$4,000 compensation for bathing suit confrontation

A handicapped woman has been awarded $4,000 in compensation after being kicked out of a City of Montreal pool because of the bathing suit she was wearing.

The woman was born with a deformed leg. For swimming, she opts for a suit that is of the usual shape on the top but features long and roomy leggings that do not constrict her permanently swollen limb.

In 2011, when she went for a dip at a pool in north-end Ahuntsic-Cartierville, she was kicked out by lifeguards enforcing a rule that swimwear be close-fitting. The rule was designed to prevent entanglement, especially during rescue situations.

After receiving her complaint, the Human Rights Commission helped her obtain a settlement of $4,000.

The swimwear rules were changed last year after consultation with lifeguarding authorities and cultural communities. The new rules require suits with arms and legs to be close-fitting below the knees and shoulders. Exceptions are handled case-by-case.

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