Pubdate: Wed, 11 Feb 2009
Source: Burlington Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Burlington Post
Author: John Goddard


Ted Kindos faces two choices: Continue to be called a bigot or break 
the law. Either way, he risks going bankrupt.

Kindos owns Gator Ted's Tap & Grill in Burlington. Four years ago, he 
asked a marijuana smoker to step away from his front door.

The medically-licensed toker complained to the Ontario Human Rights 
Commission of bias against a disabled person. He won.

Kindos was about to pay the fine and post obligatory signs saying, 
"We accommodate medicinal marijuana smokers," when a different 
government agency told him he could lose his liquor licence. Serving 
anybody possessing a controlled substance - prescribed or not - is 
against the law.

"Heads I win, tails you lose," Kindos said on Monday. The Ontario 
Human Rights Tribunal will hear the case this summer.

"People didn't like the way I smell," the smoker, Steve Gibson, 
acknowledged of one complaint against him from fellow patrons.

"But I don't like a lot of smells either. I can't bear to stand near 
some chicks, they've got so much perfume on."

Gibson suffered a neck injury in a 1989 workplace accident, collects 
a disability pension and is one of 3,000 people in Canada authorized 
to use marijuana to control pain.

When Kindos asked him not to light up inside, Gibson stood smack 
outside the front door where families pass in and out. Regular 
smokers stand there, too, he said.

"I don't care if you're eating a banana outside my front door - if 
you're blocking my entrance I'm asking you to leave," Kindos said.

After spending $40,000 to fight the rights complaint - the government 
covered Gibson's costs - Kindos announced last May he would settle. 
But on seeing the offer, he changed his mind. He was ordered to pay 
Gibson $2,000 for pain and suffering, train staff in the human rights 
code, educate the public about the code, and post the signs.

Discovering he could lose his licence proved the last straw. Kindos 
must continue to fight the complaint or lose his business, he said.

Legal bills could also bankrupt him but a lawyer has agreed to take 
the next stage without charge.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart