Halifax woman asked to move from her seat to accommodate ultra-Orthodox Jewish man on plane

Airline says seating changes for religious reasons are very rare

By Susan Bradley, CBC News Posted: Jul 29, 2015 8:04 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 29, 2015 11:32 AM AT

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Woman questions airline seat move request 2:00

A former Halifax chef wants an apology from Porter Airlines, alleging she was asked to move from her seat to accommodate a man who did not want to sit beside a woman for religious reasons.

Christine Flynn, 31, said she was buckled in and waiting for Porter Airlines Flight 121 from Newark, N.J. to Toronto to take off early on Monday morning when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man approached.

Christine Flynn believes she was asked to move from her assigned seat on a Porter Airlines flight because the man sitting next to her, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, did not want to sit next to a woman. She said the man did not speak to her directly or make eye contact. (CBC)

“He came down the aisle, he didn’t actually look at me … or make eye contact. He turned to the gentleman across the aisle and said, ‘Change.’”

Flynn said she was confused at first, wondering why the man was speaking to the other passenger and gesturing toward her. The man didn’t speak to her directly, but Flynn said it’s clear to her that he didn’t want to sit next to her because she’s a woman.

NANAIMO, B.C.: Groups condemn the spray painting of Chinese ads

Groups band together to combat racism


JUNE 19, 2015 12:00 AM

A large number of Nanaimo’s education, government and business groups have banded together on a new campaign to condemn a recent string of racist slurs against Asian realtors in the city.

The group of organizations is responding to the defacement of several bus stop advertisements on Hammond Bay Road last weekend. The advertisements featured the faces of local real estate agents with printing in both English and Chinese.

The signs were spray painted with messages including “go away,” and “not welcome.”

Swastikas were also branded onto some of the signs and police are now investigating.

Vancouver Island University has launched an online petition at www.change.org stating the city’s openness and tolerance as well as its opposition to “intolerance, racism and hate.” It will also be published in the Daily News and other media.

The campaign also has the support of the City of Nanaimo, the Snuneymuxw First Nation, local MPs and MLAs, the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District and the Daily News and other local media.

Steve Lane, associate vice-president of academic planning and aboriginal initiatives at VIU, said the school has to ensure a safe environment off and on campus, especially for international students at the university. “I think in terms of international students. .. we want to be able to tell (their) parents that they’re sending their children to a place that’s safe for them.”

Spencer.Anderson @nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4255

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TORONTO: Muslim cooks win against Le Papillon Park restaurant in discrimination case

Leslieville restaurant owners forced to pay up over human rights case



Le Papillon on the Park

Le Papillon on the Park restaurant on Eastern Ave. on May 22, 2015. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

The owners of Le Papillon Park restaurant are devastated by a human rights system they feel unfairly tarred them as bigots and ordered them to pay $100,000 in compensation to three Muslim workers who said they were ordered to eat pork and threatened with replacement by “white” staff.

Paul and Danielle Bigue went to the Divisional Court to request a judicial review of the December 2013 ruling by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, arguing the hearing was unfair and biased against them.

“The allegations were false and we were treated unjustly by the HRTO,” contends the Bigues’ son Stephane. “Unfortunately, and to our surprise, there was no appeal process available. Our only recourse was to take this case to the Divisional Court not for retrial, but for review. In other words they had to figure out whether or not the HRTO had made a legal mistake in their decision.”

The court found no error.

“I am not satisfied that the tribunal’s decision and decision-making process were unfair,” Justice Douglas Gray wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel earlier this month. “The decision is reasonable and there are no grounds to set it aside.”

PEEL: Detective sergeant Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu alleges the force discriminated against him

Jun 09, 2015 | Vote0   0

Peel police definition of minority an issue in Punjabi officer’s discrimination case



Torstar photo

Baljiwan (B.J.) Sandhu is a detective sergeant with Peel Regional Police. Sandhu is alleging the force discriminated against him. The force denies the claim.
Brampton Guardian

TORONTO — Does Ontario’s second largest municipal police force consider Portuguese-Canadian or even Greek-Canadian officers within its ranks to be “racialized minorities”?

That might become clearer after a hearing that began Monday before the Human Rights Tribunal, involving alleged discrimination by Peel Regional Police.

Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu, a Punjabi-Canadian detective sergeant in Peel, alleges he was denied an opportunity for promotion to inspector in 2013 because of his race.

The force denies that Sandhu was discriminated against and claims two of the eight eventual promotions to inspector were, in fact, given to “racialized minorities” — leading to questions about just how broadly that category is defined.

“Apparently the applicant wants to get into the definition of racialized,” said lawyer Glenn Christie, who is representing the Peel force.

“It doesn’t matter what my client’s definition of ‘racialized’ would be,” Sandhu’s lawyer, Kelley Bryan, argued. “It matters what the respondents’ definition of ‘racialized’ is.”

The case has drawn much attention in Peel Region, particularly within its large South Asian community. On Monday, people stood outside the small hearing room with signs supporting Sandhu, while spectators inside had to stand for lack of seats.

OTTAWA: Taxi driver captured on video shouting a racial slur and profanities now out of job

Screen capture/YouTube A security guard gets caught in a heated exchange with an Ottawa taxi driver.

An Ottawa taxi driver is out of a job after he was captured on video shouting a racial slur and profanities at a security guard while allegedly refusing to move his car for an ambulance.

Video footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday.

Coventry Connections taxi service president Hanif Patni said Thursday afternoon the Capital Taxi driver filmed in the video declined an invitation to speak to his employer about the incident.

When asked if the driver was dismissed, Patni said, “he won’t be working with us at all.”

The City of Ottawa has also suspended the driver’s taxi license.

TORONTO: Knia Singh files charter challenge against police policy of ‘carding’ after being stopped at least 30 times

Toronto man files charter challenge against police policy of ‘carding’ after being stopped at least 30 times

 | June 10, 2015 4:42 PM ETMore from Victor Ferreira | @VicF77
Knia Singh, centre, and his lawyer, Vilko Zbogar.

Victor Ferreira/National PostKnia Singh, centre, and his lawyer, Vilko Zbogar.

TORONTO — Mayor John Tory may have called for a cancellation to the police’s controversial carding program, but one Toronto man is still choosing to take his battle against the policy to court.

Knia Singh, a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School, filed a challenge on carding based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Wednesday. Singh is looking to have his records “expunged” and said the decision to file a declaration was made before Tory announced he would seek the program’s cancellation at the Toronto Police Services Board meeting on June 18.

“Based on previous practice, we cannot just wait on the word of the mayor to make this happen,” Singh said. “We have to rely on the judicial system of our courts.”

The practice of carding allowed Toronto police to routinely and randomly approach citizens and request personal information that would be kept on record for an undetermined amount of time and be easy to access. The controversial practice was said to disproportionately target the black community and police have been accused of bias and racial profiling.

Former police Chief Bill Blair put the practice on hold in January until changes could be made to the policy. Police Chief Mark Saunders has repeatedly said random stops are no longer occurring.

Singh said he has been carded 10 times and has been stopped by police at least 30 times.

After filing a freedom of information request to view his records, he said the false information he found made him fear for his safety.