Human rights ruling at Marine Drive GC; St. Catharines GC on the move?

To start, I’ll finish off my Week in Ireland series next week with visits to Baltray, Castlerock and the remarkable twosome of Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. I’ll also post significant news about changes to Cape Breton’s Highlands Links.

A G4G reader sent me a note about a court ruling involving female members and Marine Drive, the venerable private club in Vancouver. I found it quite interesting and potentially influential. I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of legalese, but here is the essence of the case.

Apparently, for a time, Marine Drive’s men’s lounge was opened to women:

Prior to June 1, 2004, the mens only status of the Bullpen (the men’s lounge) was an unwritten tradition. Between February 2003 and June 1, 2004, the Bullpen was open to women on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 6:00 p.m. until closing. As of June 1, 2004, both the mens and womens lounges were opened to both sexes, pursuant to a resolution of the Board.

Apparently that didn’t go over so well with some at the club, and several members that had supported the resolution and were on the board got booted out. The new board wasn’t as keen on the resolution:

On July 15, 2004, a majority of the newly constituted Board voted not to close the Bullpen to women at that time, but issued a notice asking members to voluntarily respect the traditional use of the Club. In late August 2004, through a Board resolution, the Golf Club again restricted access to the Bullpen to men only at all times. The complainants filed the complaint with the Tribunal shortly thereafter, on September 24, 2004.

Well, it turns out the female members who fought against the closing of the men’s lounge to women lost their fight. One judge in the case had this to say:

The Golf Club is a private club. There is a formalized selection process in place under which members are selected. The appellants joined the Golf Club knowing that it considered itself Ëœprivate within any definition of that concept. All members knew upon joining that there were rules restricting access to certain areas of the clubhouse based on gender. They joined accepting the benefits of membership and subjecting themselves to the Golf Clubs restrictions.

So the cost of settling the fact that women at Marine Drive can’t enter the men’s lounge: $160,000.

I’m no legal expert, but what this ruling seems to be suggesting is that within a “private club,” there can be specific rules that couldn’t be applied to the public at large. I suppose, on a grand scale, that would allow men’s only clubs like the National to continue to exist without worry of claimed discrimination.

To be truthful, I don’t really have a problem with any of this. If you enter a club, there are going to be certain rules. If a majority wants those rules to change, they’ll be changed. Otherwise, if you disagree, you might have to find another club. Chose carefully.

In other news, reports in the St. Catharines Standard and the Now on the Tee blog have indicated there is a proposal to move St. Catharines G & CC. Apparently the club has been approached by a developer who wants to acquire the downtown property St. Catherines G &CC currently sits on and swap it (and cash, I’d assume) for a piece of property in a quarry near Niagara Falls.

Here’s what Matt (a St. Catherines member) at Now on the Tee had to say:

The club would then buy a piece of land in the Queenston area in order to build a new 7000 yard championship course, a state-of-the-art practice facility with range and practice holes and a new clubhouse with every imaginable amenity. The members would get to play at the current facility until the new course is completed and the club itself would end up with a nice surplus in funds when all is said and done.

The story has actually been picked up by the local paper, who ran an article about the potential move last week:

Executive members of the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club are mulling the idea of relocating and selling the 18-hole course for residential development.

“We’ve put together a committee that’s doing some due diligence, evaluating all the different possibilities,” said club president Brett Roberts.
An unidentified developer has offered the club the option of buying property in Queenston to be turned into a golf course as part of a residential subdivision, said Roberts.

“Theoretically, what we’d be able to do is build a new golf course with everything configured to our specifications and then being able to sell the existing property,” he said Tuesday.

The club’s consulting architect is Ian Andrew, who referenced a project in Niagara Falls in a blog post here. The image Andrew posted of the project, as seen below make it look quite striking.


Andrew said this of the site:

It was in April that I had my greatest disappointment for the year. I had looked at a project near Niagara Falls with a group of investors but in early April our bid for the parcel of land came up short. The site was spectacular (bits of the routing and images do exist on my web site) and this would have been the perfect place to build my first course.

What happens now? Apparently St. Catharines has a club meeting next week to start the discussion among members.

The site of the new course is apparently the same one referenced by Ian Andrew on his architecture blog in a post found here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

28 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hey Rob . . . always enjoy reading the blog . . . just wondering if you or your readers have any thoughts on where ClubLink might be looking to purchase a golf club or two. It feels like they add at least one exsiting course every year to the empire (Board of Trade and National Pines come to mind)
    . . . there appears to be a buzz that some clubs in Ontario are struggling . . . not sure if that’s true or not . . . regardless, ClubLink doesn’t have anything in Niagara or Collingwood and you would think there would be opportunities . . . maybe even Kitchener/Waterloo or Guelph?

  • The Marine Drive court ruling is concerning. Part of joining a club is access to the club’s facilities, relationships, and networking. If woman are offered the ability to join the club (presumably at the same rate as men) but are restricted from certain areas (even though this was known when making the application), then there is an inequity.

    One could argue that the benefits of club ownership involve access to the conversations and relationships inherent in the so-called bullpen and asking woman members to pay the same as men but not gain access to that benefit is unfair. Yes, they have the choice to join or not. However, the effective decision for woman is paying the same rate for the course, dining room, facilities etc without the bullpen. For many woman, that decision to join in of itself may be worth making; however, what remains is that men gain more for the same price, based strictly on gender. This is an ugly “old boys” mentality at its most base level. It is a shame this club cannot join the 1980s let along the 21st century.

    The situation would be more equitable if pricing was different for men and woman but the underlying message would still be one that reflects poorly on the members of Marine Drive.

  • The judge pointed out that applicants are aware of the limitations that go along with any type of private membership. As long as everyone is aware of the rules when you apply then I think it is entirely fair.

    The idea that people are entitled to benefit from anyone’s company or conversations is absurd. Joining a club guarantees you access to the facilities and nothing more. If, when you joined, there was a Men’s Lounge and, I presume, a Women’s Lounge, and you were fine with it then, I don’t see the problem.

  • What most articles on this topic miss (or purposely leave out). Is the fact the club was/is simply fighting for the rights of the members to decide how the club is run. Marine Drive has always been very forward when it comes to equality and is the only private club in Vancouver where women members can even vote at the club. Even though most females pay half of the entrance fee and dues, they are given a full vote. Speaking of voting, the club itself had a vote and asked all members if they were in favour of the club having seperate men’s and womens lounges (yes, the club has a female only lounge too) and an overwhelming majority of members liked seperate lounges. Over 50% of female members also said they want seperate lounges. So who really is being discriminated against here? The majority of members are getting what they want and two seperate courts have now agreed that they are within the law to do so.
    All 32 members who have sued the club (out of nearly 800 voting members) joined knowing the rules and provisions of membership. Some people say there is no need for seperate gender lounges in today’s society, however that is for the club as a whole to decide, not a few members or the general public.

  • I can see an argument if people have ‘traditionally’ been allowed access to an area and then this is denied – – one could argue that the individual plunked down a significant ‘entrance’ fee (often in the tens of thousands) on the understanding such access were granted and now these conditions have changed. Not sure that applies here though.

  • Tigre:

    Some of your comments deserve an additional perspective:

    “Marine Drive has always been very forward when it comes to equality and is the only private club in Vancouver where women members can even vote at the club.”

    Wow, woman members can vote! What’s next, they can make their own tee times without consulting their husbands, boyfriends, etc? If this is forward when it comes to equality, something is wrong. We are afterall living in the 21st century, not the 19the century.

    “Over 50% of female members also said they want seperate lounges. So who really is being discriminated against here?”

    OK, how about the other 50% female members?

    “The majority of members are getting what they want and two seperate courts have now agreed that they are within the law to do so.”

    Hmmm, could the majority of members be men? Yup, sounds like they are getting what they want alright.

    “All 32 members who have sued the club (out of nearly 800 voting members) joined knowing the rules and provisions of membership.”

    I wonder how many woman members there are in the club in total, how many joined independently of their husbands, and of this number, how many joined in the lawsuit. These numbers would be useful insight to better understand what is really going on in the club.

    When members of a private club are prepared to be subject to the public scruntiny of a lawsuit in addition to the likely cold reception from other members of the club (with whom they interact on a daily basis), one knows this is a serious and divisive issue…

  • Weekend,

    I thought about not even posting a response to your reply because you seem to be like other people in the public who miss the whole point of this case.

    The main point is that the golf club and members should be able to decide how they want to run their golf club. By pointing out the fact that women vote at Marine Drive was only to illustrate that the golf club has changed policies over time to adopt what the majority of members want at a golf club. I should point out that if anyone is discriminated against with this voting issue it would be men who pay twice as much to become a member and considerably more each month in dues for that same one vote that is given to a member who pays less.

    If having ‘rights’ was what this case was all about, why have some of these women who are suing Marine Drive for ‘rights’ tried to join other clubs (Point Grey and Shaughnessey) where women are not permitted to even vote? Seems a little hypocritical to me and I wonder if it was rights they were suing for or just a better view for their post round drink.

    The main point is that the vast majority of members (members, not just male or female members) want to have seperate men’s and women’s lounges and two courts have now said they are within the law to do this. Also, nothing has been taken away from these female members, as this is the way the club was when they joined.

  • Thanks Tigre for your comments. I raised a number of issues which you effectively avoided answering.

    – How many woman members are there?
    – How many of these members joined independently (e.g. not associated with their husbands);
    – How many of the 32 are independent;
    – Are not the other 50% female members who did not want separate lounges being discriminated against?
    – And on this issue of men paying twice what woman pay? Hmmm, out of the goodness of their hearts, the club only asks woman to pay half and obtain the exact same benefits (except for the bullpen access…that must be one special lounge for male members to pay double the fees…). Oh, let me guess, there are other restrictions on woman’s membership? Tee times perhaps?

    Your emphasis on an ability to vote seems ill directed. To be proud that a paying member has the “right” to vote is absurd. It should be assumed. To think otherwise reflects a mentality that is inconsistent with any sense of fairness of equality in today’s society. If you choose to allow woman to participate in a club, they should have a vote…period. And if they pay, they should pay the full rate and have identical access as the men.

    When one starts to make qualifications on adult membership, it tends to reflect partial acceptance. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all treat each other equally?

  • Weekend,

    I was not avoiding your questions, I chose not to answer them because they have no bearing on the court case that was in front of the BC Supreme Court or the BC Court of Appeal. It may have some bearing in certain people continuing to attempt to try this private case in the court of public opinion, however to humour you I will attempt to answer your ‘curiousity’ questions.

    – I am not sure how many female members there are at the club, however there are approximately 800 voting members and over 75% (based on a club survey in 2004) support the idea of both Men’s and Women’s only lounges. If you want equality then a vote is a vote and a member is a member, right?

    – I am not sure of how many joined indepently of a spouse (husband would assume gender preference and of course someone in favour of equality would never want to do that). Really though, I do not see why this would make any difference though… fact is a member is a member and a vote is a vote… equality, right?

    – I have no idea how many of the 32 are independent. I do not see how that would matter though. The two courts that ruled in the Club’s favour certainly did not look at that (rightfully so).

    – I think your math skills need some work. I stated that OVER 50% of women at the golf club were in support of seperate lounges for men and women. That would be called a majority. The LESS than 50% of female members are certainly not being descriminated against, they simply are not getting what they want out of a golf club, and according to some of them other clubs are more favourable to their cause. If this issue was of supreme importance to them they should join another one of these golf clubs – but wait, then they can’t even vote… hmmm. I might remind you that this was the setup when EVERY single female member joined the golf club. The fact is over 75% of club members have what they want and two seperate courts have told them they are within their rights to do so. It would appear the majority is happy and within their legal rights.

    – Women paying half. Yes, this is a beautiful topic. Just to summarize once again. Women are given the opportunity to join as full play members or lady members. Lady members are given a reduction of 50% off the entrance fee and also pay reduced dues. If a women decides to pay the full entance fees and dues she is given the exact rights to the first tee as a man. The only discrimination (if you want to even call it that) is in men joining the club. Men do not have an option to pay half and receive reduced access to the first tee, however I have yet to hear of a male complaining or suing the golf club about this in over 85+ years. If they did have a problem with the process I would hope they would go down the correct avenues to change the rules… not by suing fellow members. All adult membership classes however do have access to the mixed grill, and the locker room and lounge specific to their gender.

    I hope this answers some of your quality questions. I am sure you already knew the answers to these questions, however I do understand how the supporters of the complainants must be getting discouraged with court after court telling them they have no case and possibly pulling at straws is all they have left.

  • Reverend Mike:

    OK, you’re right. I do not know what I am talking about. Shame on me for trying to fudge my way through this argument. I’m sure glad you offered your insightful, thoughtful, and coherent argument. Your analysis is deep, examples are plentiful, and reasoning sound. Thanks for making such strong contributions to this blog. I feel blessed to have read your opinion.

  • Weekend

    Tigre gave you 3 insightful, thoughtful and coherent posts on the Marine Drive issue and you just refused to acknowledge his facts. I used the short and direct response and got the desired action.

  • Reverend Mike:

    It is not that I do not acknowledge Tigre’s facts, it is that he presents them in a self serving manner. I am looking to get at the real story, not the potential spin of someone who is close to the matter. In particular and I quote Tigre:

    “I am not sure how many female members there are at the club, however there are approximately 800 voting members and over 75% (based on a club survey in 2004) support the idea of both Men’s and Women’s only lounges.”

    – # of female members is key to the point being made. If there are 25% female members, then the there could be zero female members who support gender specific lounges but the spin is 75% membership support thereby implying woman voted for the motion. I am not saying this is the voting pattern or the membership makeup but knowing the female membership number allows for a complete understanding of this statement made by Tigre.

    “I am not sure of how many joined indepently of a spouse (husband would assume gender preference and of course someone in favour of equality would never want to do that). Really though, I do not see why this would make any difference though”

    – To think that there is not a difference between a female member who paid for and joined a private golf club independently versus a female member who joined the club as part of a family or husband and wife team is naive. An independent female would not have to deal with the inherent difficult discussions at home resulting from taking an aggresive action (legal suit) against the club. Knowing the numbers of independents versus non gives further insight into what is really going on within the club.

    “I have no idea how many of the 32 are independent. I do not see how that would matter though. The two courts that ruled in the Club’s favour certainly did not look at that (rightfully so).”

    – That is not the point. It would be inappropriate for the courts to examine this number. However, it is germaine to the discussion of understanding whether this is an “old boys” club trying to protect their turf (The Bullpen lounge) or simply the result of a rogue small number of female members who have a different opinion than the majority (male and female included). The fact that Tigre does not see the relevance of this point reflects a bias. I am looking to see what the real facts are…not the spin of an insider.

    And the examples continue but I will leave this issue.

    Bottom line, it is always easier to work within the system rather than take an aggressive external process like suing an organization. The fact that a small number of woman have chosen that aggresive path reflects they could not succeed within the system. Hence, portraying the existing system as somehow working smoothly seems inaccurate…and after asking probing questions with no real answers confirms that there is more to story than publicly available.

  • Weekend… You are looking for the real story, are you? The real story is that this is a private club and the two highest courts in British Columbia hset ave said that the Human Rights Tribunal in BC has no jurisdiction to hear the case. Thus, if the very small group of members would like to change this policy within their private club they will have to go about it through the proper ways the club has set out. Case closed. Anything else you would like to know that has any bearing on the actual case? You seem to be rambling off items that have bearing to the case… do you have any evidence or items to suggest Marine Drive is not a private club and the courts were not correct in their ruling?

  • Tigre:

    I am after the facts. My hypothesis is that there is more to the story than simply a private club exerting their rights under the law…that there is an underlying “old boys club” trying to protect their turf…and RT’s recent post makes an allegation that is consistent with this view. I copied it below:

    “The Golf Club opened the Bullpen Lounge and Bullpen Deck to both men and women for a three-month period between June and August, 2004. On a number of occasions when they attempted to use those facilities, some women were harassed, shunned, and intimidated.

    Some male members put up a sign in the Bullpen lounge that said “Cow Pen””

    One member, one vote? Hmmm, that vote may come with harassment attached. Where there is smoke, there is often fire…

  • Weekend… once again you are missing the points of this case. This is not an ‘old boys club trying to protect their turf’, this is about the members of a private club protecting their rights to govern their own pirvate club the way they seem fit.

    Call it an old boys club if you want, call them sexist pigs, cavemen, or whatever else you want, it doesn’t have one any bearing on the facts of the case. The club is private and can, in the courts eyes, conduct their business how they see fit.

  • In my early days in this business as an assistant pro at a Golf Club with separate ladies and mens lounges, I had the sincere privilege of witnessing much of what transpired in each lounge from time to time. Let me tell you, based on some conversations I’ve been unwillingly exposed to, I would not want to be a male member walking into the female lounge and vice versa! The fact is, the beauty of gender specific lounges is that men and ladies can talk amongst themselves about whatever they want, whenever they want and not worry about offending their opinionated counterparts of the opposite sex!
    If you were to open a MIXED LOCKERROOM at Marine Drive would anybody ever use it?? The sights and sounds in both Men’s and Ladies’ locker rooms can be very appalling! The same can be said about lounges. (Ladies, don’t kid yourselves, you’re no angels! As an assistant I had the sincere misfortune of having to clean the locker rooms of both genders at the end of a long day.) Take my word for it, some people are truly filthy!
    Unfortunately, in this day and age there will continue to be those “Neanderthals” who make abrasive comments publicly to prove their stance on an issue. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, and I’m sure their have been many R rated conversations in the ladies lounge about the extremists who made these comments.
    You can argue over principal for the next 50 years, but the bottom line is “LET THE BOYS BE BOYS AND THE GIRLS BE GIRLS” and if the boys and the girls choose to enjoy each other’s company, they can meet in the “mixed lounge”. Pretty simple concept isn’t it??
    Personally, I don’t think many ladies would see the glamour nor the appeal in voluntarily immersing yourself into a world of excessive alcohol consumption, competitive bodily functions, midnight card games, arguments over handicaps and of course the gambling which is connected to all of the above!
    Ladies, you seem to be prepared to spend a lot of money in court on something you can find at any local sports bar or reality TV show!
    Boys, save the nasty comments for your next hunting trip.(Would you kiss your mother with that mouth?) You’re not helping your cause!
    Best of luck to all parties involved!!
    Entertained in Ontario!

  • Tigre:

    To quote you:
    “This is not an ‘old boys club trying to protect their turf’, this is about the members of a private club protecting their rights to govern their own pirvate club the way they seem fit.”

    Who is kidding who? This is about the MALE members of a private club protecting their rights to govern the private club the way they see fit to meet their needs with minimal regard for the minority within the club (vocal minority group of woman). You can spin it any way you wish but this is an “old boys” group who want it their way…and their way is privilege access to the bullpen. (BTW, that must be a pretty special bullpen to go to these lengths to protect it).

    When that privileged access was threatened, they used one of many means of exerting their power influence…harassment and degradation. (note earlier post on what the male members allegedly did to the female members who dared to enter the bullpen when access was granted to them for a 3 month period in 2004).

    My original post (which seemed to generate this extended post conversation) commented that this club needs to enter the 21st century (some might say even enter the 1980s!) in terms of equality and treatment of woman. Tolerance is the hallmark of a great society (and BTW, a means of attracting creative people). We should all be concerned by a lack of tolerance, even if it exists in a private club environment.

  • All that means, Mr. Enthusiast, is that you’d choose not to join Marine Drive because its policies offend you. That’s your right. But if the majority of the club — and it is a vast majority by all accounts — wants a certain policy, it is their right to enforce it. It is their club, and they can take their balls and retreat to their men’s only locker room if they decide that’s best.
    This just doesn’t bother me that much — I have no issue with men having their own space within a club, as long as the female members have a comparable space.

  • Weekend,

    Well I am glad your ‘fact finding’ mission (as you posted earlier) has come to an end. You seemed very open to listening to everything except rational matters of fact. All I have done in my comments is post facts that at minimum 78% of club members and 4 supreme court and appeals judges have agreed with.

    There are two things I can suggest for you. If you are a member of the club and do like something, please try and go about changing the policies using the traditional way all members have in the past. If you are not a member please leave this private matter for the club to work through… and please do not join. Thank you.

  • Tigre:

    What makes you think my fact finding mission has come to an end? I am open to the facts, not the spin from an insider.

    It seems clear that the Marine Club has divisive issues within its membership. The old guard is fighting hard to maintain its power, influence, and control over the club and its policies…all within its rights.

    I did not originate the discussion about the Marine Club…it was initiated by others. I only provided an opinion on RT’s post for which you defended.

    As to your advice, interesting that you would want this matter not to be discussed in public. The issue certainly does not meet the smell test of what is reasonable in current times. Yup, I can see why you would want minimal public discussion on the matter. Discrimination is an ugly public spectacle, especially when it is hidden behind the walls of a private club.

    As to my current status on private club membership, where I play, or what club with which I am member, hmmm – where might I be playing?

  • Weekend,

    Wow… you really do know how to avoid the topic about what this case is really about. What you should really do is read the two judgements (they are on the BC Provincial Courts website) and if you want to discuss the facts that either side brought up in the cases feel free. All of your other trivial questions and coments have no bearing on this case whatsoever. Of course I am sure you claim they do, but again, 4 Provincial Court and Appeals judges disagree with you.

    The only reason we do not want this issue in the public is because public opinion or their views do not have any bearing on the case. You can talk and squak about it all day long, however it is not going to change the outcome. With these two rulings in the club’s favour the only thing that will change the policies will be the members themselves. This will be the same process in which Marine Drive became the first private club in Vancouver to give women a full vote and to also have a female president of the club. Sounds like a bunch of cave people to me, huh? Old boys club? If these complainants were so concerned with discrimination wouldn’t they want clubs like Point Grey and Shaugnessey to be held accountable for not even allowing female members to vote? It would seem that voting would be a bigger issue than where someone sips their white wine, especially when females at Marine have their own lounge also.

    As for your membership status, it would not surprise me if you were a member of Marine or involved in the case. I have seen and heard many rediculous comments such as yours in the past few years. Seems like discrimination is only discrimination if it is not in favour of the females. All (except one) of the complainants were more than happy to take advantage of discrimination in their favour when joining the club by paying only half of what a man did and receiving a full vote. Ah, gender ‘equality’ these days.

  • I find this an interesting read and cannot help but wonder how the issue of segregation of blacks and whites, or more plainly white only clubs, is an issue the courts can hold jurisdiction over but not male vs female.

    Seems to me a Men or Women only “locker room” would make it a non-issue. Having the “lounge” aspect is what makes the whole issue more of a power struggle than a human rights issue.

  • Tigre:

    I am getting weary of your comments. I need not read any of the court rulings. As I stated above, the MALE denominated members of the club have a right to do as they please behind the private club wall.

    The fact of the matter is the club is discriminating against female members by having them pay full rate and not providing full access to all areas of the club. The fact that the club can hide behind a legal definition that says as a private club they can do what they want does not change the fact the club discriminates. Nor can you hide behind the “majority voted in favour of this provision when the majority of the club are men who would benefit (presumably) from the exclusion”. Consider if this situation was not a private club but a public facility. The bullpen would never be allowed to exist as it does today. By any measure of resonableness, the policy is discriminatory and hiding behind a legal wall / private club does not make it any less so.

    If one doubts the real intention of the club, look at what RT reported as allegedly true…that female members were harassed when the bullpen was open to them for a three month period in 2004. This seems like more of an indication of club culture than a woman president or providing woman a vote when the men know that they do not have enough votes as a group to change policy.

    After all, when the male members of the club did not like the opening of the bullpen to the woman, they called an emergency general meeting to oust the President and other board members and then changed policy. Yup, that president sure has lots of power and control. You conveniently choose to disregard or not comment on these issues. Hmmmm.

    As to why this situation is important to the public even though it is a private club is that all areas of society should be held to some semblance of fair play…even private clubs. If you want to have a men’s only club, fine…if you want to have a woman’s only club fine…but if you have a mixed club, then treat both men and woman fairly, period. Excluding woman from the bullpen if they want to be there is not having the woman being treated fairly, whether they knew about it or not when they joined, whether it is a private club or not.

  • Weekend,

    I will humour myself once again and respond to your pitiful ramblings. I love this line from your post:

    Consider if this situation was not a private club but a public facility.

    Yes, that might be considered a different situation, but we are not talking about that here. The club IS private, and thus you will have to live with the legal ramifications of it being so. Come to think of it though, the feminist leaning, bleeding heart liberal Human Rights Tribunal did recently hear a case where a public facility was denying men the right to join a fitness club. The feminist tribunal ruled in favour of the fitness club saying the man had other fitness clubs with the same type of facilities and service in the area he could join. It is nice to know that there has been precedent set that if the same service was available in a non-gender exclusive setting then it would not be considered discrimination according to the tribunal. In the case of Marine Drive the same services of the bullpen are provided literally 10 feet away from the men’s only lounge in the mixed grill. Of course I am sure it would be a different story for the tribunal if it were a woman being denied access to a men’s only public facility… wait, a tribunal wouldn’t have a gender bias, would they?

    I would suggest if you want total gender quality maybe you should join a public golf course. UBC has a fine facility and might be able to help you out…. but wait! I forgot that you guys already had your time there and David Ho got so sick of dealing with part of your group that he got rid of memberships all together. Hmmm, when might you finally realize that it is not the golf clubs with the issues, but you and your group?

  • Tigre:

    Perhaps I can help you with your reading ability. I have said that the MALE members of Marine Drive can escape the test of reasonableness in regards to gender equality because they are a private club. Do I need to say it again? Yes, this is a private club matter.

    This does not mean that the policies are not discriminatory, that the club is exerting its power to maintain a status quo, that woman members were (allegedly) harassed in 2004 when they had access to the Bullpen (although you have not commented on this which leads me to believe that it is true), and that the club has a divisive issue within its membership.

    You can hide all you want behind a legal wall. Bottom line, the policies are discriminatory, the old boy regime is maintained, and the stately old west coast club’s reputation has been tarnished because of attitudes that existed years ago but many members cannot seem to enter the 1980s, let alone the 21st century.

    With regards to UBC and whatever, maybe this writer does not live in BC, maybe he does, maybe she belongs to a private club, maybe plays publicly, perhaps is a Marine Drive member, or just a no name golfer…but do not make assumptions as we know what happens when you assume…

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