Halifax Alehouse fined $7K for denying service to black man
Dino Gilpin was arrested after 2010 incident
The Halifax Alehouse discriminated against a black Halifax man when it refused to serve him and called police, according to a report released Tuesday.
Chairman Walter Thompson oversaw the Board of Inquiry case of Gilpin vs. Halifax Alehouse. It centred on a 2010 incident involving Dino Gilpin, who is black and originally from Sierra Leone.
Gilpin went to the commission after he was refused service at the Halifax Alehouse on Feb. 20, 2010, when they wouldn't accept his Canadian citizenship card as a valid form of photo identification.
The root of the problem ... was a certain 'macho', hard-nosed attitude.- Walter Thompson
When staff at the bar asked Gilpin to leave, he refused. A manager called Halifax Regional Police to escort him out of the building.
Gilpin was charged with public drunkenness and spent the night in jail.
The court dismissed those charges five months later.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruled the decision to refuse to serve Gilpin was based on the bar's rigid ID policy, rather than his race.
But the commission also said the Halifax Alehouse violated the Human Rights Act when staff called police, ruling that only racial discrimination could explain that action when Gilpin was simply drinking a glass of water.
In the restorative process that followed, Alehouse management, staff, Gilpin, Thompson, and a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission facilitator worked together to determine how the matter would be remedied.
The Alehouse must educate management and staff about racial profiling. It must also pay Gilpin $6,875 in damages.
In his decision, Thompson refers to Working Together to Better Serve Nova Scotians, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission's report on consumer racial profiling in Nova Scotia published a year ago.
The study, 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."
The prescribed training applies to managers, supervisors, and any staff who have been working for the Halifax Alehouse for more than three years.
This also includes its associated bars and facilities located at or near the corners of Brunswick and Prince Streets.