A restaurant in Toronto has been ordered to pay $10,000 in compensation to a black customer after it forced him and three companions to pay for their meals in advance.




Newsweek (@newsweek) reports, The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that Hong Shing Chineese Restaurant, a popular eatery just east of Toronto’s Chinatown, violated the Canadian province’s human rights code when its staff treated Emile Wicklam, now 31, as a “potential thief in waiting” a ruling published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute states.




Wickham, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and immigrated to Canada 11 years ago, had visited Hong Shing in May to celebrate his birthday with friends. He was surprised, however, when he and his friends were asked to pay for their meals in advance shortly after placing their orders. The group asked the server why the were being asked to pre-pay for food, but obliged after being told it was restaurant policy.




Wickham questioned whether his group had been targeted by restaurant staff because they were black, and decided to poll other customers on whether they had also been ordered to pre-pay for their meals in advance. The answer was no, Wickham testified at the hearing.




When a server returned to Wickham’s table, he and his friends questioned them once again about the restaurant’s policies. The server eventually admitted that their group had been the only table forced to pre-pay.




The Human Rights Tribunal Adjudicator, Esi Codjoe found that restaurant staff had practiced anti-black racism, violating section 1 of Ontario’s human rights code, which demands equal treatment for customers accessing goods, services, and facilities.



A Canadian ex-hostage who was held captive in Afghanistan appeared in court (via video link) for a preliminary hearing today after being charged with 15 offenses, including sexual assault following his release from captivity.




CBS News (@CBSNews) reports, Joshua Boyle had a beard and wore an orange jumpsuit as he appeared before a judge via video link today. The court appearances only lasted a few minutes.




Boyle, his wife Caitlan, and the couples’ three children were freed from Pakistan in October, five years after the couple was abducted by a Taliban-linked group while backpacking in Afghanistan. The couples’ three children were born in captivity. In a statement to the Toronto Star, Boyle’s wife wrote




“I can’t speak about the specific charges, but I can say that ultimately it is the strain of the trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this. Obviously, he is responsible for his own actions, but it is with compassion and forgiveness that I say I hope help and healing can be found for him. As to the rest of us, myself and the children, we are healthy and holding up as well as we can.”




The acts Boyle is charges with allegedly occurred between October 14th and December 30th, after Boyle had returned to Canada. The charges include eight (8) counts of sexual assault, two (2) counts of unlawful confinement, and one count of causing someone to take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone, an anti-depressant. There is also a charge of a death threat and a charge of misleading a police officer.