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Decision on Remedy in Andrella David v. Sobeys Group Inc.

A Nova Scotia woman who was racially profiled while shopping at a Sobeys store in Tantallon will receive $21,000 from Sobeys Group Inc.

Marion Hill, the board chair of the independent human rights board of inquiry in the matter of Andrella David v. Sobeys Group Inc. issued her decision on remedy late Thursday, April 28.

Ms. Hill concluded in her original decision, issued last October, that Ms. David had been discriminated against on the basis of her race and/or colour when wrongfully accused of shoplifting by a Sobeys employee.

At that time Ms. Hill reserved authority in the inquiry on the issue of remedy.

In her decision on remedy, Ms. Hill ordered Sobeys Group Inc. to:
— issue a written apology to Ms. David for its discriminatory treatment directed towards her
— pay Ms. David general damages of $21,000.00 plus 2.55 per cent interest from 2009
— at its own cost, participate in training approved by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission with respect to consumer racial profiling, discrimination based on race, colour, and perceived source of income
— within two months of completing the training, Sobeys Group Inc. deliver a report to the commission confirming details of the training that has been delivered

Ms. Hill has also written that the board of inquiry will reserve jurisdiction on the issue of enforcement of the remedy, in the event of non-compliance on the part of Sobeys Group Inc. If Sobeys does not comply with the remedy order, the board of inquiry will reconvene to address any outstanding actions.

“Consumer racial profiling is a significant issue in Nova Scotia most often targeting African Nova Scotians and members of the First Nations communities,” said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “I’m pleased to see that Ms. David’s experience has brought awareness to the issue, and the commission looks forward to working with retailers in the coming months to help prevent similar occurrences in the future.”

On May 26, 2009, Ms. David was stopped at a grocery store checkout by a Sobeys employee in front of other shoppers and accused of being a “known shoplifter in the store” identified by video surveillance. Ms. David was told that the store’s surveillance footage had captured her shoplifting before, that she was being watched and if it happened again, they would be pressing charges. There was no indication that Ms. David had attempted to shoplift.

To read the full decision in this matter or for more information on the issue of consumer racial profiling in Nova Scotia, go to http://humanrights.novascotia.ca.

Source: Release

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