A BC Supreme Court judge has overturned a decision by the province’s Human Rights Tribunal that dismissed a complaint against a city-funded street patrol program.
The judge ruled the Downtown Ambassadors Program — funded by the City of Vancouver and a business-improvement group — discriminated against homeless people.
Lawyer Jason Gratl – who represents the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, says the “Ambassadors” encouraged homeless people to leave public spaces, like parks and sidewalks.
He says discriminating against homeless people may now be unlawful under the human rights code.
“The case should act as a precedent to afford a greater swath of protection to homeless people.”
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association operates the program.
Spokesperson Charles Gauthier its track record speaks for itself.
“We will continue to work with our partners to help the most vulnerable members of the community.”
Gauthier doesn’t know if they will appeal the decision.