First Nations woman’s human rights complaint moves ahead
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has decided to not dismiss a complaint by a First Nations woman who claims a downtown Vancouver club told her they don’t serve people in mocassins.
Colleen Mitchell White alleges she was discriminated against by the Roxy Cabaret in connection with an incident in March 2009 when she was denied entry into the Granville Street club.
Mitchell White claims she was told by staff the establishment doesn’t serve people in the leather slippers and that there were no buffalo to hunt inside. She also claims she was hit on the jaw and called a prostitute.
The Roxy denies any discrimination took place, claiming the decision to bar Mitchell White was made because of unruly behaviour during an earlier visit. The club claims Mitchell White was told her moccasins violated the club’s dress code and that she wasn’t struck or called a prostitute.
The Roxy also claims Mitchell White was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which she denies.
Mitchell White’s complaint had been previously dismissed by the tribunal. However, in March, the B.C. Supreme Court quashed that decision and referred the matter back to the tribunal.
The B.C. Humans Rights Tribunal has rejected the Roxy’s latest attempt to have the complaint dismissed, according to a ruling issued May 19.
“Considering the evidence as a whole, I am unable to determine that there is no reasonable prospect that this complaint will succeed,” tribunal member Norman Trerise wrote in the ruling.