Author Topic: Free Mandarin buffet for Canadian citizens called a violation of human rights  (Read 7142 times)

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Offline mariomike

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Free Mandarin buffet for Canadian citizens called a violation of human rights
Katherine Laidlaw, National Post  Published: Thursday, July 02, 2009
A free buffet at Mandarin restaurants for Canadian citizens has unleashed a flurry of online commentary suggesting the offer violates human rights. The giveaway, in its third year, offers Canadian citizens a free meal in celebration of Canada Day. Commenters on the online forum redflagdeals.comcomplained the meal, offered only to those who could produce proof of citizenship, is exclusionary. "A violation of human rights is not justified just because it happens one day a year, or just because it benefits Canadians, or just because the company has good intentions," one commentor wrote. As customers lined up outside the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue location, staff informed them they had to produce proof of citizenship to get their free meal. Some opted to leave the line, manager Aaron Ma said. Otherwise, they had to pay for their food. "Actually some did [have to pay], and they had no problem with it," he said. "I can understand why some people are complaining. At the same time, we have a lot of happy Canadians."
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=1750761

Offline Messmom

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>>>>>>>>> Flips through the Charter......... nope, not seeing getting a free meal in there anywhere.
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Offline gcclarke

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It would be illegal to discriminate "based on race, national or ethnic origin", such as if the restaurant owner were to limit his free food offer to Canadian citizens who were actually born in Canada. However, being an immigrant himself, that was clearly not the intent of the restaurant's president. He wanted to celebrate his adopted home, and give food to those born here, and those who chose to make it their home, as he and much of his staff had.

And, discrimination upon the basis of current nationality is not against the charter. It is fine to insist that someone be a Canadian citizen, as long as you don't ask what other citizenships they hold.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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This is freakin ridiculous. Now we have human "rights" experts telling private industry what they can and can't do? Oh I forgot...we've been doing that for 30 years now.....
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Try to do something nice...... ::)
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Offline Blackadder1916

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I hardly think that anonymous "Commenters on the online forum redflagdeals.com" (i.e. posts made on a forum just like here except the target audience is bargain hunters) can be legitimately termed "human rights experts".  Nobody filed a complaint with any human rights commission, nobody has commenced legal action; it's just anonymous mouthing-off on the internet, much like happens here from time to time.  Other than a reporter probably desperate to fulfill her assignment to get a Canada Day human interest/oddity story and who could have reported about police being needed to control the crowd at one location of the restaurant, there's nothing here.

I didn't find the thread about this threat to our human rights (didn't want to waste even more time), but here's another one about the Mandarin on RedFlagDeals.com
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Offline PMedMoe

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First complaint I found was in this thread (reply #145):

Quote
This promotion by the Mandarin is a clear violation of section 1 of Ontario's Human Rights Code. See:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/sta...0h19_e.htm#BK2

    Services
    1. Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.

The permissible exceptions to discrimination on the basis of citizenship are found in section 16 (none of which apply here):

    Canadian Citizenship
    16. (1) A right under Part I to non-discrimination because of citizenship is not infringed where Canadian citizenship is a requirement, qualification or consideration imposed or authorized by law.

    (2) A right under Part I to non-discrimination because of citizenship is not infringed where Canadian citizenship or lawful admission to Canada for permanent residence is a requirement, qualification or consideration adopted for the purpose of fostering and developing participation in cultural, educational, trade union or athletic activities by Canadian citizens or persons lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence.

    (3) A right under Part I to non-discrimination because of citizenship is not infringed where Canadian citizenship or domicile in Canada with the intention to obtain Canadian citizenship is a requirement, qualification or consideration adopted by an organization or enterprise for the holder of chief or senior executive positions.


I am a Canadian citizen myself, but this free meal only for citizens is wrong, offensive and discriminatory. This fact can be seen easily by making an analogy with other hypothetical situations where - for example - if a restaurant charges permanent residents or non-citizens twice as much as Canadian citizens; or if a movie theatre charges $10 for citizens but $13 for non-citizens.

While the Mandarin's intentions may be good - and it is one of my favourite restaurants - the Mandarin can comply with the law by opening this free meal benefit to all persons, rather than discriminating against non-citizens. Of course, they could also comply by withdrawing the free meal completely, but that would not be a wise public relations move. In the end, the free meals for everyone will cost them about the same amount of money, since they can only serve so many free meals during July 1.

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Offline 40below

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While I like the Red Flag Deals site, the folks on there are coupon cutters, not Constitutional lawyers. This is one sorry-a$$ peg to hang a news story on.

Offline Occam

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I didn't think there was much to it either, but looking at the Ontario HRC, it looks like there might be some merit to the argument.

Quote
Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.

There isn't a lot of flashy legalese in that statement.  Anyone else agree?

Offline Chapeski

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What's going to happen is this person is going to be responsible for Mandarin no longer offering this deal in the future, thus everyone must pay on Canada Day.

I see this like offering discounts to certain groups, for example getting a military discount. The only difference in this case is that the discount is 100% off to those who qualify. I don't see the problem with it.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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No good deed goes unpunished, it seems.  Lesson learned, do nothing for anyone, ever.
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Offline C.G.R

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It still amazes me how people can find a way to make any good deed seem like a wrong doing.
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I have a solution.  No more free buffets.

That is all.


Next topic?

EDIT: Though the quote does seem to be clear that such an offer would discriminate against non-Canadians, then I suppose so too does the Elections Act or Charter or whatever it is, since only Canadians Citizens can vote in Canadian Elections.....
So, there I was....

Offline cook647

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I actually think that the argument could be made that the Mandarin president is well within his rights to offer this, or at least a half decent lawyer would be able to argue it anyways.

2) A right under Part I to non-discrimination because of citizenship is not infringed where Canadian citizenship or lawful admission to Canada for permanent residence is a requirement, qualification or consideration adopted for the purpose of fostering and developing participation in cultural, educational, trade union or athletic activities by Canadian citizens or persons lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence.

Seeing as how Canada Day is part of our Canadian culture, and the president is aiming to promote and/or foster increased involvement in this cultural activity, I think he's probably in the clear.

Offline Occam

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Seeing as how Canada Day is part of our Canadian culture, and the president is aiming to promote and/or foster increased involvement in this cultural activity, I think he's probably in the clear.

I'll be the first one to admit that I personally see nothing wrong with what the Mandarin has done - hell, I wish they had a Mandarin in Ottawa that I could go to year-round.  They'd have to pry me away from the snow crab cart....lol

That said, I think it'd be a task and a half to argue that stuffing your gob with free Chinese food is promoting a cultural activity, even if it is linked to Canada Day.....   ;D

Offline VIChris

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Well clearly, by RFD standards at least, the CF is violating the charter of rights by requiring applicants to be Canadian citizens. Let's see that one in court....
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Offline old medic

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All this does is show the exceptionally low standards and quality of the National Post.

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Offline mariomike

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Politics aside, if planning to go to Mandarin this Canada Day, be prepared for long line-ups.  :)
https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2014/07/this_is_what_a_huge_lineup_for_free_mandarin_looks_like/

« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 17:34:14 by mariomike »

Offline tomahawk6

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The owner should be able to give away food to any class of person they choose.They would probably have been smart just to discount a meal.That way the only people that might be put out would be the homeless.

Offline mariomike

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The owner should be able to give away food to any class of person they choose.

Maybe all the media, and social media, "buzz" over what is fair, or not fair, isn't bad for business?

It's free advertising.

Offline tomahawk6

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I love most Chinese food and a good buffet. ;D
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Offline mariomike

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So do I. But, have you seen the Canada Day lineups? Any other day I enjoy going there. It's insane.  :)

Offline kratz

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This business has offered this recognition for Canada Day for over 10 years.
We enjoyed a meal on this offer a few years ago.

The "Internet Outrage" is manufactured advertising IMO.
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EDIT: Though the quote does seem to be clear that such an offer would discriminate against non-Canadians, then I suppose so too does the Elections Act or Charter or whatever it is, since only Canadians Citizens can vote in Canadian Elections....

How times have changed. :rofl:
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