Gottheil’s written decision that Pelletier failed to provide sufficient arguments for his complaint to proceed with a full hearing.


Alberta’s human rights commission will not hear the case of a Calgary man who says a retailer’s mandatory mask-wearing policy discriminates against physical disability and religious beliefs. his teacher.



David Pelletier argued that Community Natural Foods violated his rights by denying him entry to the store without a mask last January.

An initial investigation into his complaint recommended its dismissal; The decision was upheld in a second review completed by Michael Gottheil, the chair of the committee.

Community Foods issued mask mandatory regulations two days before Pelletier, a longtime customer, entered the store. This change requires anyone over the age of two to wear a mask.

When told he needed a mask to enter the store, Pelletier – who complained he couldn’t put on the mask for “a second or a minute” without becoming seriously ill – said he was exempt from medically mandated rules.



When denied entry, Pelletier filed a complaint with the commission, saying the store’s actions were unreasonable and infringed on his rights.

The Community Foods response said stricter mask regulations are needed because the waivers have created controversies and confrontations between customers and between customers and employees.

Shoppers who are unable to wear masks are offered alternatives, such as free online shopping, home delivery, curbside pickup or personal shopper services.

In his complaint, Pelletier said those additional measures were not convenient for him. He also claimed health officials have not proven the benefits of mandatory mask wearing against the spread of COVID-19.

“So the claim that (Community Natural Foods) makes that wearing a mask is to protect others and not just the wearer is absurd,” he said.



Gottheil’s written decision stated that Pelletier did not provide sufficient evidence for his complaint to proceed to a full hearing.

While Pelletier may have a disability that prevents him from wearing a mask, the store’s mask-wearing policy is reasonable and the additional measures available to shoppers are reasonable, Gottheil found.

He wrote.

Gottheil also rejected Pelletier’s assertion that asking him to wear a mask was an insult to his religious beliefs.

He said Pelletier did not provide enough information to support that claim, including his religion or belief traditions.

“It’s clear. . . that an individual must do more than identify a particular creed, claim that it is sincerely worshiped, and claim that it is of a religious nature,” he wrote.

“They must provide an adequate objective basis for asserting that a belief is the tenet of a religious faith (whether or not it is widely accepted by others of that faith) and that it is a fundamental or important part of exercising that faith.”



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