Pride Hamilton and police headed for mediation after human rights tribunal ruling

Pride Hamilton and police headed for mediation after human rights tribunal ruling

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.

Wade Poziomka, a lawyer representing Pride, told the Spectator that his clients are pleased with the tribunal’s decision, “which confirms that a corporation, like Pride Hamilton, can advance a human rights application to have important issues heard.”

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.”

Read the complete article here.

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