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George Hotel road-closure challenge dismissed

George Hotel road-closure challenge dismissed

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a complaint filed by local resident Dorothy Riddle, who alleged that the closure of Winn Road discriminated against her on the basis of a disability under Section 8 of the BC Human Rights Code.

In reaching her conclusion, the Tribunal ruling stated:

“Gibsons is providing access to the waterfront as a service by requiring the Development to incorporate, among other things, the public pedestrian plaza, a waterfront walkway that closes the existing gap in the seawalk, and amenities to ensure the accessibility of both, including elevators, designated parking stalls for persons with disabilities, and seating. Ms. Riddle would prefer a perfect panoramic view, taken in immediately beside the ocean, from the comfort of her vehicle, absent commercial activity in order to give her a sense of repose. While this is clearly desirable, I am persuaded that there is no reasonable prospect that the Tribunal would conclude that an abridgment of her wants in this regard – particularly in the context of the purposes of the Code – constitutes a breach of the Code. Gibsons’ application to dismiss Ms. Riddle’s complaint under s. 27(1) (c) is granted. The complaint is dismissed.”

The complaint against the Town, which was filed in June of 2016, is estimated to have cost over $80,000 to defend, including legal fees, expert reports and staff time. A staff report is being prepared summarizing the status and costs of the various George Hotel-related claims filed since 2013, and is expected to be available in early Fall.

The complete decision of the BCHRT can be found here:  Submitted

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