A Halifax restaurant must pay court costs and start better training employees after it refused service to a black man and called the police.
The Halifax Alehouse discriminated against Dino Gilpin according to a Board of Inquiry report released yesterday.
Gilpin was refused service on Feb. 20, 2010, when employees would not accept his Canadian citizenship card as a valid form of photo identification.
When staff at the bar asked Gilpin to leave, he refused. A manager called Halifax Regional Police to escort him out of the building. He was charged with public drunkenness and spent the night in jail. The charges were dismissed in court five months later.
The bar’s decision to refuse to serve Gilpin was not found to be discrimination, because it was based on a strict ID policy. However, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruled that calling the police could “only be understood” in the context of Gilpin’s race. Gilpin was sitting calmly and drinking water when the police were called, and had given the bar no reason to either kick him out, or call the police, according to court documents.
The newly released Board of Inquiry report said all parties worked together to find a remedy, which includes specific education for employees and managers of the Halifax Pub and all related establishments, and $6,875 in damages for Gilpin.
The problem may be more widespread than just one pub, according to a report Board of Inquiry Chair Walter Thompson cited in his report.
Last year’s commission study Working Together to Better Serve Nova Scotians, the first of its kind in Canada, found that more than any other ethnic groups in Nova Scotia, Aboriginal and African Nova Scotians say that when they shop for goods and services they are treated poorly.
"I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," wrote Thompson. "The root of the problem in Mr. Gilpin's case was a certain 'macho,' hard-nosed attitude which, in the end, amounted to a lack of courtesy, an indifference to Mr. Gilpin."
What training do you offer employees to address and reduce discriminatory behaviour?