August 7, 2009
VANCOUVER CANADA-There's no meat in a Muslim couple's beef about the salami at a Coquitlam Real Canadian Superstore, B.C.'s Human Rights Tribunal ruled earlier this week.
The couple, William and Micheline Issa, filed a complaint with the tribunal on behalf of themselves and their three children, saying the store served them salami containing pork a year ago.
The couple said they eat only 100-per cent beef salami, as consuming pork would violate their religious beliefs.
BC Human Rights Tribunal Chair Heather McNaughton dismissed the complaint, ruling, in part, that it wouldn't likely succeed.
A deli assistant admitted she mistakenly served salami that contained pork but said the couple told them of the error before receiving the salami.
The Issas concurred but said said in the complaint that they were concerned they had previously been served salami containing pork.
Loblaws, which owns the store, had offered to settle the complaint by paying the couple $5,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect, and giving another $5,000 to a charity of the couple's choice.
But the couple proceeded with the complaint.
That “reasonable” settlement, the fact that the deli assisant merely made an error and the lack of proof that the family was previously served pork salami led the tribunal chair to dismiss the complaint.
One other fact didn’t help the couple: “They continue to shop at the Superstore and to purchase all-beef salami from the Deli,” the chair wrote.
William Issa ran for council in Port Coquitlam in 2005 and 2009. His candicacy saw him come 9th in the most recent elections with over 1800 votes. He spent just over $7000 on his political run, $2000 of which came from contributors.
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