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Edmonton Zoo Masking Complaint Heared in Human Rights Court

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An Alberta woman with a disability who was denied entry to the Edmonton Valley Zoo for failing to wear a mask will hear her complaint before the Alberta Human Rights Court after being initially turned down.

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A woman, identified only by her initials and of unknown age, is dependent on her caregiver and mother, who “because of the restrictions placed on the petitioner because of her mental and physical disability,” represented her. Also acted as. Judgment of August 22nd.

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Commission and Tribunal Director Colin May ruled that her complaint required closer scrutiny.

“While it is clearly important to ensure that public health measures are maintained and public safety is protected, these protections must be balanced with individual rights,” he wrote. increase.

“It is reasonable to believe that petitioners will do their part to support their claims.”

A woman, her caregiver, and her mother were denied entry to the municipal zoo in December 2020. Staff said they hadn’t booked the required time slot.

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In April 2021, the three visited the zoo again, this time booking tickets but again being asked to leave.

The zoo said the mother was abusive to staff and prompted to ban them from entering the zoo and 58 other facilities run by the city for three months.

The mother, who denies abuse, claims she returned to the zoo’s parking lot a few days later, where she was trying to take pictures of other participants entering without masks.

The zoo said the woman was harassing other guests and fled when approached by staff. The city has since decided to extend her mother’s curfew to her one year.

Later that month, the zoo implemented a new program to allow people with disabilities who cannot wear masks to visit during certain hours, but mothers were not allowed in.

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In her appeal, the mother argued that Alberta’s public health measures had never required her to wear a mask outdoors, and that the zoo had made no effort to address her daughter’s condition.

The zoo responded that it has expanded masking requirements to both indoor and outdoor parts of the facility due to the various “pinch points” where outdoor trails converge.

The ruling said it was unclear whether the outdoor masking rule was a recommendation or an order from the AHS.

The city also argued that its policies at the time were reasonable given the “significant unknowns” at the stage of the ongoing pandemic.

Within the same month as the mother’s complaint in April 2021, she disputed that the zoo had changed its policy “in response to public feedback.”

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“This calls into question the need for policy and its strict interpretation.”

He also said the mother’s ban effectively meant that women could no longer visit zoos.

The complaint will be heard at a later date in a private-member court appointed by the lieutenant governor.

“The purpose of the (Alberta Human Rights) Act is not only to correct individual wrongs made against petitioners,” May wrote.

“But[also]serve an educational and remedial purpose that highlights policies that unduly impede the full participation of citizens with various disabilities in our society.”

mblack@postmedia.com

twitter @ByMatthewBlack

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Edmonton Zoo Masking Complaint Heared in Human Rights Court

Source link Edmonton Zoo Masking Complaint Heared in Human Rights Court

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