Pride Hamilton’s discrimination claim against the city and police is moving ahead and appears destined for mediation in the aftermath of a ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
The Hamilton Police Service and City of Hamilton had argued that the complaint filed by Pride with the Ontario Human Rights Commission — that targets police response to violence at a 2019 Pride event — should be dismissed, in part because Pride is a corporation and not an individual.
But in a decision released Dec. 7, the tribunal ruled that Pride Hamilton deserves standing as a corporation, and rejected a request by the city and police for a “summary hearing” on whether the claim should go ahead.
Karen Dawson, the tribunal’s vice-chair, cited 2002 case law that says the “restrictive definition of ‘person’” should not preclude “other kinds of organizations of human beings” from making a Human Rights Code application.
“In these circumstances, I find the applicant (Pride Hamilton) has standing to bring the application,” wrote Dawson.
City spokesperson Antonella Giancarlo said it is “disappointing” the tribunal dismissed their request for a summary hearing.
Pride Hamilton filed its human rights complaint in June 2020. The Spectator reported the group was “seeking $600,000 in damages to support initiatives, programs and organizations in the city’s two-spirit and LGBTQ communities.”
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