‘Notoriously offensive’ goes undefined

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission disappointed as Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of the ‘kemosabe’ case
|Canadian Employment Law Today

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of the 'kemosabe' case. The case made headlines late last year after a board of inquiry of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission spent an entire day watching reruns of the Lone Ranger to determine whether or not kemosabe was a racist term.

Mayann Francis, chief executive officer of the commission, said she was disappointed by the high court's decision not to hear the appeal because she hoped it would clear up some ambiguous areas in employment law around harassment and diversity.

"We had hoped the Supreme Court of Canada would provide legal guidance not just for Nova Scotians but for all Canadian workplaces," she said. "The standards have already been set for sexual harassment. We thought this case might help establish clearer guidelines for dealing with discrimination and the cultural differences one finds in a diverse workplace."