File No. 04 EN 467
IN THE MATTER OF: The Human Rights Code, C.C.S.M. c. Ff175
AND IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT BY:
HANK RICHARD on behalf of KEN-ALLEN (son)
BRANDON YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION INC.
REASONS FOR DECISION
Adjudicator: M. Lynne Harrison
Counsel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission: Sarah Lugtig
Counsel for the Respondent Brandon Youth Hockey Association Inc.: William R. Johnston
IN THE MATTER OF: The Human Rights Code, C.C.S.M. c. H175
AND IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT BY:
HANK RICHARD on behalf of KEN-ALLEN (son)
BRANDON YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION INC.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The Complainant, Hank Richard, has brought this Complaint on behalf of his son Ken-Allen Whitecloud Richard ("Ken-Allen"). Mr. Richard alleges that Ken-Allen was denied the opportunity to play hockey for the Respondent Brandon Youth Hockey Association Inc. ("BYHA") because he had previously filed a human rights complaint against BYHA, and was therefore subjected to reprisal, contrary to section 20 of The Human Rights Code of Manitoba (the "Code").
It must be emphasized at the outset that the previous human rights complaint (the "first Complaint") is not before me.
The Complaint which is the subject of these proceedings, dated October 22, 2004, was filed with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") on November 8, 2004.
On October 25, 2005, in accordance with subsections 32(1) and (2) of the Code, I was designated by the Minister of Justice as a Board of Adjudication, to hear and decide this Complaint.
On April 12, 2006, counsel for the Commission moved to amend the Complaint to delete the reference therein to section 13 of the Code and replace it with section 20. This amendment was made with the consent of all parties.
The hearing of the Complaint was held in Brandon on June 6, 2006.
A number of Exhibits, including an Agreed Statement of Facts, were filed at the outset of the hearing by agreement of counsel. The Commission called two witnesses to testify, Mr. Hank Richard and Ken-Allen Richard. Ken-Allen was excluded from the hearing while his father testified. BYHA called one witness, Mr. Glen Parker, who is, and was at all relevant times, the President of BYHA.
The facts are generally not in dispute.
BYHA, a Manitoba corporation without share capital, is a recognized member of Hockey Manitoba (under the auspices of Sport Manitoba), with jurisdiction to govern and regulate amateur, minor hockey within the boundaries of the City of Brandon. Its elected volunteer board directs the business of minor hockey participation for the benefit of approximately 750 young persons, aged 5 to 17, on a non-profit basis.
Ken-Allen is a 13 year old boy who wants to play hockey. He began playing when he was 5 or 6 years old, and by September 2003, had played minor hockey with BYHA for 7 years. He has 3 brothers who also play hockey. Ken-Allen and his family have lived in Brandon since 1995.
Each year Ken-Allen participated in the BYHA draft process for the B league. The B league, or house league, is for players who have either chosen not to try out for, or tried out for and not made, the higher skill level A teams. The B league draft process is set out in the BYHA By-law and is intended to ensure an equitable balance of skill on the teams in the league. Under that process, BYHA holds "B pool skates" where coaches have an opportunity to observe the players for their age group skate. The coaches then select the players for their teams and submit a roster to BYHA.
In September 2003, Ken-AlIen registered to play hockey in the Pee Wee Division with BYHA. He played 3 games with the team to which he was assigned. On November 15, 2003, the date of the third game, Mr. Richard wrote to the Director of the BYHA Pee Wee Division, complaining that his son was not being given equal ice time arid requesting a letter of apology and a transfer to another team.
According to the Agreed Statement of Facts, the BYHA By-law prohibits any trading or transferring of players between teams after the draft process has been completed. The purpose of this restriction is said to be to protect the integrity of the process and the equitable distribution of players of different skill levels. Mr. Parker testified that there were not a lot of requests for transfers within the Region, and that he was aware of only one instance in the past 10 years where a transfer had been accommodated at this stage.
On or around December 5, 2003, after an internal investigation, the Director of the Pee Wee Division for BYHA denied Mr. Richard's request that Ken-Allen be transferred to another team in the Brandon Region. He undertook, however, to monitor upcoming games to see that Ken-Allen received equal ice time.
Ken-Allen did not play any more games with the BYHA team. On December 8, 2003, Mr. Richard applied to have him transferred into the Yellowhead Region, so that he could play for the Pee Wee team in the Town of Rivers for the 2003- 2004 season. The transfer received all the necessary approvals, including approvals by BYHA and Hockey Manitoba, and Ken-Allen played the remainder of that season with the Rivers team. Rivers is about 30 kilometres from Brandon. Playing with the Rivers team thus involved considerably more travel time and playing with different players.
On December 29, 2003, Mr. Richard filed a human rights complaint on behalf of Ken-Allen against BYHA with respect to the allocation of ice time and BYHA's handling of his concerns (the first Complaint). In that first Complaint, Mr. Richard alleged that the coach of the BYHA team had discriminated against his son on the basis of his Aboriginal ancestry.
In March 2004, the first Complaint was assigned to a Human Rights Officer (the "HR Officer") for investigation. On or about September 21, 2004, the HR Officer issued her written report with the results of her investigation. In that report, she recommended that the Board of Commissioners of the Commission dismiss the Complaint on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence that Ken-Allen had been subjected to differential treatment on the basis of Aboriginal ancestry.
A copy of the HR Officer's report was sent to Mr. Richard and to legal counsel for BYHA on September 21, 2004. The reference line in the letter which accompanied the report stated: "RE: RECOMMENDATION FOR DISPOSITION BY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS", and the HR Officer went on in the text of the letter to advise the parties that:
Should you have any further information you feel is relevant to a determination of this complaint, you may submit a written response to the report which will accompany the report when it is considered by the Board of Commissioners.
Should you wish to make a submission, it must be submitted in writing to our office by no later than October 4, 2004 in order that we might ensure that it is available to the Board when a decision is made on the merits of this complaint. With or without such a submission, the Board of Commissioners may accept, change or reject the recommendation for disposition as set out in the attached report.
In any event, you will be advised of the Commission's decision by letter after it has been made.
(Emphasis in original)
On September 27, 2004, Mr. Richard submitted a response to the HR Officer's report in which he disagreed with the investigation process and the HR Officer's findings. On October 20, 2004, the Commission received a written request from Robert Bunn, legal counsel with the Southern Chiefs Organization Inc., on behalf of Mr. Richard, asking that the Board adjourn its consideration of the first Complaint to allow Mr. Bunn to assist Mr. Richard in preparing a further response. On October 26, 2004, Mr. Richard and counsel for BYHA were advised that the Board had granted the adjournment. Mr. Bunn subsequently forwarded a submission in response to the report, a copy of which was sent to counsel for BYHA.
On December 17, 2004, the Board of Commissioners dismissed the first Complaint on the grounds that there did not appear to be sufficient evidence to substantiate the alleged contravention of the Code. Mr. Richard and counsel for BYHA were advised of the Board's decision by letter dated December 22, 2004.
In the meantime, on October 15, 2004, Mr. Richard had applied to register Ken-Allen with BYHA to play hockey in its Pee Wee Division for the 2004-2005 season. At that time, he indicated that Ken-Allen could play for anyone except the coach from the previous year. He was told that Ken-Allen's coach from 2003-2004 would not be coaching that season.
On October 17, 2004, BYHA's Executive Committee rejected Ken-Allen's registration for 2004-2005. The Minutes of the Executive Meeting dated October 17, 2004 refer to the Commission, its report and pending Decision, and indicate that a Motion was carried that a "letter should be written to Player and Family refusing registration of player until all legal matters surrounding this issue be resolved." By letter dated October 20, 2004, legal counsel for BYHA advised Ken-Allen's parents that "[a]s a result of the ongoing litigation involving yourself and the Association", the Board had resolved that Ken-Allen's application would not be accepted for the 2004-2005 hockey season, and suggested that Ken-Allen be directed to the Yellowhead Region if he wished to participate that season.
When it was considering Ken-Allen's registration, BYHA was aware that Mr. Richard's concerns centered around Ken-Allen's coach from the previous year and that that individual would not be coaching in the 2004-2005 season. Mr. Parker testified that BYHA generally wants kids to play, and will allow anyone who shows up to play, unless they have been suspended. He indicated that there was a concern, however, that other coaches not be subjected to having their integrity brought into question. He stated that both BYHA and an independent third party, the HR Officer, had done what he thought was a reasonably thorough investigation and concluded that the first Complaint was not valid, and that he felt that Mr. Richard should have been satisfied with that.
Mr. Richard made inquiries of Rivers and other communities as to whether they would accept another player. As Rivers had a full roster, Mr. Richard applied to have Ken-Allen transferred to the Oak Lake Pee Wee hockey team in the Westman South Region for the 2004-2005 season. On November 4, 2004, Ken-Allen's application was approved by Mr. Parker, as President of BYHA and Regional Director for the Brandon Region, with the notation that the player's parents "have an outstanding issue with Human Rights Commission and on the advice of legal counsel BYHA has refused to accept player until the matter is [resolved]".
On November 5, 2004, Mr. Richard faxed the player transfer application to the coach of the Oak Lake team, for his signature. In the note which accompanied that fax, he stated that they hoped Ken-Allen could join his new team in Hartney that evening, and that he was working on obtaining the other necessary approvals. The other approvals were those of the Westman South Regional Association and Hockey Manitoba. He also expressed his appreciation to the Oak Lake hockey organization for accepting Ken-Allen.
In anticipation of his transfer being approved, Ken-Allen went to the Hariney rink that night. When the other approvals were not forthcoming, however, he had to return home without playing. A couple of days later, Mr. Richard was advised that the application would not be approved, as the transfer did not comply with the Hockey Manitoba Rules, which required that Ken-Allen play in Brandon, where he lived.
On November 8, 2004, Mr. Richard wrote to Hockey Manitoba to request that it intervene and rectify Ken-Allen's situation by reinstating him in BYHA. In that letter, he indicated that Ken-Allen's registration had been denied by BYHA "based on the ongoing litigation" and that his son was "being used only for punitive reasons". He stated that his "son's right to play hockey should not be predicated by complaints with the [Commission]", that being denied to play by BYHA was, in effect, a suspension, and that there was "absolutely no basis for Ken-Allen to be denied".
In a letter to Mr. Richard dated December 8, 2004, Hockey Manitoba's Executive Director, Mr. Peter Woods, replied:
I have discussed the situation with Glen Parker, Director of BYHA and although the Brandon Region is not opposed to transferring Ken Allen to another association/region, the BYHA is reluctant to accept your son's registration while you are pursuing litigation against their organization...
During cross-examination, Mr. Parker testified that he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of those comments.
The letter from Mr. Woods went on to state:
It is my understanding that the original complaint did not receive the support or recommendation for consideration from the staff of the Human Rights Commission and that you have subsequently appealed this decision. Although you may believe there has been an injustice, the investigation that I have conducted indicates that your son was not mistreated and that the allegations do not have foundation. Despite the belief shared by the BYHA you have continued to pursue your complaint with the Board of Commissioners with the Human Rights Commission, which has adversely impacted your son's opportunity to play hockey. Even though the BYHA provides a hockey program and the practice is to accept all player registrations they are under no legal obligation to provide a place for all players. This situation is compounded by your pursuit and complaint with the Human Rights Commission, which has forced the BYHA to adopt a "wait and see" position.
Unfortunately the surrounding regions are equally concerned that you have registered a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and are concerned that their organizations might also be forced to defend what could be interpreted as unfair allegations.
It is my understanding that the Board of Commissioners are scheduled to convene later this week to discuss your complaint. Hockey Manitoba is willing to convene in an effort to mediate a resolution but this situation is difficult when you maintain an adversary position towards the BYHA.
I hope you can reconsider your position so that a mediated solution can be established for Ken Allen to return to play hockey this season.
The letter was copied to Mr. Parker.
Mr. Parker testified that he had not anticipated any difficulty with the transfer request for 2004-2005. He thought that the status quo would be maintained, and was surprised when he learned that the transfer had been refused. BYHA did not follow up on that refusal.
As stated above, the Complaint which is the subject of these proceedings was filed on November 8, 2004. By letter dated February 4, 2005, counsel replied to the Complaint on behalf of BYHA. That reply stated, in part, as follows:
In early October, 2004, our office received notification of the intention of the Complainant to appeal the report of the Human Rights Officer to the Board of Commissioners. That process resulted in an adjournment of consideration by the Board of Commissioners from October 22, 2004, to December 17, 2004. By correspondence dated December 22, 2004, we were advised by the Board Chairperson of the dismissal of the complaint.
Accordingly, . . . the matter of the initial complaint was still pending at the time that the subsequent Application for Registration was received. Therefore, the Association properly referred the Complainant and player to the Yellowhead Region, as a continuation of the mutually acceptable interim arrangement, pending final adjudication of the original complaint.
The refusal by the Association to accept the subsequent registration was based neither on reprisal nor based upon race. The earlier transfer of this player to the Yellowhead Region was upon request of the Complainant, and having been granted by the Association, remained in full force and effect at the time that the new Application was received.
Ken-Allen did not play hockey in the 2004-2005 season. He stated that this made him feel "terrible"; hockey was fun and he wanted to play. His brothers and his friends were playing hockey and talked about it. He would not see some of those friends very often outside of hockey. He went to watch his younger brother's games in Brandon and this made him want to play more. He thought his skills could be better now if he had been allowed to play. He did play some basketball through the school, but only for that one year.
In October 2005, Ken-Allen was invited to play hockey with the Oak Lake Bantam team, whose numbers were low. His transfer application was approved, and he played with that team for the 2005-2006 season.
Section 20 of the Code states, in part, as follows:
20 No person shall deny or threaten to deny any benefit, or cause or threaten to cause any detriment, to any other person on the ground that the other person
(a) has filed or may file a complaint under this Code; or
(e) has participated or may participate in any other way in a proceeding under this Code;.
In his submission at the hearing, counsel for BYHA conceded that BYHA's actions fall within the definition of reprisals under section 20 of the Code.
There is no question that the first Complaint had been filed and was still pending when BYHA denied Ken-Allen's application, and that BYHA was aware of that Complaint. It is also clear that Ken-Allen's registration was refused because of the first Complaint. The letter of October 20, 2004 from BYHA's counsel to Ken-Allen's parents expressly states that the BYHA Board had resolved that Ken-Allen's application would not be accepted "[a]s a result of the ongoing litigation". The notation which was made by Mr. Parker on the 2004-2005 player transfer application further states that BYHA refused to accept Ken-Allen until "an outstanding issue with [the] Human Rights Commission . . . is [resolved]."
I am satisfied that BYHA contravened section 20 of the Code by refusing to accept Ken-Allen's registration and denying him the opportunity to play hockey in the Brandon Region for the 2004-2005 season based on the first Complaint. I must therefore now determine what the appropriate remedies are for such a violation.
Counsel for the Commission advised that the Commission is seeking two orders: an order that BYHA refrain from transferring players on the basis of human rights complaints, and an order for general damages in the amount of $2,000.00, to be paid to Mr. Richard in trust for Ken-Allen, to compensate Ken-Allen for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect caused by the actions of BYHA. Counsel indicated that the Commission would not be adverse to an award of general damages in an amount in excess of $2,000.00 if I was inclined to make such an award.
Counsel for BYHA stated that there is no question that the first order requested by the Commission is appropriate. I agree that an order of this nature is warranted.
With respect to the second order requested by the Commission, counsel for BYHA argued that this is not an appropriate case for a monetary award for several reasons. He submitted that no damages have been suffered. In the alternative, if any damages have been suffered, they were caused by others, including Hockey Manitoba, who refused to approve Ken-Allen's transfer for the 2004-2005 season and therefore did not allow him to play, and not by BYHA, which has made all reasonable accommodation throughout.
In the further alternative, counsel for BYHA argued that if there has been any damage and if it was caused by BYHA, the appropriate remedy would be nominal damages, particularly given that Mr. Richard chose not to appeal Hockey Manitoba's denial of a transfer, that BYHA has recognized and admitted its error and cooperated fully in proceeding with this Complaint, and that BYHA has incurred significant costs. It was argued that these were the actions of volunteers, that BYHA is a non-profit organization, that any damages that may be awarded would have to be passed on to innocent parents in the form of increased fees, and that BYHA has suffered far greater costs in the local context, including the loss of a valuable volunteer coach.
It was further submitted that BYHA had no intention of retaliating or of blackballing Ken-Allen. Counsel for BYHA expressed his client's regret for any loss or inconvenience which Ken-Allen has suffered in this "unhappy set of circumstances", and its hope that Ken-Allen will come back as a happy member of that Region.
Damages may be ordered under section 43(2)(c) of the Code for injury to dignity, feelings or self-respect. The evidence demonstrates that Ken-Allen did suffer distress and loss as a result of BYHA's denial of his application for registration for the 2004-2005 hockey season, including loss of the opportunity to participate in that sport for an entire season, to develop his skills, to be active, to have fun, and to spend time with his friends. The importance and impact of these losses on a boy of Ken-Allen's age ought not to be underestimated. In the circumstances, I am satisfied that an award of damages is warranted.
I am further satisfied that an award of nominal damages as proposed by BYHA would not be sufficient. BYHA's actions constituted a clear violation of section 20 of the Code. That section plays an important role in protecting the human rights of Manitobans, and ensuring that people feel confident they can exercise and enforce their rights under the Code without fear of suffering any prejudicial consequences by doing so.
BYHA has argued that it had no intention of retaliating. Yet, BYHA expressly and repeatedly indicated that it did not intend to accept Ken-Allen's registration until the first Complaint was resolved. Further, it would certainly have been reasonable for a complainant in these circumstances to have perceived BYHA's actions and comments in this regard as being an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding with the first Complaint or as retaliation for filing and pursuing that Complaint. Mr. Richard's letter to Hockey Manitoba confirms that he did, in fact, perceive BYHA's denial of Ken-Allen's registration as being "only for punitive reasons".
There was evidence that in refusing to accept Ken-Allen's registration, BYHA was acting on the advice of legal counsel. This point was not pursued in argument at the hearing. Acting on legal advice would not be an excuse for BYHA's actions.
BYHA's Reply to the Complaint reveals some confusion on its part regarding the process for dealing with a complaint under the Code. Referring to the first Complaint, the Reply stated that BYHA received "notification of the intention of the Complainant to appeal the report of the Human Rights Officer to the Board of Commissioners." It is clear, however, that this was not an "appeal" by "the Complainant".
The letter sent to Mr. Richard and to BYHA expressly indicated that the report contained the results of the HR Officer's investigation which she was forwarding to the Board of Commissioners for their consideration, that the parties were entitled to respond to that report, and that it was the Board who would decide on the merits of the Complaint. There had been no disposition of the first Complaint, and there could be no doubt that it was still ongoing. Mr. Richard was entitled to obtain the assistance of counsel, to submit a response to the report, and to seek an adjournment for these purposes. All of this was consistent with the process under the Code.
I would add that even if there had been a decision and an appeal by Mr. Richard with respect to the first Complaint, or a final disposition of that Complaint, it would have been a violation of the Code to have denied Ken-Allen's registration based on that Complaint. However, the fact that the first Complaint was still pending makes the wrong even more serious, giving rise to concerns with respect to its potential not only to have a chilling effect on other complainants who might consider filing a complaint but also to impede the ongoing process and dissuade Mr. Richard and Ken- Allen from proceeding with the Complaint as they were entitled to under the Code.
In BYHA's Reply to the Complaint, it was suggested that the Association properly referred Ken-Allen and his father to the Yellowhead Region "as a continuation of the mutually acceptable interim arrangement" which "remained in full force and effect" at the time the new application was received. It is not accurate to suggest that this arrangement continued to be "mutually acceptable". Ken-Allen had applied to BYHA to register for the 2004-2005 season, and the evidence clearly indicates that he preferred to play in Brandon. It was only after his registration was refused that he was forced to search out alternatives and apply for a transfer to another Region.
Nor is it correct to suggest that the previous arrangement "remained in full force and effect". It is clear that the transfer to Rivers for 2003-2004 had been for one season only and was no longer in effect. On the face of the application itself, it is stated that the player is applying "for the 2003-04 season" and that the signature of BYHA's President indicates that the Association has released Ken-Allen "for the current season". The applicable transfer regulations expressly provide that authorization shall be on a yearly basis only. There was no continuing "mutually acceptable interim arrangement".
Moreover, the situation in the fall of 2004 was significantly different, in several respects. The 2003-2004 transfer had occurred before the first Complaint was filed. In the fall of 2004, the first Complaint had been filed and was proceeding. In 2003-2004, Mr. Richard had originally asked that Ken-Allen be transferred to another team within the Brandon Region as a result of his disagreement with Ken-Allen's coach. In those circumstances, there may have been a basis for arguing that that request constituted a potential threat to the integrity of the system. In 2004-2005, the same coach was not coaching, and BYHA could have assigned Ken-Allen to any team in the Brandon Region, in accordance with the draft process. It cannot be said, therefore, that there was any such challenge to the integrity of the BYHA system that year. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that BYHA's suggestion that Ken-Allen be transferred to another Region for that season was not in compliance with Hockey Manitoba's Rules, and that is was BYHA's own suggestion that constituted a potential threat to the integrity of the system.
BYHA has also argued that any damages which may have been suffered were caused by others, including Hockey Manitoba, who refused to approve Ken-Allen's transfer for the 2004-2005 season and therefore did not allow him to play. That others took action, or failed to take action, does not relieve BYHA of its responsibility in these circumstances. The fact remains that if BYHA had accepted Ken-Allen's application for 2004-2005, he would have been able to play hockey in Brandon, and would not have been in the position of having to seek a transfer to another Region.
I cannot accept BYHA's submission that it has made all reasonable accommodation throughout. While BYHA did approve the transfer request, there is no indication that it took any steps to follow up on that request. It is not sufficient to say that BYHA did not anticipate any difficulty with the transfer and thought that the status quo would be maintained. As indicated previously, the circumstances were not the same, and a transfer would not have involved maintaining the status quo.
Given the stated reasons for BYHA's denial of Ken-Allen's registration and the evidence that a transfer in the circumstances did not comply with Hockey Manitoba's Rules, it would seem more than possible that there might have been some problems getting the necessary approvals. Mr. Parker expressed the concern that other BYHA coaches not have their integrity brought into question. Yet, there was no explanation given as to why this would not also be a concern to other Regions or to Hockey Manitoba.
There is no dispute that after Mr. Richard wrote to Hockey Manitoba, Mr. Woods discussed the situation with Mr. Parker. Mr. Parker also received a copy of the December 8 letter from Mr. Woods to Mr. Richard. BYHA obviously knew that Hockey Manitoba had denied Ken-Allen's transfer, yet it did nothing to follow up on that refusal.
In argument, counsel for BYHA suggested that Mr. Richard ought to have appealed Hockey Manitoba's decision. No evidence was led as to what appeal process, if any, might have been available. In any event, even assuming that a further appeal was possible, the fact that no such appeal was launched is irrelevant for the reasons stated above.
BYHA has argued that in addressing the issue of damages, I ought to take into account the significant costs and losses which it has incurred. There was little evidence as to the extent of these alleged costs and losses. There was some reference to the loss of a valuable volunteer coach, and to time spent and administrative costs incurred in dealing with these matters, including time spent locating documents and preparing a number of submissions and reports.
To the extent that there is any evidence in this regard, the majority of these alleged costs and losses would have arisen out of the first Complaint. As I stated at the outset the first Complaint is not before me. Any costs or losses arising out of that Complaint are not relevant to these proceedings. To take such costs or losses into account at this stage would surely undermine the protections afforded by section 20 of the Code.
In addition, subsection 45 of the Code provides that the parties to an adjudication shall pay their own costs, unless it is found that a complaint is frivolous or vexatious. Where a complaint is found to be frivolous or vexatious, the adjudicator may order the party who is responsible for the complaint to pay some or all of the costs of any other party affected thereby.
In arguing this point, counsel for BYHA referred to the first Complaint as having been frivolous. That is not the evidence. The evidence is that the first Complaint was dismissed on the ground that there did not appear to be sufficient evidence to substantiate the alleged contravention of the Code.
I am satisfied that any costs and losses which BYHA has allegedly incurred in connection with the first or this Complaint ought not to be taken into account in assessing the appropriate measure of damages in these proceedings.
BYHA has also argued that I ought to take into consideration the fact that it is a non-profit organization which is dependent upon the services of volunteers, and is essentially funded by registration fees. However, the aim of the Code is not to punish wrongdoings, but to remedy or compensate for adverse effects and to prevent such harm from occurring in the future. An award of damages is intended to compensate the victim of discrimination or reprisal, and is to be viewed from the perspective of the victim. The damage suffered by a complainant is no less when the respondent is a nonprofit organization. From this perspective, it is fair that BYHA compensate Ken-Allen for the damages he has suffered as a result of BYHA's actions.
I conclude that the amount which the Commission is seeking with respect to general damages is appropriate. As a result, I order that BYHA pay the sum of $2,000.00 to Mr. Richard in trust for Ken-Allen, to compensate him for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.
I therefore order that:
1. The Brandon Youth Hockey Association Inc. refrain from refusing to register players, and from transferring players, on the basis of complaints under The Human Rights Code;
2. The Brandon Youth Hockey Association Inc. pay to Mr. Hank Richard in trust for Ken-Allen Whitecloud Richard the sum of $2,000.00, to compensate him for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.
Dated at Winnipeg, Manitoba, this 16th day of October, 2006.
"M. Lynne Harrison"
M. Lynne Harrison