It has been the most ridiculous complaint ever considered by a Human Rights apparatus. It is also the best example of how these government institutions can be used by anyone with a claim to victim status to ruin the life of anyone else, on the taxpayer’s dime.
Which case, you ask? Well, seasoned free-speechniks already know that the complaint against John Fulton of Fulton Fitness in St. Catherines has now been dropped after three years of investigation and mediation. A man, claiming to be a pre-operational transgendered woman, demanded membership in the women-only gym, including usage of the communal showers and changerooms. Fulton rightly thought that his female customers would be uncomfortable in a shower with someone who, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be a man. Instead, Fulton offered a private changeroom. He was then served with a OHRC complaint.
The OHRC told Fulton he could make this whole thing go away if he paid MacDonald some money and gave him/her a letter of apology. Kudos to Fulton for refusing this Mafia tactic, and instead hiring a seasoned lawyer.
Fulton’s lawyer, Andrew Roman, did the job he was hired to do. Here’s how he demolished the complaint:
Constitutional Arguments: Roman raised constitutional questions and asked that these be considered before the hearings into the incident began. The Tribunal claimed that it had the sole discretion to put off such arguments until the hearing itself, increasing the amount of work that Roman would have to do, and the costs that Fulton would have to bear.
Emotional damages: The complainant, who called him/herself Lisa MacDonald, wanted compensation for emotional damages. Roman demanded medical records to prove he/she wasn’t emotionally disturbed to begin with. Macdonald claimed that his/her own testimony was proof enough. The Tribunal wasn’t stupid enough to go along with that scam, and agreed to the request for medical records. MacDonald refused, and instead dropped the complaint.
Roman demanded costs from the Tribunal. After a lot of hand-waving as to the inability of the Tribunal to award costs (even though it finds a way to award costs to every successful applicant), the Tribunal blamed the costs on Fulton:
Further, I find that the respondents may have caused unnecessary legal costs by… [raising] constitutional arguments [and seeking] extensive production of the applicant’s entire medical history, some of which I found to be completely irrelevant to the issues raised by the applicant.
Irrelevant? It was likely the request for medical records that forced MacDonald to drop the complaint to begin with. It exposed MacDonald as nothing more than a confused crybaby trying to self-therapy by exacting a pound of flesh from the first person to get in his/her way.
The Commission and Tribunal figure they can wash their hands of this now that the complaint has been dropped. Nice try. Just like Ezra’s ordeal, they must be made to wear this for years to come, or more of us will be subject to the same fate as John Fulton. After three years and costs entering six figures, I would recommend Fulton to do something I am normally loathe to encourage: Litigate for costs in a REAL court.
Cross-posted at SF