The father, identified only as Todd, is being investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission after a complaint was filed against him in 2017 by the applicant, who claims the father violated the Alberta Human Rights Act.
The father, whose boys were 5 and 8 at the time, posted an ad for a babysitter on Kijiji, a popular classified ad site in Canada, because he was planning on meeting a friend for dinner the following night.
Todd received several responses, among them one listing skills such as CPR, and first aid, and mentioning a clean criminal record and seven years of caring for children. When Todd asked for age and gender, the applicant, James Crynowski, responded: “I’m male and 28 years old.”
Todd’s dinner plans fell through, however, so he stopped corresponding with Crynowski and the other applicants because he no longer needed a babysitter. But Crynowski, instead of following up with Todd, filed a formal complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission on Sept. 1, claiming age and gender discrimination.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a Canadian conservative legal advocacy organization specializing in Canadian constitutional law, is representing Todd and sent a letter to the commission Aug. 19 to have the complaint dismissed.
“Thwarting parents from even inquiring about a babysitter’s gender or age is inconsistent with giving ‘utmost deference’ to parents’ preferences concerning a babysitter for their children,” the letter said. “It is also inconsistent with the fact that both gender and age may each be bona fide occupational requirements in this context.”
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