A kindly source sent the latest note to Marine Drive members through to me today in regards to the ongoing battle between a handful or female members and the club. Though I still favour the club’s right to do as it pleases, the optics of this are awful and aren’t going to get any better.You can find my earlier commentary on the subject here.
Here’s the letter to members from Brian Butters, Marine Drive’s President:
Marine Drive Golf Club has received official notification that some female members who filed a human rights discrimination complaint against the club have applied to the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal lower-court rulings that favored the club’s position.
In January, B.C.’s highest court – the B.C. Court of Appeal – issued a judgment that the Human Rights Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with a complaint because Marine Drive is a private club whose services are not customarily available to the public.
That ruling upheld a similar finding by the B.C. Supreme Court that the club can determine for itself whether gender-specific lounges can exist. The issue involves a demand by these female members that they be permitted service in the Men’s Lounge.
The application to seek leave from the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the lower court decisions was filed in Ottawa last week. The club will be filing its legal response to the application within the next few weeks.
At that point, a three-justice panel of the Supreme Court of Canada will determine whether an appeal should proceed. If leave is denied, the case ends immediately in Marine Drive’s favor. If leave is granted, a hearing before a full panel of Supreme Court justices would take place, likely in 2008.
The Board of Directors will endeavor to keep all members informed of developments in this case as they occur.
Brian Butters, President