Suringerjit Rai, who claims he was denied entry into the Shark Club in Langley due to his “ancestry, colour and race”, will now be able to air his grievance in full.
On August 15, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Marlene Tyshynski denied a Shark Club request to dismiss the complaint. In her decision, she stated that “the central issue of why Mr. Rai was refused entry to the Club is in dispute”.
Tyshynski wrote: “In my view, a hearing with the benefit of full document disclosure and the opportunity for cross-examination is required to determine whether this complaint is justified.”
Rai had planned to attend the club for a graduation celebration with friends last December but was refused entry, purportedly for lack of identification to comply with Bar Watch criteria. More than 20 members of their party had already been seated earlier. Rai claimed that he was being barred for having brown skin and claimed that he was knocked to the ground by a doorman, who, he said, was subsequently charged with assault by police. The Shark Club, represented by Paul McLean, claimed that it barred Rai and his group—who arrived late for their reservation but who claimed that other “Caucasian” patrons were allowed in with no reservations—for “non-discriminatory” reasons.
Tyshynski noted that the club did “not admit that Doorman 1 was charged with assault”.
The report can be accessed here.