Minister condemns discrimination against Indo-Canadian vets

Toronto, Nov 8 (IANS) A Canadian minister has condemned discrimination against Indian-Canadian vets who recently won a decade-long human rights case against the Veterinary Medical Association in British Columbia province, Canada.

Norm Letnick, British Columbia (BC) agriculture minister, who is also in charge of the College of Veterinarians Of BC (CVBC) under Veterinary Medical Association in British Columbia, on Friday criticised the college’s top brass and told them to accept the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal decision, Link newspaper reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Letnick’s hand was forced after the New Democratic Party legislator Harry Bains highlighted some of the CVBC’s racist trash in parliament in Victoria, BC.

“I was troubled to read in detail the allegations of systemic discrimination against Indo-Canadian veterinarians by the college. There is no place for racism or discrimination anywhere in our province, and I expect all organisations in BC to respect, include, and embrace our province’s rich cultural diversity,” Letnick told the newspaper in an exclusive interview.

“I have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to look at options available to government to ensure the college operates in the public interest and in the best interest of its members,” Letnick said.

On October 9, the tribunal found that the College was “engaged in systemic discrimination” against Indian-Canadian vets associated with discount clinics.

The tribunal said “the college played judge and jury in a conspiracy to force Indo-Canadian veterinarians out of their chosen profession and they suffered extreme abuse from the governing body for nearly two decades”.

The college association was also told to end the discriminatory practices and pay the vets, born and trained in India, 2,000 Canadian dollars ($1,544) to 35,000 Canadian dollars ($2,7000) apiece.

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