Pride Hamilton files an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
June 24, 2020
On Friday, June 12, 2020 Pride Hamilton filed an application against the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) and the City of Hamilton with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
This timing coincided with both the 1 year filing deadline in relation to the events that transpired at Gage Park on June 15, 2019 as part of Pride’s annual celebration and with the release of the Independent Review of the events before, during, and after Pride 2019 conducted by Scott Bergman and released to the public on June 8, 2020.
It’s our view that Hamilton Police Services discriminated against our organization on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression through its failure to properly plan for, protect, and respond to threats to the 2019 Pride celebrations in Hamilton.
Additionally, following Pride 2019, the Chair of the Hamilton Police Services Board and the Mayor of the City of Hamilton made public comments that defended the HPS’s preparation and response. These comments served to support and embolden the conduct of the Hamilton Police Service.
In our claim, we ask for damages of $600,000 to be allocated to support initiatives, programs, and/or organizations in Hamilton’s Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities. We plan to direct those funds through an open and transparent process that allows for broad participation and consultation, however long that takes.
Many will recognize the amount of $600,000. It’s how much the HPSB allocated to conduct the Independent Review into the events before, during and after Pride 2019. We believe that these communities deserve at least as much compensation for the trauma they’ve endured as a result of this discrimination.
Pride Hamilton has retained Ross & McBride LLP in this proceeding and will be represented by a legal team led by Wade Poziomka, a Partner in the Human Rights Group.