WeirFoulds partner Raj Anand provided comment to Tom Blackwell of the National Post in an article published on January 13, 2023, entitled “Gym target of ‘ludicrous’ human-rights complaint for following Ontario COVID rules”.
The article details a human rights complaint that has been filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Hub Climbing, a rock-climbing gym located in Markham, by former People’s Party of Canada candidate Florian Bors.
Bors has alleged that the gym denied him entry to the gym due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19, which he claims amounts to religious discrimination. The gym’s owner, Steven Brown, has argued that the establishment was simply following then-active provincial laws requiring proof of vaccination status to enter non-essential businesses. He says that Bors’s stated concern at the time was about privacy, and he did not identify any religious objection until after the Tribunal asked him to clarify how the gym’s actions were discriminatory.
Raj noted that businesses have to follow human rights laws, which may prevail over health and safety requirements in some circumstances. For example, turban-wearing Sikh men may be exempted from wearing helmets or hard hats on construction sites. Nevertheless, Hub Climbing was under no obligation to accommodate religious beliefs that it did not know about at the time. Thus, Raj told the National Post “I think [Bors] is likely to lose.”
Click here to read the full article in the National Post.