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Discrimination Against Jews Found in Canadian Lakeshore Community

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An official of the Ontario Human Rights Commission said today he would recommend to the Ontario Labor Ministry prosecution of a lakeshore cottage community operator for alleged discrimination against two Jewish families.

A commission hearing was told that Donald Organ and Leon Bernstein placed deposits for the rental of summer cottages at Lake Muskoga 135 miles north of Toronto. When the operator, Mrs. W.A. Fletcher of Gravenhurst, learned that the renters were Jewish, she returned their deposits with a claim that the cottages had already been rented. However, earlier evidence showed that the cottages had been advertised in a Toronto newspaper as available.

Mrs. Fletcher’s attorney contended before the commission that cottages could not be considered places available to the public and therefore they were not covered by the Ontario Human Rights law, which bars discrimination in rentals of public accommodation for reasons of race, creed, or national origin. The commission rejected that argument. The commission official, L.A. Deziel, said he could not imagine a more flagrant defiance of the law and told the hearing he would recommend prosecution of Mrs. Fletcher in his report to the Labor Ministry.

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