July 20 (UPI) — The owner of two popular water parks in Canada has refused to allow women to go topless in his parks, despite a human rights complaint over topless bans filed in Canadian court.
The complaint was filed earlier this month and argues that the city of Cornwall’s ban on topless women in public pools violates human rights on the basis of gender discrimination. The complaint specified seven hotel chains with public pools that operate in Cornwall, as well as the Calypso water park, owned Louis Massicotte, the CEO of Groupe Calypso Valcartier.
Despite the complaint, Massicotte said he will maintain the policy in his business.
“We work on an experience for our customers, and we think that toplessness should not be involved in this experience,” said Louis Massicotte, the CEO of Groupe Calypso Valcartier, which runs water parks in Ontario and Quebec. “We are an amusement park for kids and families and we want to stay with that mission.”
Massicotte told the Canadian Press he decided to maintain the topless ban after consulting with attorneys in both provinces.
“To us, it’s not a question of sexual perception, the issue for us is to protect the comfort of our customers,” he said.
Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy, said city officials will discuss the complaint in the near future.
“Our policy states that girls over the age of 10 must wear a top,” O’Shaughnessy explained. “The clause that’s in there is specific to females.”
Going topless has been legal in Ontario since 1996, but Cornwall never changed its laws. According to the Toronto Sun, other provinces have implemented similar laws, but the issue has never received the attention of the Canadian Supreme Court, making it a matter of debate whether topless bans are still legal in certain jurisdictions.
“This policy has not been reviewed for a very long time. There is a possibility that it is discriminatory towards women,” O’Shaughnessy said. “So we’re going to wait for the advice from our lawyers on the action that should be taken. If it is shown to be discriminatory, the matter will be to remove it from our policy.”