A complaint against the City of Victoria alleging discrimination towards young women athletes in the capital city will proceed to a tribunal hearing, despite the city’s attempt to have it dismissed.
The complaint alleges the city has, and continues to, discriminate against youth female softball players by failing to provide suitable infrastructure and facilities for the girls.
The complaint was filed in 2020 by Mike Sharpe, a previous board member of the Beacon Hill Baseball Softball Association and parent of a softball player.
“While I am happy with the Tribunal’s decision to advance the complaint to a hearing, I’m not overly surprised as our case is strong and very well documented,” said Sharpe in a release Sunday.
He believes the city’s investment at Pemberton Park, where the girls typically play, falls short in comparison to what the city has spent on upgrades at Hollywood Park, where the boys play.
“The complaint again brings attention to the unequal treatment faced by female athletes at all levels of competition on a regular basis locally, nationally and globally. In 2017, the City of Victoria set aside $157,000 for improvements at Hollywood Park’s baseball field and Pemberton Park’s softball field,” reads the release.
“Only $2,000 of those funds were spent at Pemberton Park.”
The City of Victoria had attempted to have the complaint rejected, but the BC Human Rights Tribunal has sided with Sharpe, rejecting the city’s attempt to get the case tossed.
It means the complaint will now proceed to a tribunal hearing in the near future.
The Softball Association says it’s been providing baseball and softball programs for the youth in Victoria since 1957 and has over 170 female softball players in the A, B and C divisions.