Friday, May 23, 2008

The public say

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on a case where a man was suing Culligan water systems because he found a fly in his unopened water bottle. He had suffered such psychological distress from the incident that he had been unable to shower and lost all sex drive. An initial trial court awarded him $300,000, but that was unanimously overturned by the Ontario Supreme Court, and then the Supreme Court of Canada also unanimously dismissed the man's claims, and in fact ordered him to pay Culligan's legal fees.

The full story can be found on the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] website.

It was a ridiculous lawsuit, but justice prevailed.

I like to read or listen to my news via CBC. It is a bit left-leaning for my liking, but I find CBC to be articulate at least. I also enjoy reading the comment section that goes with each story. Of course you get idiots posting from time to time - all hail democracy - but that's just the way it goes. What bothered me about the comments to this story though was the amount of racism that so readily crops up.

In amongst the many commenters lamenting this type of lawsuit, there were cries of "Go back to your own country" or "I'm sure he comes from a country that has tons of flies" or there was one stupid comment about a camel. Excuse me? No where in the article did it mention that the man was an immigrant. And even if he is, he's entitled to rights in Canada. Including sueing. This man was described as having a hair salon in Windsor, Ontario. So good! He's working. He's a business owner. Whether he recently came to Canada or is second or third generation, it's irrelevant. This is his country. This is his home. Also in the article he said at the end that although he didn't agree with the judgment, he respected the Supreme Court of Canada as having the final say. He wasn't saying something like he didn't acknowledge the Canadian justice system or anything that would warrant commenters saying he doesn't belong in Canada.

Criticize the guy for his lawsuit, but I don't see what it has to do with his heritage. And really, Canada's 'home grown citizens' don't launch frivolous lawsuits? Don't try to get a buck? ha. ha. ha.

I so hate this nonsense. Canadians like to pretend that they aren't racist but they so are. Maybe these ignorant comments hit home for me as I'm an immigrant myself. I'm not first-generation. I'm off the boat. However, because my name is Susan as opposed to Mustapha, I don't have to deal in general with as many stupid comments.


Lesley said...

We have the same problems in the US -- both the frivolous lawsuits and the racism. I worry that the latter is going to get much worse in the upcoming presidential election, although I do pray that I am wrong.

I do like that the lawsuit charges that this man could not shower because of the flies. I think if I found a fly in my water, my first thoughts would be of how quickly could I get to a shower, how hot is the water, and how long could I stay there.

Sunshine & Kitten Farts said...


Oooo!!! Somebody farted!!! I had to smell it!!! I'm suing for pain and suffering!!!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I blame those stupid adverts along the lines of: "Fell off your chair at work? Why not let us sue your company and reap half the reward. We don't care that you'll never work again..."
I guess you have them in Canada? They've started to spring up here in the UK over the last couple of years.
Bloody money-grabbing lawyers/solicitors and their 'blame-culture'. Making the world a less tolerant, less friendly and more lazy place.

Don't even get me started on racism...

eroswings said...

Isn't it funny that the people spouting "Go back to your own country" are really descendants of immigrants themselves? I always laugh when I hear some people saying that because I always say to them, "Wow! I didn't know you're an American Indian! What tribe do you belong to?".

The stupefied look on their face is always priceless!

Stewie said...

My first thought as I was reading your post is that "dude must be an American living in Canada" and I was going to post that as my comment. But then I read the rest of your post and decided not to post that as my comment because I didn't want you to yell at me.

tornwordo said...

Oh my it's the same one province over. Reading the reaction to the Bouchard Taylor report is sickening at times. I'm not only alarmed at the racism but the general ANGER over the presence of immigrants. I hadn't thought about it that way before, but I guess I'm off the boat too.

Snooze said...

Lesley: It may be better if the election brings out the hidden racism - then hopefully it can be dealt with. And I'm with you on the showering bit.

Sunshine: Are you sure it wasn't your own? Perhaps in the bookstore? You should still sue for pain and suffering though.

IDV: The litigious society is getting way out of hand, and yes, we are getting inundated with ads but off-hand I think they are from the American tv feeds.

Eroswings: Welcome! Both you and IDV... I fear the elf shorts will follow soon. I love your answer to 'go home immigrant' comments.

Stewie: THAT'S RIGHT. DON'T BE RACIST. Okay, just kidding. This need to turn every tragedy into a chance to win the lottery seems to be spreading internationally.

Torn: I've been discouraged to read some of the reactions to the report as well. I think it's fine to have a debate about immigration, but these knee-jerk horrid comments shock me every single time.