Deaf Surrey man loses human rights fight

Darrell Siebring argued his strata should pay for two sign language interpreters, not just one

A deaf Surrey man has lost his fight against his strata, whom he accused of discriminating against him on the grounds of physical disability for refusing to pay for an additional sign language interpreter at its annual general meetings.

Darrell Siebring filed his complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in March and the building’s manager then applied to have it dismissed, denying discrimination and arguing that the situation had already been remedied.

Tribunal member Kathleen Smith noted in her reasons to dismiss the complaint, issued Nov. 23, that Siebring requires interpretation to be able to participate in the strata meetings and that the strata already agreed to pay for one sign language interpreter.

Siebring had previously complained to the tribunal that the strata failed to accommodate his disability, resulting in agreements dated Oct. 22, 2012 and May 9, 2016 that set out the conditions under which the strata arranges and pays for interpretation services at its meetings.

READ ALSO: Human rights tribunal complaint by mom example of B.C. daycare “chaos,” advocate says

READ ALSO: Emergency dispatcher’s human rights complaint ‘not accepted for filing’

READ ALSO: B.C. bringing back independent human rights commission

Smith said Siebring then emailed a representative of the strata in January, advancing his argument that under the agreement he is actually entitled to have two interpreters. “He says that the refusal to pay for two interpreters is discrimination and a breach of the agreement,” she noted.

“The strata ultimately responded that the terms of the agreement obligate it to pay for only one interpreter and that any additional interpreter would be at Mr. Siebring’s expense.”

Smith decided Siebring’s complaint has “no reasonable prospect of success” because he didn’t provide evidence of any adverse impact he’s allegedly experienced.

“Because Mr. Siebring has not articulated any allegations of adverse impact, I find that he has no reasonable prospect of establishing that he suffered an adverse impact as a result of the strata’s refusal to pay for two interpreters at the AGM,” Smith concluded. “If Mr. Siebring has no reasonable prospect of establishing this element of his case, it follows that he has no reasonable prospect of succeeding with his complaint.”

She dismissed it “in its entirety.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Deaf Surrey human rights complaint strata sign language interpreter AGM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local Chinese Canadians aim to counter COVID-19 backlash

Few racist incidents on Peninsula, says Community Engagement Society

Surrey to pay TransLink $30M in land, $9M in cash for work on cancelled LRT

Council considered staff report on city’s 2019 annual financial statements during Monday’s “virtual” council meeting

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

‘There’s no playbook for this’: South Surrey sports organizations await approval to return to play

Local associations planning for modified summer seasons as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read

l -->