Just a couple to end the week:
First: Normally, an innocent mistake is grounds for a heartfelt apology. Not so when the BCHRT gets involved.
The hotel decided to deny Bhangra Idols its booking. Staff members wrote down their reasoning in Wall Centre records: “Group is associated with the International Bhangra Society. Due to past problems the group is not allowed to stay with us anymore.”
That was a mistaken assumption. There is no connection between Bhangra Idols and the VIBC; in fact, the two events are in competition with each other.
Oops. If you made the mistake between the International Highland Dancers’ Association and the Western Highland Dancing Club, the hotel would probably write their apology, give a free lunch voucher, and that would be the end of it. But, because it’s a racial minority, off we are to the Tribunal. After leveling a $5000 fine, member Murray Geiger-Adams confirmed the discriminatory nature of the Tribunal:
Wall Centre staff responded that the situation wasn’t any different from if one hockey team had caused problems — the hotel would be within its rights to enact a policy against admitting hockey teams in general.
But tribunal members said that analogy didn’t apply to a culturally specific event like Bhangra Idols.
“Hockey players are not, unlike the complainants in this case, members of a group protected under the [Human Rights Code.] Hockey players can, and do, come from anywhere. On the evidence before me, participants in Bhangra are associated, overwhelmingly, with the Punjab,” Geiger-Adams wrote.
Second: Quelle surprise. A former Ontario Human Rights investigator is now the executive VP of Ontario Big Labour. No philosophical connections there, no.