National Post – The family of Luc Cagadoc, a young Filipino student from Montreal, claims the boy was discriminated against by his elementary school’s staff for eating his lunch Filipino-style — cutting his food with a fork and scooping it into his mouth with a spoon. This week, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal came down on Luc’s side, awarding $17,000 to his family for racial and ethnic prejudice.
Tag Archives: Quebec
CBC – A black Montreal high school teacher arrested while waiting for takeout food has accused police of racial profiling and abuse.
Farid Charles, 26, said he lives his life “by the books” and can’t believe how police treated him last Thursday night, when he and a friend went to get takeout food at a Caribbean restaurant in the southern borough of LaSalle.
Calgary Herald – On Tuesday something remarkable happened. A human rights commission actually made a good decision.
Toronto Star – Comparing census data from 1996 to 2006, Jim Torczyner, a professor of social work at McGill University who leads the McGill Consortium on Human Rights Advocacy Training, said that “blacks continue to lag significantly behind non-blacks in every level of success” in a way that was “persistent, pervasive and alarming.”…
“It’s hard to find anything (in the results) but persistent and systemic discrimination,” said McGill professor Adelle Blackett.
Globe and Mail - The commission said that the provincial health-insurance authority, the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, should not bend to a client who refuses to be served by a headscarf-wearing employee…
Meanwhile, immigrants still face a considerable wage gap when compared with Canadian-born workers. In 2006, only one in five immigrants to Quebec was working in the profession for which they were trained, the lowest rate in Canada. In the agitation around reasonable accommodation in Quebec, and in the lack of debate about it in the rest of Canada, it is far too easy to ignore that larger failure to accommodate.
Montreal Gazette – Here’s a suggestion for how the Charest government can save $15 million a year: Abolish the Quebec human-rights commission…
But James didn’t care what the commission might have thought. And since she speaks for the government, and usually doesn’t say “good morning” without clearing it with the premier’s office first, neither did the government.
On a related issue, the commission also advised the government that it would not be justified in yielding to pressure to forbid public employees from wearing the head scarf called the hijab.
But really, who cares what the commission thinks? Certainly not the government.
Toronto Star – Women wearing religious face coverings aren’t entitled to special treatment when receiving certain government services, the Quebec human rights commission said in a report likely to bolster attempts to curb religious accommodations in the province.
Globe and Mail – Quebec’s Health Insurance Board has no obligation to accommodate demands made by women who wear the niqab according to the province’s Human Rights Commission.
If a woman wearing a niqab requests that she be served by a woman rather than a man in the identification process to obtain a health insurance card, officials can refuse her request because according to the Human Rights Commission the client’s religious rights aren’t being violated in any “significant” way.
Express Buzz – A controversial cartoon in a Montreal newspaper at the weekend has further fuelled the niqab controversy and angered Muslims in Canada.
The controversy, which was sparked by a Muslim woman’s refusal in November to remove her veil in her French language class in Montreal, has been further inflamed by the controversial cartoon in the Montreal Gazette at the weekend. In the cartoon, a Muslim woman is depicted in niqab from top to toes, with the slit space for her eyes shown in jail bars and a lock.
Calgary Herald – How many times have we heard grumbling about immigrants who can’t be bothered learning either of Canada’s two official languages? Here was Ahmed, taking a French class so she could integrate into Canadian society — a process which could lead to her adopting western ways of thinking and abandoning the niqab of her own free will — and she was denied schooling. Denying women schooling smacks most unpleasantly of the Taliban regime, doesn’t it?
CP – Quebec’s human rights commission is launching hearings into racial profiling in the province because it believes minorities are unfairly targeted by authorities…
“We believe that it exists and we affirm it in this document and we’ve seen examples . . . there are consequences and as a society we should be able to make it better and change that.”
Cousineau was referring to a document published by the commission that contains interviews with 150 teens and young adults who complained about racial profiling…
The commission expects to release findings and recommendations by the end of the year.
CTV – Commission president Gaetan Cousineau says he firmly believes racial profiling exists in the province, but that the population may need some convincing.
Canada.com – A deluge of racial-profiling stories — including accounts of harassment, abusive treatment and unjustified arrests — poured into Quebec’s Human Rights Commission last fall after researchers consulted local community groups on the contentious issue…
The commission’s research team consulted 100 community groups and heard from 50 community leaders, experts and other individuals from Sept. 15-Nov. 30, 2009.
Obesity trumps old, bad shoulder. Native trumps not.
National Post – The Mohawk elders of Kahnawake, Que., have served eviction notices on non-native residents who live on their reserve. Meanwhile, the Quebec Human Rights Commission has evicted a mid-60s woman with a bum shoulder from her condo parking space and given the space instead to a 57-year-old woman who weighs 389 pounds.
[NUPGE] Does a pardon wipe away the stigma of a crime when a person applies for a job? Not completely, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in a Quebec case.
However, an employer cannot say no simply because of the “stigma attached” to a conviction, the court has ruled.
Where a pardon has been granted, or the crime is unconnected with the job being sought, an employer must demonstrate that some other reason exists to disqualify a person before he or she is turned down, the court has determined.
Interviewer: You were in prison?
Interviewer: What for?
Interviewee: Three counts of armed robbery, one count arson.
Interviewer: Well, this is a telemarketing job, so no problem. So, what’s your favourite colour?
[Ottawa Citizen] A woman who was convicted of shoplifting and later rejected from becoming a police officer because of her past won her case at the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday.
In a 6-2 decision, the court ruled the woman’s rights were violated under Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and that because the woman had received a pardon for her conviction, the police were not justified in using her past crime as a basis for rejection.
Yes, it took a Supreme Court decision to tell you that.
[Canwest] Hydro-Quebec was justified in firing a depressed employee with a track record of chronic absenteeism, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday morning.
The unanimous ruling refused to stretch the limits on an employer’s duty to accommodate employees who claim discrimination under human rights laws.
The case involved Hydro-Quebec’s 2001 dismissal of a then 44-year-old mentally ill and suicidal employee with a history of missing work, sometimes for months at a time.
We’ll be highlighting a bunch of these this week, as the BCHRT is in the news.
Here’s one from September, 2005. Ralph Stopps applied for a membership at the Just Ladies fitness centre. Tribunal Member (read, judge) Judy Parrack ruled against him. Reason? He knew the place discriminated against men before he walked in the door, so why did he bother? Case dismissed.
 Mr. Stopps said he did not know that Just Ladies excluded men. It was his belief that it was a “marketing” ploy and it was directed at women. I did not find this evidence credible. It was clear from the entirety of Mr. Stopps’s evidence that he knew Just Ladies was a women-only facility. He went there specifically seeking to be denied a membership; he would not have expected this result if it was a co-ed facility.
 In conclusion, Mr. Stopps’ complaint is dismissed pursuant to s. 37(1) of the Code.
But, over in Quebec:
A Montreal gay bar that caters to male clients has settled a discrimination complaint with a woman who was thrown out of the premises.
Bar Le Stud and Audrey Vachon, the 21-year-old woman who launched the complaint, agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential, Canadian Press reported Tuesday.
Quebec’s human rights commission says businesses have the right to attract a particular clientele but not to discriminate by excluding other customers.
We hope you enjoy paying their phone bill.
[Montreal Gazette] Catherine Morissette, the Action démocratique du Québec immigration critic, wants to know what kind of advice Quebec’s proposed 1-800 number on reasonable accommodation would give callers.
“If a student comes home at night and tells his parents that his new teacher wears a hijab, the parents have the right to ask questions,” Morissette, MNA for the Quebec City riding of Charlesbourg, told the National Assembly.
Morissette said the parents might want to try the new 1-800 number the Charest government is considering. Lawyers and specialists from the Quebec Human Rights Commission would answer such questions.
[Gazette] “The crisis is in the past as of today,” said Najat Boughaba, a spokesperson for the Canadian Islamic Congress, Quebec division. “We would like to turn over a new page, where everyone lives in peace and in harmony in our society.”
“I have not personally experienced any discrimination within Quebec,” said Elmenyawi, who has a long beard and wears a head covering. “Though I walk around with this appearance, I have been received in a very good way.”
Elmenyawi said even though incidents of racism are for the most part overblown, the report is still important because it highlights certain problems and possible solutions.
So, what dramatic statement could he make that could reshape the entire human rights tribunal fiasco? I was figuring something like this: threatening to introduce legislation for a referendum on Quebec independence the moment Steyn, Levant, Macleans, or anyone else exercising free speech is convicted by any tribunal.
DWE has been saying for a while now that human right is big bucks. Well, here’s what five million of your dollars gets you:
Be kind and say “adjustments,” “adaptations” or “harmonizations,” not “accommodations.”
Be precise and refer to “people of French-Canadian descent,” not “old-stock Quebecers.”
And avoid the racist term “visible minority” and the meaningless catch-all “cultural communities.”
“The main goal of adjustments is to protect minorities against flaws in the laws of the majority, and not the contrary. (The adjustments) guarantee that every person enjoys the same rights,” the commissioners write.
Quebec’s human rights commission has asked the city of Saguenay to stop praying before council meetings.
The commission says the prayer goes against the city’s obligation as a public entity to remain neutral on questions of religion, and violates religious freedom.
How did we know we’d see a Human Rights commission show up somewhere in this article.
“The rooms are reserved for teaching. But he can sit on a bench, pray in the corridors or anywhere. I cannot provide a room for him because if I did that, I would have to provide rooms for every other faith.”
Ms. Charest said she would provide a private room for prayer if the law required it.
A spokesman for the Quebec Human and Youth Rights Commission said employers must accommodate devout people of any faith who need a private space for prayer.
A year after a woman filed a complaint against Le Stud for discrimination, only men were in sight yesterday. While the bar is not necessarily welcoming to women, the Quebec Human Rights Commission said it can’t deny them entry.
The case prompted outcry from the gay community and another complaint to the commission. Rick Matthews complained the fitness club Curves discriminates against men by not allowing them to join.
He told The Gazette last year he hoped to make the point that women should not demand access to men-only bars if they’re not willing to open their clubs to men.
A different view of human rights, from Down Under:
An Australian hotel catering for gay men has been given the right to ban heterosexuals from its bars – to combat gangs of ogling women.
They won a ruling – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – from state authorities to impose the restriction.
It was granted even though equal opportunity laws prevent people being discriminated against based on race, religion or sexuality.