EXCLUSIVE: Mining industry implicated in multiple rapes and murders faces no “real consequences” after lobbying Trudeau 33 times in just over a year
On January 17, 2018, then Minister of International Trade, Francois-Philippe Champagne, announced the establishment of a new position.
For many, it was good news. Trudeau’s promised Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise came with the “ironclad” guarantee that an independent official would have the power to compel documents and witnesses for their investigations into corporations.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has announced it is representing another esthetic salon against Jessica Yaniv at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.
The She Point Beauty Salon, owned and operated by women of the Sikh religion, has become the newest target for Yaniv’s litigation after declining Yaniv a Brazilian wax. Yaniv then demanded a leg wax, but was also refused on the same grounds. In their Tuesday morning Press Release, the Justice Centre notes that leg waxes are performed in private with the client undressed or nude from the waist down. Citing religious and safety reasons, the salon refused Yaniv service.
The interaction occurred in August 2019, with the claim being filed at the BCHRT in October—the same month Yaniv lost a number of other identical complaints at the Tribunals. The complaints, made against mostly immigrant-owned aesthetic salons, were advanced due to some of the salon’s refusal to provide waxing services to Yaniv’s male scrotum. Other salons were asked to provide services to other parts of Yaniv’s body, but declined. All did so on grounds related to safety and/or religious restrictions on intimate-area touching between unrelated, unmarried males and females.
The Tribunals found that Yaniv’s gaggle of discrimination claims against the esthetic salons were “vexatious, calculated” and, in part, motivated by racial animus against persons from South Asia and the Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim faiths. The complaints, which varied in cost-demands of up to $500,000, were dropped to fanfare and global praise of the BCHRT.
Yaniv was subsequently ordered to pay $2,000 each to three of four clients represented by the JCCF for improper conduct. On November 8th 2019, the JCCF filed an enforcement order against Yaniv with the Vancouver Law Courts to ensure the estheticians would be paid their money via possible collections action. Yaniv’s appeal to the Tribunal to retry the case was denied.
“Women have a constitutional right not to be compelled to touch biological males in an intimate or highly personal manner if they are not comfortable doing so,” says Jay Cameron in the JCCF Press Release, the lawyer who represented five other aestheticians in Yaniv’s 2019 claims. “Like male genital waxing, our client does not offer male leg waxing services to the public, and we intend to vigorously defend against this targeted harassment on behalf of our client.”
A resident of Kitchener, Ontario is having a nightmare of a situation. What was supposed to be a nice vacation with his wife has turned into the kind of story only an insurance company could print, finely. Now he’s stuck in Thailand with a fatal brain tumour.
Alex Witmer and his wife Jennifer Witmer had been living in Moncton for the last five years before quitting their job and travelling to Thailand for a six-week excursion. The plan was to return home and relocate to Toronto. Alex, 30, unfortunately, began suffering from a migraine.
“He got a migraine that didn’t go away,” Jennifer Witmer told CTV News Toronto from a hospital in the southern Thailand.
Jennifer Witmer was expecting to acquire some pain medication for the migraine however a brain scan revealed that is was a “massive tumour deep inside his brain” that was cancerous.
“My husband was extremely healthy, he was an international athlete. He has never had any issues,” said Jennifer.
Alex Witmer was given medication to reduce the pressure inside his brain that was causing the headache but was told that it was only a temporary solution. Doctors told him he needs immediate brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Alex was told furthermore that the medication they gave him would only work for a couple of days and it was in that window of time that he best fly back to Canada.
“We have travel insurance, so we opened a claim and there was no issue we just got the go-ahead yesterday. They were sending an air ambulance,” Jennifer told CTV news.
“A few hours later they called back and said they received his medical records and it showed he checked into an emergency room in Moncton a month ago and had symptoms of the flu. He reported a mild headache and because he said that they cancelled our claim based off having a pre-existing condition.”
“They offered to still send an air ambulance service and quoted me $265,000 but that’s obviously not an option.”
“We are right now waiting for them to call and give the final word on our claim but they have been telling me it doesn’t look good.”
“It’s just cruel. Our neurosurgeon here said his flu symptoms are not pre-existing conditions. It’s insane they are flagging this.”
A GoFundMe page has been organized to help raise funds for Alex Witmer’s care and has received more than $10,000 in six hours.
Marcus Knight—a student with autism, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities—has prevailed in his lawsuit against Saddleback College, according to exclusive documents obtained this Sunday by TPM.
After being accused of sexual misconduct, Knight filed the lawsuit to clear his name.
Knight first came to national attention in 2018 after his attempts to make friends landed him in his college’s office for sexual misconduct (also known as a Title IX office). As a young man with autism, making friends has always been difficult for him, he told me.
One female student reported him because she was uncomfortable with Knight asking for fist-bumps, one of the “safe ways” he was taught to make friends, his mother said. Another student claimed Knight was looking at her weird and following her around campus.
And yet another woman complained that Knight had “over 300 photos” of her. (This was likely due to Knight’s cerebral palsy, which resulted in a motor tic as Knight attempted to press the “selfie” button on his phone with the woman, which was set to “burst mode”).
None of the three women who complained about Knight filed an official Title IX report.
Yet, despite this, and the fact that none of the women testified against Knight, the school’s Title IX Officer Juan Avalos still slapped Knight’s transcript with two Title IX infractions, possibly more.
The young women who reported Knight, Melissa Gold and Noemi Bueno Rojo did not respond to multiple media inquiries. Hannah Udall (now Torok), who also reported Knight for misconduct, initially said she would be happy to be interviewed but later declined.
In the initial suit against Saddleback College, Knight’s lawyer Mark Hathaway argued that Title IX officer Dr. Juan Avalos made unlawful errors during the investigation (such as not giving Knight an opportunity to defend himself).
One complainant, Melissa Gold, even declined to testify, saying she could care less.
“I have nothing to report. I don’t want to go over this any further. It’s done and I don’t go there (Saddleback College) anymore. This is irrelevant to my life now. I don’t care what happens officially at this point,” she told Dr. Avalos.
Later, Knight gathered 15 character witnesses to bring to his trial on campus. But Gold declined to testify and failed to show up. The hearing was called off. But somehow, Knight, then aged 19, still got slapped with two Title IX (sexual misconduct) sanctions.
These sanctions can be life-altering.
“We’re very scared. What happens when Marcus tries to transfer to a four-year university? Will the accusations follow him? I am terrified for his future,” Aurora Knight emailed me the night before the trial.
But last week, Knight went to court. The trial was short and Knight’s mother admits that she “didn’t really understand what was going on.” But shortly after, Aurora Knight messaged me: “We won!”
“The Court… hereby concludes that the findings and sanctions issued by Respondents [Saddleback College and Juan Avalos] against [Marcus Knight] should be set aside,” the court ruled.
“He is smiling! After court Mark [Hathaway] took a selfie with Marcus. Then we told Marcus he could do a selfie too … he was afraid to do so. But we told him that it was ok, and he finally did! He wants a fist bump and selfie party!”
“We fight for colleges and universities to treat everyone fairly so students do not lose access to education,” Mark Hathaway told TPM on Sunday.
“Saddleback College and Dr. Avalos are required to comply with the judgment and correct their records or be held in contempt and fined or jailed. We fight for colleges to treat everyone fairly so students do not lose access to education,” Hathaway added.
According to Aurora Knight, Saddleback has 30 days to remove the Title IX sanctions from her son’s record, she was told. How this all happened? She doesn’t know. “He was a great kid in high-school. No problems. Marcus just wants to be like everyone else.”
After her son was accused, Ms. Knight set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Marcus’s legal fees. Since then, more than 300 people have donated roughly $14,000, only eight thousand shy of her goal.
“We just want to put this past us,” said Aurora Knight.
TPM reached out to Leticia Clark, District Director of Public Affairs, to ask a number of questions following these developments. Clark said she was unable to answer a number of my questions on the record because the case is still considered “pending litigation.”
This is an ongoing story. TPM is tracking developments as they happen.
Toni Airaksinen is a columnist for PJ Media, The Post Millennial, and a digital media strategist for kosher restaurants and small businesses. She graduated from Barnard College in 2018, and has also published in USA TODAY College and Quillette. Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.
Jessica Yaniv, a transwoman who rose to infamy after she took a number of immigrant, racialized at-home salon workers to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) for declining to provide services to her male genitalia, applied for her appeal to be heard by a new Tribunal member. She claimed bias against Devyn Cousineau, according to the 5-page document released today by the BCHRT. The appeal was declined.
Cousineau, who has a background in anti-poverty and human rights law and holds a law degree from the University of Victoria, stated she did not feel Yaniv’s claims that she had been biased in her decision were accurate. According to the document, Yaniv requested the appeal decision be made by a different member on the basis that Cousineau had been pressured and “harassed by members of the public via Twitter” to rule in favour of the salon workers.
“It is my ethical and legal obligation as a member of this Tribunal to decide cases based on the evidence before me and not based on public sentiment,” Couseineau wrote in response to the assertion.
In a recent comment given to The Post Millennial, Yaniv stated that the Tribunal ruling had been a “total misunderstanding” full of “inaccurate information.” In the BCHRT appeal document, nine areas of complaint are listed where Yaniv asserts the Tribunal was “wrong”.
These areas, including that Yaniv targeted certain ethnic groups, declined her services because of her scrotum, and that she manufactured the conditions of her complaints–deliberately attempting to provoke situations where she could claim she was being discriminated against–were listed by the BCHRT as findings of fact.
Findings of Fact
Yaniv allegedly also claimed the appeal was necessary as the decision negated to consider transgender women who required hair removal for “surgery.” Cousineau writes that this “was not an issue raised at any time in [Yaniv’s] complaints.”
One of the most striking points of the document was Yaniv’s claim to be unable to pay the improper conduct costs awarded by the BCHRT to the salon workers. These awards were $2,000 each to three of the four women represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
Citing “anti-trans harassment and attacks” Yaniv sought a reduction of costs. This was also declined by the BCHRT, with Cousineau concluding that if Yaniv wants to challenge the final decision, she must do so in court.