A woman who was denied entry to a dive bar in downtown Calgary after refusing to wear a mask has filed a human rights complaint.
Andrew Brassard, the co-owner of Broken City Social Club, said he was notified of the complaint on November 6th. The alleged infraction happened in October.
Quick synopsis: Woman goes to bar. Says she can’t wear mask owing to PTSD. Staff denies entry. Staff seeks the opinion of management. Woman leaves in the meantime.
Later, management posted on Facebook that the venue “will not be letting anyone inside the building unless you are wearing a mask.”
As noted, Calgary allows exemptions for wearing face masks. That said, businesses should have the right to determine their own mandate for ensuring the health and safety of patrons.
“It’s frustrating that people are coming and accusing us of something when we are actually trying to keep people safe,” said Brassard.
Brassard’s position has landed his business on the “black list” of a Facebook group called “Black Listed and White Listed Businesses in Calgary and Area.” The group’s admin, Jake Eskesen, supports the human rights complaint against Broken City.
“There are people who have very significant reasons for not wearing a mask. A lot of these reasons can be invisible such as PTSD, anxiety, asthma and breathing issues,” Eskesen said. “If they violate human rights, not only are they going to lose people’s respect but they are going to lose business.”
Brassard is fine with that. “I don’t think it’s a great sacrifice to not come to Broken City,” he said.
The power now rests with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.