Dear Abby Suggests Using CHRC to Fleece Retailers

[ ED NOTE: Scary Fundamentalist was kind enough to let me crosspost this item from his blog. You can read the original here.
Just as an explanatory note, I’m crossposting this a little bit late, and Mbrandon8026 already contributed a post in reply to this one, which I published on this blog a few days ago. But, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have the original on here too. ]
Okay, so it’s not Dear Abby, but rather advice columnist Robin Anderson of the Winnepeg Sun. She received a letter from “cause for alarm” that read:

Dear RobinI am not sure if this is the right column to write this to. Last week I was on a shopping trip to London, Ont. I tried to enter a store, but my wheelchair set the security alarm off. The manager and other staff came over and tried to de-activate my chair, but to no avail.

The manager then told me I was not allowed in the store. I said, “you are denying a disabled person access to one of the leading retailers in the country?” When I got home, I contacted the customer service line. They said someone would be in touch with me by Monday, but there’s been nothing yet. Do you know who to contact to bring this to the public eye, and if there is a possibility to sue for a discrimination of my disability?

An interesting and unfortunate plight for the disabled complainant. Missing, of course, is the reason why the retailer did not permit “Cause for Alarm” into the store. For starters, retailers sometimes refuse entry to someone who sets off a metal-detection alarm that catches so-called “booster bags”, shielded containers which mask the signal of electronic article surveillance tags and allow the shoplifter to defeat the security system. The store’s policy may be to refuse entry to anyone who sets off that component of the alarm system.But considering those sorts of things would get in the way of a good, old-fashioned shakedown, now wouldn’t it? Anderson responds (emphasis mine):

Tell them you want a formal apology and for their staff to undergo disability awareness training (not to mention you’d like a new TV, computer, etc.) or you will be taking your concerns to the news media. Talk to the Canada Human Rights Commission and see what your options are as far as legal proceedings go.

Using human rights as a bludgeon in the hands of designated victims intent on mugging anyone with something they want. It’s what we do here in Canada.And the World.


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