The first allegedly occurred on Sept. 9, 2010. Merrick alleges a co-worker in the City of Surrey inspection department was referring to Métis people as "half-breeds" in a conversation during a coffee break.
"I am Métis, and even though his words weren't directly towards me, he knows of my aboriginal ancestry and he said it in a demeaning hurtful way about Métis people, and he laughed and looked around hoping the rest of the group would laugh as well, but thankfully nobody else did," Merrik writes in her complaint.
The second incident allegedly took place from Sept. 10 to 21, 2010. Merrik writes in her complaint she had signed a new Métis card and asked the manager if he knew where she could find a laminator for cards, like at Staples perhaps. Her manager allegedly asked what she needed a laminator for, and she told him, at which time he requested to see it.
"I handed it over to him and he said, 'Oh you're just another wagon burner' and laughed at me while looking at my new Métis membership card in his hand. I felt assaulted. I couldn't even respond, I was in shock," she alleges in her complaint.
She also alleges that a co-worker was in the manager's office while the manager laughed about how he calls a contractor he knows a "wagon burner" all the time.
The BCHRT did not accept some of Merrick's older complaints, which included allegations of sex/gender related jokes in 2008...Before the era of government-mediated social relations, Merrick might have told the guy who made the "wagon burner" crack that he was a jerk, and to knock it off. All in all, a far better and more cost-effective approach to dealing with such slights, don't you think? And from the standpoint of Ms. Merrick's mental health, far better for her, too, since instead of toting around her ever-weightier load, she could simply let...it...go.