discrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiry to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.