Loading articles...

P.E.I. legion to apologize after Sikh man reportedly asked to remove headdress

Last Updated Jan 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm PDT

TIGNISH, P.E.I. – The president of a P.E.I. branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is expected to apologize after a Sikh man was reportedly asked to remove his religious head covering and heckled with racist remarks.

Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal told the Summerside Journal-Pioneer that he was playing pool with friends at the legion in Tignish on Wednesday when management approached the group and asked him to remove his patka, a type of turban worn by Sikhs.

A video of the incident shows a woman threatening to “rip” off the head covering in response to being filmed and a patron at the bar making an obscene gesture while saying the garment must be removed because “it’s the law.”

Annemarie Blanchard, a friend of Dhaliwal who witnessed with incident, told the Journal-Pioneer she forgot about the legion’s policy requiring patrons to remove their headgear out of respect for veterans.

Legion president Stephen Gallant told the newspaper he plans to apologize to those involved and said religious garments are exempt from the legion’s policy banning head coverings.

Gallant said there was some confusion over whether the headdress was a religious garment, and the membership has met to clarify the branch’s policy regarding head coverings.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the Charlottetown Guardian reported the comments. In fact, it was the Summerside Journal-Pioneer.