Dans le cadre du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs – L’Affaire Christie c. York : une saga judiciaire méconnue au Québec

Type of resource
Dans le cadre du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs – L’Affaire Christie c. York : une saga judiciaire méconnue au Québec
The author examines the documents in the Montreal archives of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec relating to the 1930s racial discrimination case brought by Montrealer Fred Christie (b. 1902) against the York Tavern. On July 11, 1936, Christie and two friends entered the York Tavern, then part of the old Montreal Forum, for a beer. Christie, a Forum season hockey ticket holder and boxing enthusiast, had drank at the tavern before, but on this day he was told that the York Corporation, which owned the tavern, had changed the rules and that he would not be served because he was Black. Christie summoned the police to witness the York’s refusal to serve him. The officers arrived but failed to do anything about it. Christie brought an action against the bar for $200, arguing that the tavern had violated the terms of section 33 of its licence that stated "No licensee for a restaurant may refuse without reasonable cause, to give food to travellers." He won the case. The York Corporation appealed the verdict. Money was raised within Montreal's Black community to help cover Christie's on-going court challenge. At appeal, the Court of King's Bench overturned the lower court decision and found in favour of the tavern because the Court found that section 33 did not apply. Christie, it stated, was neither a traveller nor seeking food but was seeking a beer. Furthermore, the court stated that the province's property rights states "a merchant or trader is free to carry on his business in the manner he conceives to be best for that business". In 1939, Christie took his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which also sided with the York Tavern. Racial discrimination in Quebec was now legalized, and remained so until the Quebec Charter of Right and Freedom was enacted in 1975. Disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, Fred Christie left Montreal and moved to the United States.
Blog Title
Instantanés : La vitrine des archives de BAnQ
15 février 2017
en & fr
Boudreau, Denis. “Dans Le Cadre Du Mois de l’histoire Des Noirs – L’Affaire Christie c. York : Une Saga Judiciaire Méconnue Au Québec.” Instantanés : La Vitrine Des Archives de BAnQ, février 2017. http://blogues.banq.qc.ca/instantanes/2017/02/15/cadre-mois-de-lhistoire-noirs-laffaire-christie-c-york-saga-judiciaire-meconnue-quebec-2/.
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