A Limoges water park that initially fought a human rights complaint from a woman who wanted to slide topless has changed its dress code.
Calypso Waterpark now says that “bathers of all genders are required to wear an appropriate swimsuit bottom” although thongs and see-through garb are forbidden and “we reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of swimwear.”
Lawyer Marie-Pier Dupont of the Ottawa firm Caza Saikaly confirmed that the move is related to the complaint of her client, an unnamed Cornwall-area woman, launched two years ago.
“I cannot comment much,” Dupont said Friday. “All I can say is that the human rights complaint was settled and now both parties are very happy with the results and that this is as a result of the complaint.”
Dupont didn’t know if her client has since visited Calypso without her top.
The woman cited Calypso, the City of Cornwall and seven hotel companies in her complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in July 2017.
Groupe Calypso-Valcartier didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday morning.
In July 2017, CEO Louis Massicotte said that it would maintain its topless ban, which also applied to its park in Valcartier, Que., after consulting clients and legal advisers in both provinces.
“It is not out of a sense of modesty that we have made this decision but rather it is simply because we have listened to the views of our family-oriented clientele on this matter,” Massicotte said at the time.
But it was more than two decades ago in December 1996 that the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Gwen Jacob’s topless stroll down a street in Guelph was not obscene, making it legal for all women in Ontario to be topless in public.
Jacob was a 19-year-old university student when she was charged with the crime of committing an indecent act for taking off her shirt as she walked home from class on a sweltering day.
Her stand has also been credited for helping to open the door to mothers breastfeeding in public.
While there have been cases touching on toplessness since, such as whether there’s a difference between male and female exotic dancers doffing their tops, the law in Ontario is settled.
“Essentially, being topless in pubic is not indecent,” said Dupont said, who concludes that it’s “definitely” an equality issue.
“It’s a matter of men and women being treated the same.”
The park’s current dress code says that “we welcome guests from all cultural backgrounds and we encourage all guests to respect each others’ perspectives, beliefs and values,” adding that the venue is a “family-oriented park.”
The park does ask some guests to cover up less, citing slide manufacturers’ safety requirements. Burkinis, for example, are allowed on some of the park’s attractions but not on body slides because they’re considered a safety risk, as are hijabs, clothing other than swimsuits and swimwear with buttons, snaps or zippers.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019