It's a running joke in American comedy, entertainment, and social commentary that Canadians are super sweet people. Jokes fly that they apologize for everything even when there's no apology necessary. And yes, the Canadians I have met, are always super sweet.
Some gay guy just went and messed up that stereotype. Not only has he been rude in correspondences, he feels he has the right to continue to be rude and feels that he is being singled out because of his sexuality.
Haven Colbert, a North Vancouver council-watcher, has positive things to bring to the attention of the District of North Vancouver council. For example, he wants to see the council recognize World AIDS Day, recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance, and discuss affordable housing for LGBTQ seniors.
Those are great things! But Colbert has a way of communicating that has been deemed inappropriate.
Hazen Colbert has called his city's mayor an "old whore," congratulated a councillor on her breast implants and threatened to release drunken photos of another if they didn't vote a certain way.
Over the years, Colbert has sent hundreds of these off-colour messages to officials at the District of North Vancouver, prompting council to adopt a policy that redirects all email from people who have a history of sending threatening and inappropriate messages to the municipal clerk.
But even that didn't dissuade Colbert, who was the only person covered by this policy.
He turned to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, filing a complaint that alleged the municipal government was discriminating against him because he is gay and has been an advocate for LGBTQ issues.
I've been working for Instinct for about 3 1/2 years and I think that Hazen Colbert may have a great many siblings out there. The comments some of us feel we can get away with, because they're just words, typed words, stab and go responses, it's unbelievable how awful some people can be. You wonder if their mothers are on Facebook and see these upsetting statements. The personal attacks I have received and some of our writers is upsetting. Gays … you don't get a get out of jail card for rudeness just because you are "A Friend of Dorothy."
What happened to Hazen? On Feb. 14, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal dismissed Colbert's complaint. The tribunal followed the dismissal with an order for Colbert to pay $750 in costs to the district for improper conduct.
Tribunal member Devyn Cousineau [stated] "Mr. Colbert's sexual orientation does not insulate him from the expectation that he treat people with basic courtesy and respect." – cbc.ca
Of course Haven Colbert has stated to CBC News that he may consider appealing the decision and of course he will continue sending emails. Will he tone them down and stop his negative snarky comments? Or is he doomed to fail since those traits are just part of the gay gene?
Should Haven have been fined? Penalized another way?
Are his statements fine and people should lighten up?