BC Human Rights Tribunal (Canadian Press photo)

Langley’s Lions Housing target of human rights complaint

A former resident alleges discrimination after coming out as trans

A former resident of Langley’s BC Lions housing complex is claiming discrimination by staff and other residents in a complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Angela Dahl’s complaint is against the Langley Lions Senior Housing Society and its executive director, Jeanette Dagenais.

None of the complaints have been proven in a court or tribunal.

The housing complex, including the Evergreen Timbers Assisted Living Facility where Dahl lived until 2018, is for low income seniors and disabled residents.

Dahl alleges that after she came out for the first time as trans at a Halloween party in October, 2015, she was the target of derogatory references and unwelcome touching, including by staff who helped her dress.

Among other issues, she claimed care aids at Evergreen made comments such as “you could never be a girl,” and that staff and residents referred to her as “shemale,” “gender-bender,” and “drag queen.”

A staff member allegedly refused to ride in an elevator with Dahl and her friend saying “I don’t ride the elevator with freaks.”

In December of 2017, Dahl received a letter from Dagenais saying Dahl was mistreating other residents and staff and “interacting with people in a way that make them uncomfortable.” Dahl believes the accusations were fabricated by people uncomfortable with her gender, who were trying to force her to leave.

Dahl filed her complaint in January of 2018 and moved out of Evergreen Timbers later that year.

The recent ruling from the Human Rights Tribunal is on the time limits under which people can file complaints.

Due to regulations that were in place when the complaint was filed, incidents before a certain date can’t be dealt with by the tribunal.

The tribunal also ruled that some incidents – including the letter from Dagenais – are not violations of the human rights code because “there is no information that her sex and gender identity or expression was a factor,” said the recent ruling.

Ultimately, due to delay in filing the complaint, only alleged discrimination that took place in 2018 will be considered. A list of five incidents that ook place from March to August 2018 will be considered. Earlier alleged incidents will not be considered, ruled tribunal member Steven Adamson.

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